Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Roar for Dinah

Am I obsessing over the invisibility of Dinah? Perhaps. But I'm a dad (well, a stepdad), and I love my Little Girl, so I wonder why Jacob seems so detached from his one girl out of 12 kids. I get the cultural stuff, but culture isn't affection. Laura (my wife) wonders if Dinah is likewise rejected by her mother, Leah. I mean Leah's busy counting sons to make sure she wins the man-heir contest with her little sister, Rachel. She probably doesn't even see her daughter.

Hey Dinah needs a voice. She needs to roar. So I'm gonna try something. What if we begin to refer to everyone in this story by their relationship to Dinah. The players are Dinah's mother, father, brothers, half-brothers, "co-mothers" (what do you call the other mothers in a polygamist family?) , grandfather (Isaac), and grandmother(Rebekah), and uncle (Esau). Let's just see what happens when we let Dinah roar.

I remember when I first heard the episode that comes later in the story when Dinah’s brothers show up in Egypt years after attacking their half-brother, Joseph, and leaving him for dead. Joseph survives and has risen to the top of government. Dinah's brothers and half-brothers come to Egypt where Joseph recognizes them but they don’t know him. He sends them home to get their (his) father. As insurance, Joseph insists that one brother stay back. They choose Simeon one of Dinah full-blood brothers. When I first heard this story I felt for Simeon who got thrown in a dungeon waiting for his brothers to come back. He doesn't know that his captor is his own half-brother Joseph. What must it have felt like to wait, knowing that your brothers are rather unscrupulous anyway? Poor Simeon. But he did have memories of a moment when he and full-blooded brother Levi avenged the rape of their sister, Dinah.

No comments: