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Discussion 1 to Meditation 375
Onan's sin

by Maarten van den Driest

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My interpretation would be that Onan's sin is the using of a woman for pleasure only and then casting her aside.

The whole point of this having to impregnate a bereaved sister-in-law without a son is to still allow the name of your brother to continue.

Onan merely pretends to fulfill his duties but then doesn't impregnate his sister-in-law but interrups the coitus. My understanding is that he only wanted the sexual pleasure.

Treating a woman without respect seems to me to be the principal sin. Even though, of course, Tamar still has no voice in all this, the story speaks a powerful message against - not for - using women as objects.