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The rabbis got it wrong

Posted by Oldtimer on May 23, 2005 at 23:07:53

In Reply to: Tamar's Biblical Rape/Link to Jewish Awareness Center posted by locke on May 23, 2005 at 18:59:02:

Tamar did not "publicize" her case by ripping her robe and putting ashes on her face. She did it because she was grief-stricken, but how many people saw her? Maybe a handful of people in the palace.

The Tamar case shows the damage that comes from NOT punishing the offender. David did nothing and nearly lost his kingdom as a do-nothing king over the incident. Absalom gained great popularity as a man willing to risk his life to take action. I'm not saying murdering his brother was right, but the point is he took action. After that high-level precedent people in Israel probably thought twice before raping.

When Absalom finally came back, he became so popular promising to be a judge who would avenge people's grievances, and saying David had not set up any judges to help people. It wasn't strictly true, but you know why people believed him when he said it? They'd seen him take action in the case of Tamar when David had done nothing.