Posted by: mosesfromsinai | November 15, 2010

VaYeeshlach – And he Sent

This Shabbat, we read the Parsha VaYeeshlach,  “And he Sent” which contains several events.  One of the events covered is the rape of Dinah and the aftermath, the revenge of Shimon and Levy, Dinah’s brothers.  It reads almost like a novel.  The Mayor, Shechem, was the rich powerful rapist and Chamor the powerful father, tried to make things good with Dinah’s father and family.  Wrong family, as Shechem, Chamor and the community soon learned.

There is a great deal of negativism associated with with Dinah’s behavior.  (After all – she chose to go out in public.  This is the ‘victim’s fault mentality’.)  At a closer look we may come up with a positive in her actions.

The Torah uses the expression “Va’Taytzay Dinah” – “And Dinah went out”.  This implies she was aggressive and outgoing.  In Leah’s case, she went out to inform Yakov that tonight Yakov was to be with her as Rochel had traded for the special flowers Reuven had found. (Please note that the flowers had herbal fertility abilities.  Rochel had no children as yet and wanted to use the flowers to help change that.)  The expression of  “Va’Taytzay Leah” – “And Leah went out” is at a first glance described as negative.  However, upon closer examination we find that her motive was pure and the end result was she became pregnant with a child, who she later named Yissasschar because of the “business” arrangement (secheera) she made with Rochel for the flowers.  We find another place in the Torah where a similar expression is used, “Va’Taytzenah” – “And they went out” – referring to Miriam and the Jewish women that went out with their musical instruments to sing the special song celebrating the miracle of splitting the waters (Kreeyat Yum Soof) so they could escape form the Egyptians and be saved.  Here again, this time clearly so, the expression is used in a positive light.

Thus the expression “Va”Taytzay” – “And she went out” must have a positive side.  A woman being outgoing can be a positive value.  For Leah, her actions produced another tribe of the Jewish nation, Yissaschar.  Dinah also wanted to increase the numbers that were becoming attached to the House of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yakov and monotheism.  Her intention was to influence the women she was going out to meet in a positive way.  We already learned that Dinah had the ability to influence and change her wicked uncle Eisav had she married him. Yakov did not want her to marry Eisav so he hid her.  When they met, Eisav was introduced to Yakov’s entire family – minus Dinah.  (This, perhaps, was one of the reasons Yakov had to suffer with the events that happened to Dinah).  Thus Dinah was a strong willed woman who would have a great impact on her surroundings.  In truth, the final outcome was that the women in the town of Shechem became committed to the House of Avraham, Yitzchak  and Yakov and monotheism.

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