אֶלָּא וַיַּקְרִיא מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהִקְרִיא אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ לִשְׁמוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּפֶה כׇּל עוֹבֵר וָשָׁב כֵּיצַד לְאַחַר שֶׁאָכְלוּ וְשָׁתוּ עָמְדוּ לְבָרְכוֹ אָמַר לָהֶם וְכִי מִשֶּׁלִּי אֲכַלְתֶּם מִשֶּׁל אֱלֹהֵי עוֹלָם אֲכַלְתֶּם הוֹדוּ וְשַׁבְּחוּ וּבָרְכוּ לְמִי שֶׁאָמַר וְהָיָה הָעוֹלָם but rather as vayyakri, and he caused others to call. This teaches that Abraham our forefather caused the name of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to be called out in the mouth of all passersby. How so? After the guests of Abraham ate and drank, they arose to bless him. He said to them: But did you eat from what is mine? Rather, you ate from the food of the God of the world. Therefore, you should thank and praise and bless the One Who spoke and the world was created. In this way, Abraham caused everyone to call out to God.
וַיִּרְאֶהָ יְהוּדָה וַיַּחְשְׁבֶהָ לְזוֹנָה כִּי כִסְּתָה פָּנֶיהָ מִשּׁוּם דְּכִסְּתָה פָּנֶיהָ חַשְּׁבַהּ לְזוֹנָה The Gemara continues its discussion of the incident of Judah and Tamar. It is written: “When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face” (Genesis 38:15). The Gemara asks: Because she had covered her face he thought her to be a prostitute? Prostitutes usually uncover their faces in order to attract men.
אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר שֶׁכִּסְּתָה פָּנֶיהָ בְּבֵית חָמִיהָ דְּאָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן כׇּל כַּלָּה שֶׁהִיא צְנוּעָה בְּבֵית חָמִיהָ זוֹכָה וְיוֹצְאִין מִמֶּנָּה מְלָכִים וּנְבִיאִים מְנָלַן מִתָּמָר נְבִיאִים דִּכְתִיב חֲזוֹן יְשַׁעְיָהוּ בֶן אָמוֹץ מְלָכִים מִדָּוִד וְאָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי דָּבָר זֶה מָסוֹרֶת בְּיָדֵינוּ מֵאֲבוֹתֵינוּ אָמוֹץ וַאֲמַצְיָה אַחִים הֲווֹ Rabbi Elazar says: The verse means that Tamar covered her face in the home of her father-in-law, Judah. Therefore, he did not recognize her when her face was uncovered. As Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: Any daughter-in-law who is modest in the house of her father-in-law merits that kings and prophets emerge from her. From where do we derive this? From Tamar. Prophets emerged from her, as it is written: “The vision of Isaiah, the son of Amoz” (Isaiah 1:1). Kings emerged from her, as seen from David. And Rabbi Levi says: This matter is a tradition that we received from our ancestors: Amoz, father of Isaiah, and Amaziah, king of Judea, were brothers. This indi-cates that Isaiah was also from the house of David and therefore a descendant of Tamar.
הִיא מוּצֵאת הִיא מִיתּוֹצֵאת מִיבְּעֵי לֵיהּ אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר לְאַחַר שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ סִימָנֶיהָ בָּא סַמָּאֵל וְרִיחֲקָן בָּא גַּבְרִיאֵל וְקֵירְבָן The verse describes Tamar’s court hearing: “When she was brought forth [mutzet], she sent to her father-in-law, saying: By the man whose these are, am I with child” (Genesis 38:25). The Gemara comments: It should have stated: When she was mitutzet. The word mutzet also carries the implication of being found. What then, is taught by the use of that term? Rabbi Elazar says: After her signs, which she was using to prove that she was impregnated by Judah, were brought out, the evil angel Samael came and distanced them from each other in an attempt to prevent Judah’s admission and Tamar’s survival, which would enable the birth of King David. The angel Gabriel then came and moved the signs closer again. Therefore, the word mutzet is used, as it alludes to the signs being found again.
הַיְינוּ דִּכְתִיב לִמְנַצֵּחַ עַל יוֹנַת אֵלֶם רְחוֹקִים לְדָוִד מִכְתָּם אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁנִּתְרַחֲקוּ סִימָנֶיהָ נַעֲשֵׂית כְּיוֹנָה אִילֶּמֶת לְדָוִד מִכְתָּם שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנָּה דָּוִד שֶׁהָיָה מָךְ וְתָם לַכֹּל דָּבָר אַחֵר מִכְתָּם שֶׁהָיְתָה מַכָּתוֹ תַּמָּה שֶׁנּוֹלַד כְּשֶׁהוּא מָהוּל דָּבָר אַחֵר מִכְתָּם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁבְּקַטְנוּתוֹ הִקְטִין עַצְמוֹ אֵצֶל מִי שֶׁגָּדוֹל מִמֶּנּוּ לִלְמוֹד תּוֹרָה כָּךְ בִּגְדוּלָּתוֹ The Gemara comments: This is as it is written: “For the leader, upon yonat eilem reḥokim, a psalm [mikhtam] of David” (Psalms 56:1). Rabbi Yoḥanan says the verse means: From the moment that her signs were distanced [reḥokim], she became like a mute dove [yona illemet]. And the phrase “a psalm [mikhtam] of David” means: The one from whom David emerged, as he was modest [makh] and flawless [tam] with everyone. Alternatively, mikhtam indicates that makkato, the place on his body that would have required wounding [makka], was complete [tama], i.e., that David was born circumcised. Alternatively, mikhtam indicates that just as in his youth David made himself small in front of one who was greater than him in order to learn Torah from that person, so too, when he became great and was crowned king, he still behaved in this manner, so that his modesty, makh, was complete, tam, all of his life.
וְהִיא שָׁלְחָה אֶל חָמִיהָ לֵאמֹר לְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אֵלֶּה לּוֹ אָנֹכִי הָרָה וְתֵימָא לֵיהּ מֵימָר אָמַר רַב זוּטְרָא בַּר טוֹבִיָּה אָמַר רַב וְאָמְרִי לַהּ אָמַר רַב חָנָא בַּר בִּיזְנָא אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן חֲסִידָא וְאָמְרִי לָהּ אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַי נוֹחַ לוֹ לָאָדָם שֶׁיַּפִּיל עַצְמוֹ לְתוֹךְ כִּבְשַׁן הָאֵשׁ וְאַל יַלְבִּין פְּנֵי חֲבֵירוֹ בָּרַבִּים מְנָלַן מִתָּמָר The verse concerning Tamar then states: “She sent to her father-in-law, saying: By the man whose these are, am I with child” (Genesis 38:25). The Gemara comments: And let her say to him explicitly that she was impregnated by him. Rav Zutra bar Tuviyya says that Rav says, and some say Rav Ḥana bar Bizna says that Rabbi Shimon Ḥasida says, and some say that Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: It is more amenable for a person to throw himself into a fiery furnace if faced with the choice of publicly embarrassing another or remaining silent even if it leads to being burned, and not humiliate another in public. From where do we derive this? From Tamar, as she was prepared to be burned if Judah did not confess, rather than humiliate him in public.
הַכֶּר נָא אָמַר רַבִּי חָמָא בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא בְּהַכֶּר בִּישֵּׂר לְאָבִיו בְּהַכֶּר בִּישְּׂרוּהוּ בְּהַכֶּר בִּישֵּׂר הַכֶּר נָא הַכְּתֹנֶת בִּנְךָ הִיא בְּהַכֶּר בִּישְּׂרוּהוּ הַכֶּר נָא לְמִי The verse continues: “And she said: Discern, please, whose are these, the signet, and the cords, and the staff” (Genesis 38:25). Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: With use of the word discern Judah informed his father that Joseph was lost, and also with use of the word discern they informed Judah about the signs. The Gemara explains: With the word discern he informed Jacob his father when he brought him the coat of Joseph and said to his father: “And they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father; and said: This have we found. Discern now whether it is your son’s coat or not” (Genesis 37:32). With the word discern they informed him: “And she said: Discern, please, whose are these.”
נָא אֵין נָא אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן בַּקָּשָׁה אָמְרָה לֵיהּ בְּבַקָּשָׁה מִמְּךָ הַכֵּר פְּנֵי בּוֹרַאֲךָ וְאַל תַּעֲלִים עֵינֶיךָ מִמֶּנִּי It states: “Discern, please [na].” The word na is nothing other than a language of request. The Gemara explains: She said to him: I request of you: Discern the image of your Creator in every person, and do not avert your eyes from me.
וַיַּכֵּר יְהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר צָדְקָה מִמֶּנִּי הַיְינוּ דְּאָמַר רַב חָנִין בַּר בִּיזְנָא אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן חֲסִידָא יוֹסֵף שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם בַּסֵּתֶר זָכָה וְהוֹסִיפוּ לוֹ אוֹת אַחַת מִשְּׁמוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא דִּכְתִיב עֵדוּת בִּיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ The verse states: “And Judah acknowledged them, and said: She is more righteous than I; forasmuch as I gave her not to Shelah my son” (Genesis 38:26). This is the same as Rav Ḥanin bar Bizna says that Rabbi Shimon Ḥasida says: Joseph, who sanctified the name of Heaven in private by not committing adultery with the wife of Potiphar, merited that one letter from the name of the Holy One, Blessed be He, was added to his name, as it is written: “He appointed it in Joseph [bihosef ] for a testimony in his name, when He went forth against the land of Egypt” (Psalms 81:6). In this verse the name Joseph is written with an additional letter heh, found in the ineffable name of God.
יְהוּדָה שֶׁקִּדֵּשׁ שֵׁם שָׁמַיִם בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא זָכָה וְנִקְרָא כּוּלּוֹ עַל שְׁמוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁהוֹדָה וְאָמַר צָדְקָה מִמֶּנִּי יָצְתָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָה אַתָּה הִצַּלְתָּ תָּמָר וּשְׁנֵי בָּנֶיהָ מִן הָאוּר חַיֶּיךָ שֶׁאֲנִי מַצִּיל בִּזְכוּתְךָ שְׁלֹשָׁה מִבָּנֶיךָ מִן הָאוּר מַאן נִינְהוּ חֲנַנְיָה מִישָׁאֵל וַעֲזַרְיָה He continues: Judah, who sanctified the name of Heaven in public, merited that his entire name is called by the name of the Holy One, Blessed be He, for all the letters of the ineffable name of God are included within the name of Judah, with the addition of the letter dalet. When he confessed and said: “She is more righteous than I,” a Divine Voice went forth and said: You saved Tamar and her two children in her womb from being burned by the fire. By your life, i.e., in your merit, I will save three of your children from the fire. And who are they? Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (see Daniel, chapter 3).
צָדְקָה מִמֶּנִּי מְנָא יָדַע יָצְתָה בַּת קוֹל וְאָמְרָה מִמֶּנִּי יָצְאוּ כְּבוּשִׁים Judah said: “She is more righteous than I [mimmenni].” The word “mimmenni” can also be understood as “from me,” with Judah thereby admitting that he is the father. The Gemara asks: From where did he know that it was in fact from him that Tamar was pregnant? The Gemara answers: A Divine Voice went forth and said: From Me these hidden matters emerged, and this woman will be the mother of royalty, which requires that Judah be the father.
וְלֹא יָסַף עוֹד לְדַעְתָּה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל סָבָא חֲמוּהּ דְּרַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי כֵּיוָן שֶׁיְּדָעָהּ שׁוּב לֹא פָּסַק מִמֶּנָּה כְּתִיב הָכָא וְלֹא יָסַף עוֹד לְדַעְתָּה וּכְתִיב הָתָם קוֹל גָּדוֹל וְלֹא יָסָף The same verse continues: “And he knew her [leda’atah] again no more [velo yasaf ],” seemingly indicating that Judah did not engage in sexual intercourse with Tamar again. Shmuel the Elder, father-in-law of Rav Shmuel bar Ami, says in the name of Rav Shmuel bar Ami: The verse actually means that once he knew of her that her intentions were for the sake of Heaven, he did not desist from engaging in sexual intercourse with her again, as it is written here: “Velo yasaf od leda’atah,” and it is written there at the giving of the Torah: “These words the Lord spoke unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice and it went on no more [velo yasaf ]” (Deuteronomy 5:18), which is interpreted to mean: A great voice that did not cease.
אַבְשָׁלוֹם נִתְגָּאָה בִּשְׂעָרוֹ וְכוּ׳ תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן אַבְשָׁלוֹם בִּשְׂעָרוֹ מָרַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וּכְאַבְשָׁלוֹם לֹא הָיָה אִישׁ יָפֶה וְגוֹ׳ וּבְגַלְּחוֹ אֶת רֹאשׁוֹ וְהָיָה מִקֵּץ יָמִים לַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר יְגַלֵּחַ כִּי כָבֵד עָלָיו וְגִלְּחוֹ וְשָׁקַל אֶת שְׂעַר רֹאשׁוֹ מָאתַיִם שְׁקָלִים בְּאֶבֶן הַמֶּלֶךְ תָּנָא אֶבֶן שֶׁאַנְשֵׁי טְבֶרְיָא וְאַנְשֵׁי צִיפּוֹרִי שׁוֹקְלִים בָּהּ § The mishna teaches: Absalom was excessively proud of his hair, and therefore he was hung by his hair. The Sages taught (Tosefta 3:16): Absalom rebelled and sinned due to his hair, as it is stated: “Now in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty; from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he shaved his head, as it was at every year’s end that he shaved it; because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he shaved it, and he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, by the king’s stone” (II Samuel 14:25–26). What is the king’s stone? The Sages taught: A stone with which the people of Tiberias and the people of Tzippori weigh items.
לְפִיכָךְ נִתְלָה בִּשְׂעָרוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיִּקְרָא אַבְשָׁלוֹם לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם רֹכֵב עַל הַפֶּרֶד וַיָּבֹא הַפֶּרֶד תַּחַת שׂוֹבֶךְ הָאֵלָה הַגְּדוֹלָה וַיֶּחֱזַק רֹאשׁוֹ בָאֵלָה וַיֻּתַּן בֵּין הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ וְהַפֶּרֶד אֲשֶׁר תַּחְתָּיו עָבָר שְׁקַל סַפְסִירָא בְּעָא לְמִיפְסְקֵיהּ תָּנָא דְּבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה נִבְקַע שְׁאוֹל מִתַּחְתָּיו The baraita continues: And since he was proud of his hair, therefore, he was hung by his hair, as it is stated in the verse describing the battle between the forces of David and Absalom: “And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David. And Absalom was riding upon his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great terebinth, and his head caught hold of the terebinth, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went on” (II Samuel 18:9). After he was spotted by the opposing troops, Absalom took a sword [safseira] and wanted to cut his hair to save himself. The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: At that moment, the gates of the netherworld opened beneath him and he was afraid to fall into it, so he did not cut his hair, and he was killed by the opposing troops.
וַיִּרְגַּז הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּעַל עַל עֲלִיַּית הַשַּׁעַר וַיֵּבְךְּ וְכֹה אָמַר בְּלֶכְתּוֹ בְּנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם מִי יִתֵּן מוּתִי אֲנִי תַחְתֶּיךָ אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי וְהַמֶּלֶךְ לָאַט אֶת פָּנָיו וַיִּזְעַק הַמֶּלֶךְ קוֹל גָּדוֹל בְּנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי הָנֵי תְּמָנְיָא בְּנִי לְמָה שִׁבְעָה דְּאַסְּקֵיהּ מִשִּׁבְעָה מְדוֹרֵי גֵיהִנָּם וְאִידַּךְ אִיכָּא דְּאָמְרִי דְּקָרֵיב רֵישֵׁיהּ לְגַבֵּי גוּפֵיהּ וְאִיכָּא דְּאָמְרִי דְּאַיְיתֵיהּ לְעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי It is written with regard to David’s reaction after he learns of the death of Absalom: “And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went about he said: O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died in your place, O Absalom, my son, my son” (II Samuel 19:1), and a few verses later it adds: “And the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice: O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son” (II Samuel 19:5). The Gemara asks: Why are there these eight mentions of “my son” by David, i.e., to what do they correspond? The Gemara answers: Seven times he said “my son,” by which he raised him up from the seven chambers of Gehenna. And as for the other, eighth, time, some say that David brought the head of Absalom close to Absalom’s body, and some say that with this eighth mention David brought Absalom to the World-to-Come.
וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם לָקַח וַיַּצֶּב לוֹ בְחַיָּיו מַאי לָקַח אָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ שֶׁלָּקַח מִקָּח רַע לְעַצְמוֹ אֶת מַצֶּבֶת אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵמֶק הַמֶּלֶךְ וְגוֹ׳ אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא בַּר פָּפָּא בְּעֵצָה עֲמוּקָּה שֶׁל מַלְכּוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם It is written there: “Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar, which is in the king’s valley; for he said: I have no son to keep my name in remembrance” (II Samuel 18:18). The Gemara asks: What did Absalom take? Reish Lakish says: He engaged in a bad transaction for himself by accepting bad advice for which he was punished. The verse continues: “The pillar, which is in the king’s valley [be’emek hammelekh].” Rabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa says: This alludes to the pillar that is in the deep [amukka] counsel of the King [melekh] of the universe, as God had already decreed in the aftermath of the incident with Bathsheba that this would occur.