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Does the Torah Predict America's 'Recognition' of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital?

Source Sheet by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, Pico Shul, Los Angeles, CA

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Created December 7, 2017 · 889 Views · נוצר 7 December, 2017 · 889 צפיות ·

According to ancient sources, the story of Tamar resembles the history of Jerusalem. 

  1. Current events are often connected to the week's Torah portion. The announcement made by President Drumpf on Dec. 6th, 2017 (that the USA was formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and instructing the State Department to move the American Embassy there) happened during the week of Parsha Vayeshev. The Parsha primarily deals with Yosef’s dreams, Yosef’s brother’s animosity, Yosef being sold, and Yaakov's anguish. The Parsha ends with Yosef sitting in jail having interpreted dreams for the baker and the wine pourer. Dropped in the middle of the Parsha is Chapter 38 about Yehudah and his daughter-in-law Tamar. The passage is definitely rated "R". The Book of Ruth (4:18-22) explains that King David is a descendant of Ruth, who is a descendant of Peretz, a son of Yehudah and Tamar. That would seem to be the most likely connection, as King David moved his capital to Jerusalem after he conquered it 3,000 years ago. However, the Baal Haturim (1270-1340) points out another connection in this week's Parsha to Jerusalem. The story of Tamar resembles the history of Jerusalem. 

  2. (טו) וַיִּרְאֶ֣הָ יְהוּדָ֔ה וַֽיַּחְשְׁבֶ֖הָ לְזוֹנָ֑ה כִּ֥י כִסְּתָ֖ה פָּנֶֽיהָ׃
    (15) When Judah saw her, he took her for a harlot; for she had covered her face.
  3. (ג) לזונה. ב' במסורה. ויחשבה לזונה. איכה היתה לזונה (ישעיה א, כא). מה תמר בבזיון ולבסוף בכבוד אף ירושלים סופה בכבוד, כדכתיב (זכריה ב, ט) ולכבוד אהיה בתוכה. וזהו זאת קומתך דמתה לתמר (שה"ש ז, ח).

    A Harlot. There are two sources (lit. traditions). That he [Yehudah] thought she was as a harlot. Alas, she has become a harlot. (Isiah 1:21). Just like Tamar was disgraced, but ultimately was honored, so too Jerusalem will ultimately be honored. As it's written (Zecharia 2:9) and for glory will I be in its midst. And this is what is meant (Song of Songs 7:8) Your stately form is like the palm. [The Hebrew for date is tamar תמר]

  4. (כא) אֵיכָה֙ הָיְתָ֣ה לְזוֹנָ֔ה קִרְיָ֖ה נֶאֱמָנָ֑ה מְלֵאֲתִ֣י מִשְׁפָּ֗ט צֶ֛דֶק יָלִ֥ין בָּ֖הּ וְעַתָּ֥ה מְרַצְּחִֽים׃
    (21) Alas, she has become a harlot, The faithful city That was filled with justice, Where righteousness dwelt— But now murderers.
  5. (ט) וַאֲנִ֤י אֶֽהְיֶה־לָּהּ֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה ח֥וֹמַת אֵ֖שׁ סָבִ֑יב וּלְכָב֖וֹד אֶֽהְיֶ֥ה בְתוֹכָֽהּ׃ (פ)
    (9) And I Myself—declares the LORD—will be a wall of fire all around it, and I will be a glory inside it.
  6. (ח) זֹ֤את קֽוֹמָתֵךְ֙ דָּֽמְתָ֣ה לְתָמָ֔ר וְשָׁדַ֖יִךְ לְאַשְׁכֹּלֽוֹת׃

    (8) Your stately form is like the palm, Your breasts are like clusters.

  7. More connections:

    1) For those who study the parsha every day, there is an additional bonus. The story of Yehudah and Tamar is at the start of the Fourth Aliyah. During daily parsha study, Wednesday corresponds to the Fourth Aliyah. The announcement was on a Wednesday.

    2) Thursday, Dec. 7th, the White House held its annual Hanukkah Party.

  8. Baal HaTurim, Venice, 5304 (1543/1544.)

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