Saturday, 24 November 2018
Parsha, Vayeishev, "Hotziuha v'Tisareif; a Burning Question"
In 38:24 Yehudah apparently pronounces a death sentence on Tamar, "take her out and have her burned."
Recently, I had heard about a slight variation of this. Tisareif could mean "branded." This means that Yehudah didn't sentence Tamar to be executed, but branded as a Zonah.
With the help of some colleagues, I found this idea's source!
The Torah Temimah 38:24:25 quotes the "Ba'al Turim" who quotes R' Yehudah Hechossid: "roshem paneha" be branded. Tamar should not be incinerated, but branded as a "Zonah"
The TT also notes that this firebranding still happened in the Rosh's era and that 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.