Thursday, 25 November 2010

P. Vayeishev - Hotziuha v'Tisareif a Burning Question

In Passuk 38:24 Yehudah pronounces apparently a death sentence on Tamar- «take her out and have her burned»

Recently I had heard about a slight variation of this that Tisareif could mean "BRANDED" - meaning to brand her as a Zonah by means of a firebrand, but not execute her..

With the help of some colleagues I found it!
It's the Torah Temimah 38:24:25 who quotes the "Ba'al Turim" who in turn quotes R Yehudah Hechossid - namely that "roshem paneha" be branded. Not that she be physically burned to death, rather branded as a "Zonah"

And the TT further notes that this firebranding was still taking place in the era of The Rosh and the Rashba objected to this for Jews.

He also explains the diyyuq that led RY Hechossid to revise s'reifaah to mean branding and not executing.


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