In response to this question asked by JonEricson.
Genesis 38:6-11 (NJPS):
Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and the Lord took his life.
This is a strange and unique passage in the Bible. What was "displeasing" about Er? Why doesn't the Bible tell us? What are the literary implications of this passage and how should we understand it?