Challah for Parashat Vayeshev
Judah's signet and cord.
Every week, Julie Seltzer, artist and Torah scribe, bakes a challah depicting an aspect of the week's Torah portion.
And he said: 'What pledge shall I give thee?' And she said: 'Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.' (Genesis 38:18)
וַיּאמֶר מָה הָעֵרָבוֹן אֲשֶׁר אֶתֶּן-לָךְ וַתּאמֶר חתָמְךָ וּפְתִילֶךָ וּמַטְּךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדֶךָ
Tamar dresses up and seduces her father-in-law, becoming pregnant by him and showing him his erring ways (namely, that he does not provide his son for a levirate marriage so that Tamar may bear children). The signet, cord, and staff are Tamar's proof of identity to later show him that the prostitute he slept with was her.