Tamar and Judah - the Bible story
Activities for groups or individuals
Describe this event, first by writing a personal journal entry about it, then by talking to a Bible study partner.
In the journal entry, describe the event and your personal reaction to it. What happened, and how did you feel about it?
Describe the event to your learning partner, then discuss ways you might have dealt with the unjust treatment you received.
Movies about adapting to the situation
Answers HERE (see 'Tamar') Can you think of others?
Women in films
Stage 1: Make up a list
This story is basically about a young woman and the family into which she has married. They exclude her and withhold her legal rights, so that she is left destitute.
Stage 2: Glance over your list
1. Have you chosen films that are realistic, showing the nitty-gritty of family life, or do you prefer films that are funny but have a message?
Stage 3: Choose your favorite
Stage 4: Think about your choices
Group activity: discuss these questions, making sure everyone in the group has a chance to talk about their ideas.
Single activity: sit down for a few minutes and focus your mind; make a quick list of your favorites; read through the Stage 3 questions, and think about them as you do other tasks in your day.
Walking in another person's shoes
1. What interests you most about the story of Tamar and Judah?
We do not know the motivation of the men in the story.
Task 1: try going into the mind of each of these three men. Write a paragraph for each one, explaining your motivations for refusing to follow the Levirate Law.
Paintings of Judah and Tamar
Go to Paintings of Tamar. Scroll through the paintings from first to last.
Which part of the story of Tamar has been the most popular with artists?
Would this have been your choice?
Artists paint what they want to paint, but they also paint with their audience in mind. Look at the paintings again. Who is the painting directed at? Explain your reasoning.
If you have chosen some other incident as your personal favorite, ask yourself why this other incident appeals to you more than the scene favored by the artists. Spend some time quietly thinking about your response.
Researching ancient laws
Use a search engine to learn about laws in the ancient world, particularly the laws of Hammurabi. These laws were carved on stone pillars placed in public places where all could see them, and consult them when necessary - see the photograph of the Stele of Hammurabi at right.
How do these ancient laws contrast with laws in the modern world? How do we deal with the problem of supporting a childless widow?
How do we deal with the problem of supporting a childless widow?
In depth study of one person's story
Choose one of the other characters in the story (not Tamar).
1. What are the main events in the person's life? Tell their side of the story.
Tell their side of the story.
2. What were their main qualities? What made them stand out from the crowd?
3. What obstacles did they face? Did they overcome them, or go with the flow?
Did they overcome them, or go with the flow?
4. How did they use their abilities to do/not do God’s work?
5. Which part of their story appeals to you most? Why?
Include three short quotations from the Bible texts to illustrate the points you are making.