אלא ויקריא מלמד שהקריא אברהם אבינו לשמו של הקב"ה בפה כל עובר ושב כיצד לאחר שאכלו ושתו עמדו לברכו אמר להם וכי משלי אכלתם משל אלהי עולם אכלתם הודו ושבחו וברכו למי שאמר והיה העולם
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.
(בראשית לח, טו) ויראה יהודה ויחשבה לזונה כי כסתה פניה משום דכסתה פניה חשבה לזונה
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.
א"ר אלעזר שכסתה פניה בבית חמיה דא"ר שמואל בר נחמני א"ר יונתן כל כלה שהיא צנועה בבית חמיה זוכה ויוצאין ממנה מלכים ונביאים מנלן מתמר נביאים דכתיב (ישעיהו א, א) חזון ישעיהו בן אמוץ מלכים מדוד ואמר רבי לוי דבר זה מסורת בידינו מאבותינו אמוץ ואמציה אחים הוו
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.
(בראשית לח, כה) היא מוצאת היא מיתוצאת מיבעי ליה א"ר אלעזר לאחר שנמצאו סימניה בא סמאל וריחקן בא גבריאל וקירבן
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.
היינו דכתיב (תהלים נו, א) למנצח על יונת אלם רחוקים לדוד מכתם א"ר יוחנן משעה שנתרחקו סימניה נעשית כיונה אילמת לדוד מכתם שיצא ממנה דוד שהיה מך ותם לכל דבר אחר מכתם שהיתה מכתו תמה שנולד כשהוא מהול דבר אחר מכתם כשם שבקטנותו הקטין עצמו אצל מי שגדול ממנו ללמוד תורה כך בגדולתו
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.
(בראשית לח, כה) והיא שלחה אל חמיה לאמר לאיש אשר אלה לו אנכי הרה ותימא ליה מימר אמר רב זוטרא בר טוביה אמר רב ואמרי לה אמר רב חנא בר ביזנא אמר רבי שמעון חסידא ואמרי לה אמר רבי יוחנן משום ר' שמעון בן יוחי נוח לו לאדם שיפיל עצמו לתוך כבשן האש ואל ילבין פני חבירו ברבים מנלן מתמר
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.
(בראשית לח, כה) הכר נא א"ר חמא ברבי חנינא בהכר בישר לאביו בהכר בישרוהו בהכר בישר (בראשית לז, לב) הכר נא הכתנת בנך היא בהכר בישרוהו הכר נא למי
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.”
נא אין נא אלא לשון בקשה אמרה ליה בבקשה ממך הכר פני בוראך ואל תעלים עיניך ממני
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.
(בראשית לח, כו) ויכר יהודה ויאמר צדקה ממני היינו דאמר רב חנין בר ביזנא א"ר שמעון חסידא יוסף שקדש ש"ש בסתר זכה והוסיפו לו אות אחת משמו של הקב"ה דכתיב (תהלים פא, ו) עדות ביהוסף שמו
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.
יהודה שקדש ש"ש בפרהסיא זכה ונקרא כולו על שמו של הקב"ה כיון שהודה ואמר צדקה ממני יצתה בת קול ואמרה אתה הצלת תמר ושני בניה מן האור חייך שאני מציל בזכותך ג' מבניך מן האור מאן נינהו חנניה מישאל ועזריה
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).
צדקה ממני מנא ידע יצתה בת קול ואמרה ממני יצאו כבושים
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.
(בראשית לח, כו) ולא יסף עוד לדעתה אמר שמואל סבא חמוה דרב שמואל בר אמי משמיה דרב שמואל בר אמי כיון שידעה שוב לא פסק ממנה כתיב הכא ולא יסף עוד לדעתה וכתיב התם (דברים ה, יט) קול גדול ולא יסף
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.
אבשלום נתגאה בשערו וכו' ת"ר אבשלום בשערו מרד שנאמר (שמואל ב יד, כה) וכאבשלום לא היה איש יפה וגו' ובגלחו את ראשו (וגו') והיה מקץ ימים לימים אשר יגלח כי כבד עליו וגלחו ושקל את שער ראשו מאתים שקלים באבן המלך תנא אבן שאנשי טבריא ואנשי ציפורי שוקלים בה
§ 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.
לפיכך נתלה בשערו שנאמר (שמואל ב יח, ט) ויקרא אבשלום לפני עבדי דוד ואבשלום רוכב על הפרד ויבא הפרד תחת שובך האלה הגדולה ויאחז ראשו באלה ויותן בין השמים ובין הארץ והפרד אשר תחתיו עבר [שקל ספסירא בעא למיפסקיה] תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל באותה שעה נבקע שאול מתחתיו
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.
(שמואל ב יט, א) וירגז המלך ויעל על עליית השער ויבך וכה אמר בלכתו בני אבשלום בני בני [אבשלום] מי יתן מותי אני תחתיך אבשלום בני בני והמלך לאט את פניו ויזעק המלך קול גדול בני אבשלום אבשלום בני בני הני תמניא בני למה שבעה דאסקיה משבעה מדורי גיהנם ואידך איכא דאמרי דקריב רישיה לגבי גופיה ואיכא דאמרי דאייתיה לעלמא דאתי
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.
(שמואל ב יח, יח) ואבשלום לקח ויצב לו בחייו מאי לקח אמר ריש לקיש שלקח מקח רע לעצמו את מצבת אשר בעמק המלך וגו' א"ר חנינא בר פפא בעצה עמוקה של מלכו של עולם
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.