Following the question "understanding-Tamars-plan", how was Tamar sure Yehuda will turn to a prostitute the moment he sees her?

Needless to say how bad is the transgression and how great and pious Yehuda was. Was it something from their previous experiences we don't know about?

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    Why do you think she was sure?
    – Double AA
    Dec 1, 2018 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


According to a Midrash here, he in fact passed her by, at which point she prayed to God that he should in fact sin with her. As summarized in the Da'as Zekeinim here (alhatorah.org translation):

ויחשבה לזונה – וכי מה איכפת ליה אלא בקש לילך לו נשאה עיניה למרום ואמרה רבון העולמים וכי לא אני זוכה להוציא חכם מגופו של צדיק זה מיד שלח לו הקב״ה מיכאל והחזירו כתיב הכא ויט אליה וכתיב ותט לפני מה התם על ידי מלאך הכא נמי על ידי מלאך.

ויחשביה לזונה, "he considered her as a harlot." Why should Yehudah have cared? He turned around to resume on his way to the shearing. However, Tamar raised her face to heaven to pray and ask G–d why she should not be able to give birth to a worthwhile and intelligent son from the semen of such a righteous man as Yehudah. Upon hearing her prayer, G–d immediately dispatched the angel Michael who made Yehudah have second thoughts and turn around. The Torah here wrote: ויט אליה, "he turned to her," and we find the same expression in Numbers 22,33 where it is written of Bileam's she-ass: ותט לפני, "she turned around before me;" (the angel speaking to Bileam) in both instances the angel Michael was the subject. (subject discussed in B'reshit Rabbah 85,8)

  • Thank you for finding this, but the original Tamar's plan was all built on a premise he will turn to her. Why? This also does not explain the phrase "וַיַּחְשְׁבֶהָ לְזוֹנָה" - even if the angel pushed him, he didn't make him think she's a prostitute.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 2, 2018 at 0:46
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    @AlBerko She had a backup plan of praying to God, and it's not like the angel forced yehudah, he made him think that it was a good idea. Vayachsheveha LEzonah is another topic altogether - see all the mefarshim there. Dec 2, 2018 at 0:54

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