Tamar, Red & Blue Babies & Yeshua.

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Tamara
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Tamar, Red & Blue Babies & Yeshua.

#1 Postby Tamara » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:32 am

I saw this posted by someone in a mail group I'm on and I thought the question was interesting (and being Tamar's namesake I would), so I thought this would be just the place to get an answer. I've paraphrased the original a little:

We recall the tale of Tamar having twin boys by Judah, her father-in-law. One is known as the 'scarlet twin' ... the other known as the 'blue twin.' Why was pharez [perez] called the 'blue twin' ? Zerah was the 'red [or scarlet] twin.' Zerah LOOKED like he was going to be the first-born ; when his little hand reached out of his mother's womb, the nurse tied a scarlet thread around his wrist. Then, pushy pharez/perez leaped out of the womb and HE became the first-born with the attendant blessings of the first-born. We are aware that pharez and Tamar figure among progenitors of Jesus.

What is the meaning of the red and blue twins who became distant ancestors of Yeshua?

Peace,
Tamara
Student, tell me: what is God? The breath within the breath.

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#2 Postby moronacles » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:03 am

One teaching that I have heard is this: before the Law, the beatific life of the Gospel with faith existed, as can be seen with Abraham and other forefathers. But when the law was given, that manner of life had virtually disappeared. But with Christ, that manner of life returned. This is indicated by the children, the first one began (the Gospel manner of life), then went back into the womb, although he had a string tied around his finger, then the second child came (the Law), and then the first child came again (by the red string, the sacrifice/blood of Christ). I have never heard of the twins being called "red" and "blue". Maybe someone else knows something about this.

Bob
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Phillip
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#3 Postby Phillip » Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:53 am

Shalom!

Well, I don't know about the "red" and "blue" attribute, nor have I heard anything in the tradition about such attributes here, but the "red" quality reminds me of Esau, who got his name because he was covered in red hair, even from birth. Jacob's, name means "usurper" because he was grasping the heel of his brother on his way out of the womb.

The teachings of these twins, Jacob and Esauand I think many stories of twins often are teachings of the relationship within us of Nephesh Behamit and Nephesh Elokit. We are born into this life a bundle of desire energy and we are pure impulse, desire to possess for ourselves alone, to eat, to possess and etc. In a sense, this drive is the "first-born" impulse in us. But as we evolve in the Spirit, we come to realize the necessity to uplift our desire energy to the Holy One of Being. In this our Nephesh Behamit, or the bestial soul must be "usurped" by the Heavenly Soul, Nephesh Elokit. Esau must be transformed into Jacob, and Jacob into Israel. Perhaps in this transition we see how the individual comes to know and be identified with the universal, for in Esau we have a limited name and form in self-grasping, in Jacob one who thinks of the good of the tribe and is the proper leader of the tribe, and in Israel, the name of the person, Jacob, transformed after his wrestling with the angel Peniel, but also this is the name of the nation of the righteous.

But the story you mention is interesting. I wonder if the naming and the interaction of these twins has something to do with the story that unfolded between Judah and Tamar...?

Shalom!
Phillip

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#4 Postby Tamara » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:39 am

I think I'm going to try Marion's suggestion on this one and just read and meditate on i over and over and see what comes up.

Shalom,
Tamara
Student, tell me: what is God? The breath within the breath.

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Mercy & Judgment

#5 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:34 am

Greetings!

The twins, Jacob and Esau, represent two aspects of Nefesh: Nefesh Elokit (godly soul) and Nefesh Behamit (bestial soul), respectively. These have their root in Hesed-Mercy and Gevurah-Severity. With these other twins, if there is a mention of "blue" and "red," this would point to Mercy and Judgment on the Tree of Life. Curiously enough, Judah represent the tribe of "kings" and the "anointed." In terms of the Anointed, associated with Tiferet-Beauty, which is Rehamim-Compassion, the Anointed bears the power of Mercy and Judgment, as we see in the initiation of the disciples as apostles, when this Divine Power is communicated to them - the power of Tiferet, which is the power of Messiah.

This was the contemplation that arose for me in the mention of this.

May the Holy One shine from within us as Compassion; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi
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Tamara
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#6 Postby Tamara » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:26 pm

I'm not sure where the person who posted got the red and blue idea. They're not anywhere in the text. But this passage has always haunted me because it seems so out of place. It doesn't follow from the section before it and doesn't relate to the section after it. And it does appear to be an echo of the story of Jacob and Esau, so perhaps this is another articulation of the concept of judgement and mercy. It just feels as if someone is trying to say something important and I don't get it.

Tamara
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Tamar and Judah

#7 Postby Marion » Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:06 pm

I was contemplating the story in Gen. 38 where Judah, son of Jacob marries a Canaanite woman and has three sons by her, Er, Onan and Shelah. A wife is given to Er named Tamar, Tamar’s husband dies and she marries Onan, he also dies and she is supposed to marry Shelah, but Judah is afraid he will also die, meanwhile Judah’s wife has also died so he sends Tamar back to her fathers house and does not giver her Shelah. But Tamar, veils herself and Judah passes by her, thinking her to be a prostitute he asks to come into her, she agrees if he will give her his signet, his cord, and the staff that is in his hand. By him she becomes pregnant, and three months later Judah finds out who it was that he slept with, he is outraged at first but then realizes that he also wronged her by not giving her his youngest son. Tamar then births the twins, Perez and Zerah.
This is the story as it appears in the Torah. Excepting a few details, which I did not mention.

“When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face.” (Gen: 38, 15)

This is significant, for as Midrash (Jewish and Christian legends about Torah and Gospel, Literally: the stories between the lines, developed by sages of wisdom, and masters of the tradition.) points out, why would a prostitute cover her face? Covering one’s face would have been a sign of modesty. Therefore, it is possible, if not probable that prostitutes at that time would not have covered their heads. The veil over Tamar’s head is also significant because there are only two women in the entire Torah who covered themselves with veils and then gave birth to twins. Rebekah (Gen: 24, 65) and Tamar (Gen: 38, 14)
The word in Hebrew for prostitute in this particular passage is “Kedeshah” from the same root letters as Kadosh (Quoph, Dalet, Shin), meaning sacred or holy. The term Kedeshah speaks to a tradition of the Canaanites, where the priestess(‘s) of the temple would periodically engage in ritualistic sex to ensure the fertility of the land. This all takes place during the festival of sheep shearing, the major feast of the tribe of Judah. During such feasts, ritualistic fornication was commonplace, with the theurgic intention of securing plentiful crops and herbs for the coming year. While our tradition may not endorse such practices, they were common in the time and place of this particular story, and thus gives context for Tamar’s seemingly unrighteous act. This tells us, that she infact was righteous for her time and place, because neither her nor Judah were married at the time, both having lost their partners.

“And she said: ‘Thy signet and thy cord and the staff that is in thy hand.’” (Gen: 38,9)

I have heard it said before that the signet is an allusion to the royalty of our Lady and Lord, the Messiah. As in the verse, though upon my right hand… (Jer: 22, 24) For when Tamar said this, the Holy Spirit was kindles in her and she spoke from this Spirit.
The cord is an allusion to the Tzit Tzit or Petil (vau, peh, tau, yod, lamed, kaph) Which are the four tassels on each corner of the tallit, as in the verse, “And you put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue etc... “ (Num:15, 38 which traditionally correspond to the four primordial elements, the Tallit itself being the 5th element-the Tzaddik. So when one puts on their tallit, talismaticaly and symbolically the Tzaddik within them shines through. The four Tzit Tzit also have a correspondence to the four legs of the throne, and also the four pillars the tallit corresponding to the wedding canopy or the canopy over the four pillars and the throne. As in the verse, “ I saw Adonai sitting on a throne high and lofty, with the train of the robe filling the temple.” (Is: 6,1)
The passing of Judah’s mantle-his Tallit, to Tamar recalls the story when Elijah passed his mantel to Elisha, passing the prophetic succession to him, and his blessing. Given this, Judah passing his mantle to Tamar has all sorts of implications, such as the verse, “And she conceived by (Literally ‘to’.) him.” (Gen. 38 This could imply, following one line of contemplation that Tamar became Tzaddik, teaching and initiating others into the continuum of the light transmission, having received the succession from Judah. Also, Tamar and Judah having relations could also imply light transmission, initiation, symbolically speaking. Because on a spiritual level the light transmission is a very intimate personal thing therefore, one can see how the light transmission could symbolically be represented in terms of sexual relations. If one wishes to research this further I would recommend studying the spiritual poetry of Rumi and Hafitz – both Sufi poets. These poets describe the spiritual journey with their Tzaddik’s and intimacy with God in terms of human intimacy. Perhaps we see this use of symbolism so frequently with mystics because it is the best way to describe the experience with these words.
The staff alludes to the strength of our Lady and Lord, The Messiah, as in the verse, “Adonai will send out of Zion…” (Ps: 105, 2)
We may equally see this signet, cord and staff as Judah’s offering to Tamar, his Tzaddik. We may also see Tamar initiating Judah, after all, he did seek HER out, not she him, as one would a Tzaddik for teaching and initiation. The scripture also states that she was veiled, and presumably, she became unveiled in Judah’s presence. It has often been the experience of initiates that the light transmission is an unveiling of the presence or glory of the Tzaddik, Woman or man. Moreover, it was said by a sage of Wisdom “Tamar was the daughter of Shem, who sages have identified with Melkizedek, King of Salem, priest of El Elyon-God most High (Gen: 14, 18”

“…wrapped herself up, put on a veil, and sat down at the entrance (Petah in Hebrew) of Enaim…” (Gen: 38, 14)

There is no other place in scripture that mentions this place, therefore, I have heard the following teaching: “Tamar lifted up her eyes to the gate (petah) to which all eyes (Enaim) are directed, and prayed to the Holy One of all Being, “May it be your will Ha Shem (Holy One) that I may not leave this Bet (House) with nothing.” And by continually internally praying this prayer, she served to initiate Judah, opening his eyes by declaring ‘I am the Clean One, The Unwed One, the eternally youthful One, no taint nor trace has ever touched me, I am beyond all conception, all knowing, all physicality. No One has ever touched me, nor has any One ever desired me, for I am desire, I am One.’” This recalls what Yeshua says to Lady Miriam during her initiation in the wilderness of the desert, “Seek to know nothing, seek to understand nothing, seek to be no body.” This is a statement of the purity of primordial being, a statement of how Being is in the Most High, the purity of the Goddess-God the Mother. For though Tamara has had multiple husbands, been through much life experience, etc… by knowing herself in the great mother Goddess, and inseparable from her, she has lifted all sparks in service to the Divine Will and Divine Kingdom. Since neither taint nor trace of sin has ever is ever or will ever touch the Holy One, all things are innately pure and Holy if they know their root in the Great Mother Goddess. This is not to say one should go around enacting evil in the world thinking that it doesn’t matter. For if one knows themselves in the light, one will not desire to enact such things, rather, one will desire peace, prosperity, success, health and happiness for all beings, and one will act with compassion toward beings: When my will becomes the will of the Great Goddess, I will naturally want to bring out the Goodness in beings, the Goddess in beings. This includes all beings, winged ones and finned ones, creeping and crawling ones and green ones, two legged ones and four legged ones… all sentient existence.
Peter says something very interesting in one of the Gnostic Gospels: He complains; Yeshua, why do you kiss Magdalene on the lips more than us? One may ask, Why “More than us?” Is this implying that Yeshua went around kissing all of the disciples on the lips? Probably not. Therefore, one may need to look at this kissing in another way. What if what is meant here by kissing on the lips, is something of the light transmission? Perhaps. And perhaps this may shine light on this story of Tamar and Judah.

Now, regarding Tamar’s conception:
“And Judah said ‘Bring her out and let her be burned…’”
It is curious that while the usual punishment for sexual immorality was stoning, Judah says for Tamar to be burned. However, if a priestess were found to be pregnant, she would be burned. This may explain why earlier, it is said that when Onan was Tamar’s husband, when he when into her, he withdrew and spilled his seed on the ground. So as not to father a child to her.
“It was while she was being brought out…” (Gen: 38, 25) It is interesting that in this verse, the word “she” in the original Hebrew is written “Hu” which actually means “He” instead of She.
“She sent to her father in law, saying ‘by the one who these things are, I am with child.’” It is said in Midrash that Judah tries to deny her statement, whereupon she says, “acknowledge thy creator in these, for they are thine and thy creator’s. Therefore, from this we may deduce that Tamar conceived by the agency of Yahweh Elohim, the divine name of Binah-Understanding on the tree of life, the Great Mother Goddess. Tamar is with child by the Goddess, we may ponder what sort of child would this be who is conceived by the Goddess? There is another woman who conceives a child by the Holy Spirit (in Hebrew the word for Holy Spirit is feminine, therefore we know that the Holy Spirit is a feminine principle and can be paralleled to what is meant by the Goddess.) It is an interesting parallel that occurs between Tamar and Mary because Tamar is the mother of the line of descendents of the Lord Messiah and Mary is the mother of the Lord Messiah.

“When the time of her delivery came…” (Gen. 38, 27)
Here, with the twins, Perez and Zerah, we see a parallel to Jacob and Esau. Because it is said in Midrashim, the first mention of twins, was spelled defectively, whereas, here it is spelled properly (Te’omin spelled, Tau-aleph-vau-mem-yod-mem (awesome word!)). Indicating that in the first instance, one twin was ritghious and the other wicked, but here, both are righteous, therefore, Tamar says, “In my womb are saviors and kings. Regarding the redness of Perez, this is interesting, because Adam, the first human One is said to have had red skin.

This is the contemplation that flowed from your posts :D

Blessings and Shalom!
Marion

Tamara
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#8 Postby Tamara » Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:08 am

Oh, Marion,
What a wonderful teaching on this passage! I knew that Tamar's covering her face must have meaning, because why would a prostitute do such a thing? But I never thought of the possibility of temple priestesses, who've often been conflated with prostitutes. And of course, sexual union has been a means of spiritual opening and initiation in many traditions and in Judah and Tamar's time was also a way of invoking the fertility of the earth.

You've given me a beautiful meditation to work with this weekend. I feel as if you've given me the Tamar I've been searching for. Thank you from the deep places of my heart.

Shalom and Blessings,
Tamara
Student, tell me: what is God? The breath within the breath.

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Delightful

#9 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:17 am

Greetings!

What a delightful contemplation Sister Marion!

When I hear of this veil I cannot help but think of the "Mantle of the Bride," which as you know is central to initiation and the extension of blessings in our tradition - the veil of her grace, the veil of her glory, which conveys her presence and power. It is akin to the Tent of Meeting, and reflects the principle of the Tent of the Matriarchs, both of which point to the Holy Shekinah.

Your insight into the "kiss" is right on the mark, for the Gnostic and Light Transmission has often been spoken of as a "holy kiss," the "kiss of the Holy Spirit." It reminds of the intimacy of the inner initiation that is communicated with mystic word, radiant holy breath and laying on of hands. In the Gospel of St. Thomas the Master speaks of those who "drink from his mouth," saying they will become as he is - a similar idea to that of kissing.

Beautiful contemplation my dear friend...

May the Holy Mother and Bride take us under her Mantle; amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Phillip
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#10 Postby Phillip » Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:05 pm

It is interesting to contemplate that Tamar was originally to be given a young goat, a kid as payment, but she was to hold the signet, and staff as trust. But when Judah returns with the kid, she has gone. I am reminded in this of Isaac who wishes to give the transmission, symbolic, perhaps of the signet and staff in this case, for they are symbolic of power and authority, to Esau (the other case of twins). But while Isaac is the one who conveys the blessing, it appears to be Rebekah who truly holds the authority of the blessing, for it is she who decides which child will receive it. Here we see a dynamic balance between the masculine and feminine in transmission, though not yet acknowledged by the patriach, at least the way it's written.

I wonder at Tamar's need to veil herself before Judah. Could this also point to an inability of Judah to see the divine actualizing itself in Tamar, just as Isaac was unable to see Jacob's preparedness, thus she had to conceal her face so he would recognize the prescence and power moving with her?

And the young goat seems to tie in here. As we know, in traditional Judaic teachings, the goat is the vehicle of the sins of the community of Israel, and it is the goat that carries these sins into the wilderness to be consumed by demons, including Lilith. The scapegoat. But Tamar makes off with the authority and power of the patriarch before he gets back to give her the goat. She then reveals them at the moment of her persecution, at the moment when she is to be made the tribe's scapegoat, she reveals the power and authority given to her by the patriarch and corrects an imbalance that led to this persecution. It seems she repairs a masculine/feminine disbalance here, and redeems an aspect of Lilith. She doesn't "steal" the authority and power of the patriarch, so much as reveal the co-authority of the prescence and power of Goddess/God.

Phillip

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Insight

#11 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:07 pm

Salutations Brother Phillip!

Now that, my dear friend, is an amazing and wonderful insight...

Sounds like the inspiration of the Holy Bride.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

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