Religion & Beliefs

OMGWTFBIBLE Podcast: Joseph, the Irresistible Allure of Tamar, and Stories from Yeshiva Day School

Episode 18: In which there are plenty of bodily fluids. Read More

By / March 18, 2014

When Ari Mandel left his Hasidic upbringing, his atheism was so strong, he tried to sell his spot in heaven on eBay and only kept Shabbos in exchange for $1000 for charity. In the most recent episode of OMGWTFBIBLE, I convinced Ari to do what no rabbi could: read the Torah.

This month, we read some of the more, ahem, sexually explicit passages in Genesis. First, Judah’s family is torn asunder by the apparently irresistible allure of the seductive Tamar. Then, Joseph, house-slave to a man named Potiphar in Egypt, is very definitely sexually harassed by his boss’s wife. Along the way, we shared maybe a little too much about our time in Yeshiva day school.

In an attempt to sum things up, I noticed a parallel between Judah’s sex romp and the fall of Adam and Eve:

The story reminded me of the story of Eden, or Gan Eden, where God, or Yehovah, tells Adam not to eat from the fruit and Chava interprets it as “you must not touch of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Life and Death or you will die.” And the snake uses that additional layer of stricture, or of banning, in order to convince her to actually eat. Because she reaches out, touches the tree, and she doesn’t die. And then she’s like “ok, I guess I can eat now.” And that’s what leads her to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Life and Death.”

What does this have to do with Judah and his sons Onan and Er? Listen and find out.

David Tuchman translated the Tanach as a comedy and called it OMGWTFBIBLE. Each month on his podcast, he calls up a different guest to read as many chapters of OMGWTFBIBLE as they can while they both make fun of it.

Jewcy is the proud (internet) co-host of OMGWTFBIBLE. Read more about the project here.