Tamar and Yehudah

I wish I were Tamar

Who kept her pledge

And cast her net

wider than Yehuda’s,

whether he liked it or not

Who are you, Tamar?

“A lethal woman,

methinks”,Yehuda’s

delusory prejudice.

Beware the fatherless

widow’s oppression.

Disgrace.

I know who you are,

whether you like it or not

Chagall-Tamar_the_daughter-in-law_of_Judah

-Who are you, veiled

woman?

– Don’t you know?

For money, but a kid

shall do, you may know

me better. No kid, no mo-

ney? I bet you can pledge

thy seal, cord and staff,

whether you like it or not

-Who do you think

you are, Tamar?

You show, my girl

A harlot methinks,

and only fire may pur-

ify thy offense. Pray,

Who’s the father?

-The Man who  pledged

this seal, cord and staff,

Whether he liked it or not

-Whether you like it or not,

You are more in the right

than I, Tamar: I did not give

you to my son Shelah.

Who am I?

I am Tamar, a woman of

valor who, to establish seed,

no shame, no scruple

may stop at hollow men,

made him swallow

hook, line and sinker,

so his sons

find their way home

and fulfill his pledge

Amen

Happy Heuristics

Image credits

http://www.rogallery.com/Chagall_Marc/Book-Lithos/Drawings_Bible/chagall-tamar.html

Notes on Saving Icarus: Lin Yutang’s Pseudo-Scientific Formula for Wisdom

Self-Realization vs Self-Help

Our century is filled with formulas for living, statistical  empirical studies, tests and proofs of what brings happiness, what constitutes the good life that, you may notice, provided you don’t get caught in the hype, only corroborate age old wisdom for happy happening, found in every cultures and especially religious traditions/institutions, like marriage, going to church/synagogue and other rituals, respect of the elders etc…   The promise of Seligman’s learned optimism against learned helplessness, started with humanistic psychology, has degenerated into the overly statistical science of happiness, known as positive psychology. Continue reading