Tamar, Crimson Thread, Anniversary

Wouldn’t ya know it? Yesterday was my first blog anniversary. And I didn’t notice until today.

One year ago I embarked on a journey of blog writing. My original purpose was to learn Word Press (succeeded, though there’s tons more to learn) and to write about and for people in Highland Park. I seem to have found a few readers in Highland Park, but many more around the globe. Thanks to everyone who has read any post of mine; thanks even more to those who leave a comment or two. I love the conversation.

One year ago my oldest son had his bar-mitzvah. He got called to the Torah in the synagogue and read both the Torah and the haftorah portions. It so happens that his Torah portion is Vayeshev, and last year I wrote a d’var Torah, a speech about the Torah, that I gave in the synagogue (at the meal after the services) to a wonderful crowd of people. I enjoyed writing a d’var Torah so much that I hope to continue doing so on my blog. It may not happen each week, but I’ll try. Oh, and in less than a year, we gotta do that bar-mitzvah thing again. It will be on Breishit, the first parsha of the Torah.

And now, for those of you who enjoy little quizzes, what’s the crimson thread?
And why did Tamar merit to become the ancestress of King David?
Can anyone tell me how many dreams there are in Parshat Vayeshev?

20 thoughts on “Tamar, Crimson Thread, Anniversary

  • Mazal Tov! You’re only half a year behind me (or so). I so enjoy your blog, and feel like we’ve become friends. I hope you keep blogging for a long time!

  • Congratulations on your blogging anniversary! This month marks mine also, although I’m not sure about the exact date, I need to check…
    About the crimson thread: does that refer to the red thread that Rachav the prostitute hung outside of her window to signal to the Israelites not to attack her house when they capture Jericho?
    Tamar: Tamar did not reveal her true identity to her father-in-law Judah, who thought she was a prostitute (am I sensing a theme here?)This was virtuous because her intention was to continue Judah’s line after his son died and left her childless. Or something like that.
    Dreams: Ummm…three, I think. The baker’s dream, the winemaker’s dream, and Pharoah’s dream about the fat cows and the skinny cows.
    How’d I do?

  • Raizy, thanks for dipping into the quizzes on the parsha!
    Yes, the red thread shows up in Yehoshua 2 as well as in this week’s parsha. Not sure if they are related, however.
    Lots on red thread in this post.

    Tamar: could be.

    Dreams: you got the first two right. Pharoah’s cow dream is next week. You are missing some of Yosef’s…

  • Mazal Tov on year one! May your blogging grow from strength to strength and may your influence of good extend itself to even more people.

    Regarding the questions…
    1) Crimson thread, I don’t know how it connects with this weeks Parsha. Although I do like the comparison that Raizy made, with Rachav.

    2) I am going to blog about it, :-). Will post the link when its ready. You inspired me to.

    3) Four dreams, two of Josephs and than the butler and baker at the end of the Parsha.

    Keep it up!
    Aron Grinshtein

  • Tamar gave birth to twins. At first, only the arm of a child emerged from the womb. A red cord was placed around the wrist. The arm then went back into the womb. The first child to fully emerge lacked the red cord, but the second child had it. Therefore the second (fully) born child was considered the bechor (first born). This was Peretz, who is the direct male ancestor of Boaz, who married Ruth, whose great grandson was King David. Thus the messiah will descend on the male line from Peretz.

    Judah’s descendants merited to be Kings of Israel (and Judah himself to be the chief among the 12 children of Jacob/Israel) because of his willingness to admit to fault during the incident with Tamar. It would have been easy to cover the problem up in several different ways, but instead he forthrightly admitted to being in the wrong.

  • Larry, “The first child to fully emerge lacked the red cord, but the second child had it” I thought Zerach got the red cord and Peretz became the ancestor of Boaz and David didn’t?

    Yes, that explains why Judah had the merit, but why did Tamar? (Rashi gave one suggestion).

  • You are correct – Peretz emerged fully first. (I mentioned earlier that as a personal challenge I do these from memory only).

    Someone discusses the obstetrical aspects of the birth on the Jewifery blog.

    I’ll watch with interest to see what other people say about why Tamar merits being the great^n grandmother of Moshiach. One problem is that the normal rules of yibbum don’t ever include the father-in-law, but of course this is all occurring pre-Sinai.

  • >You are always learning and teaching
    I think I’m a natural student. I apologize to anyone who feels like they are in school when they read my posts; l’havdil, other way around, should just be fun to learn new things.

  • Tamar was a very gutsy lady. I’ve blogged about her. She risked everything to have a baby in the Yehuda line, like his mother Leah and later on Ruth/Naomi.
    Yehuda was supposed to marry his youngest son to her and didn’t so she dressed like a prostitute and seduced him. Then he went on his way and couldn’t find her to pay her. When it was discovered that she pregnant, the court, Judah as judge, ordered her to be executed. Then she showed him the “deposit” the father left, and he declared her tzadeket.

  • Batya, thanks for the link to your post. That was an interesting approach, focusing on Yehuda’s wife. I’ve never heard it presented that way.

  • Ok, so I’m late with this one, but happy blogversary!
    I thought you were blogging for more than a year!

    I love your parsha posts, always something interesting.

    So the crimson thread was the red string on the baby’s hand?

    How many dreams were there? 3?

  • 4 dreams. Aron Grinshtein wrote the answer first.

    I’ve learned to study one parsha ahead on Shabbat, so I can think of something for next week.

    Yes, the watercolor had the answer. I didn’t write a lot about the red thread, but it seems to show up throughout Jewish history.

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