Tzeror haMore: Because He Admitted, He Merited to Receive Kingship and Messiah Emanated From Him, Who Will Save Israel

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Biographical Background of the Author According to the Bar-Ilan Responsa Project

R. Abraham b’r Jacob Saba was born in Castile, Spain, ca. 1440. He was a disciple of R. Isaac de Leon and served as a community rabbi. In the Expulsion of 1492, he emigrated to Portugal, and following the Expulsion from Portugal in 1497, he moved to Fez, Morocco. Two of sons were kidnapped by Christians and he had to bury his manuscripts upon leaving Iberia, mourning both throughout the remainder of his life. From Morocco he immigrated to Adrianopole (Edirne), Turkey, where he rewrote some of his books. He is essentially known for his volume, Tzeror haMore, a homiletic and mystic commentary on the Torah (Venice, 1523). He also authored the Eshkol haKofer on the scrolls of Esther and Ruth. He died aboard ship on his way to Italy on the eve of Yom Kippur, 1508, and was buried in Verona, Italy. His granddaughter (by his son R. Isaac) was the wife of R. Joseph Caro. The Israel edition of 1975 of Tzeror haMore has been included here.

Because he admitted, he merited to receive Kingship and Messiah emanated from him, who will save Israel as it is written “in his days Yehuda (Judah) will be saved (Yirmiyahu 23:6, 33:16)”. He said to him, you admitted in the incident of Tamar; therefore your brothers will admit to you, to be their king upon them for by means of you, they in the future will be saved, until here is a quote (from the Midrash).

And so too, what he stated, “your hand is upon the back of the neck”, your hand is a hint at David, as it is written, “And my enemies, you have delivered to me, the back of the neck” (a literal translation of II Shmuel 22:21). As they of blessed memory have stated concerning “your hand is on the back of the neck of your enemies” (Breishit 49:8).

Yaakov said to him, “my son you have stiffened the back of your neck for one hour and embarrassed yourself in the incident of Tamar. You will merit to kill your enemies with an object that kisses him on the back of the neck and leaves and kills him, and what is this thing, the bow. As is stated, “and he spoke to teach the sons of Yehuda the (usage of the) bow, behold it is written upon the book of the upright” (II Shmuel 1:18).

Appendix: Tzeror haMore (to Vayeshev) on Tamar’s Taking of The Security Pledge from Yehuda

Now she thought a truthful thought of bringing about the revelation of the matter. And she wanted to take trustworthy witnesses and requested from him, his seal, his wrap, and his staff that was in his hand.

Now after the Davidic Kingdom and the Messianic King was transplanted through her, we should be aware that she was righteous and wise and knew the secret of Yibum and Redemption as it is presented in the secrets of Torah… {end of quote}.

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan gives different views about what type of wrap did she take as a security pledge 1) A cloak 2) A hood  3) A shawl worn by aristocrats 4) A string.

Appendix 2: According to Breishit Rabba 85:10 Before She Was Brought to Trial, Tamar Already Knew She Was Pregnant with Kings and Redeemers.

It appears from Breishit Rabba she tried her best to publicize the matter.