Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 82

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the angels he holds judgment:

2  “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?

3  Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.

4  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5  They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6  I say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;

7  nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.”

8  Arise, O God, judge the earth; for to you belong all the nations!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

Judah & Tamar

Genesis 38

1.       What might surprise Jewish readers regarding Judah’s choice of a wife?  What happens to Judah’s descendants by his wife?  What is the significance of Judah’s descendants by Tamar?

2.       A levirate marriage is contracted when a widow marries her dead husband’s brother.  Described in the story of Genesis 38, it is mandated in Deuteronomy 25.  What advantages are there to such a practice?

3.       The story of Onan is the first biblical description of attempted birth control.  What is the act?  What is the intention?  How does God respond? Where did you learn about the Church’s teaching on contraception? How well has it been explained to you?

4.       Why does Tamar seduce Judah?  How does she demonstrate cunning and resourcefulness? How does a Patriarch raise a daughter to be cunning and resourceful without resorting to “selling” her body?

5.       Judah is a widower.  Tamar is a widow.  What double standard does Judah have?  How have you observed such a double standard regarding the evaluation of male and female sexual activity?  Why might double standards be common through the ages?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.