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Grappling With The Rape Of Dinah

Dinah, Shimon, Levi, And The Children Of Leah

Immanuel Shalev
Immanuel Shalev


The rape of Dinah is one of the most disturbing stories in the entire Torah. Dinah – Jacob’s only daughter – is forcibly taken by Shechem, and is raped and abused. In a creepy turn of events, Shechem falls in love with her and asks Jacob for her hand in marriage. But Dinah’s brothers, Shimon and Levi, have other plans. They engineer a shocking deception that ends in the bloody slaughter of Shechem and his people.

Dinah's rape is a disturbing story, the kind that usually gets “skipped over” in school — but at Aleph Beta, we’re not much for “skipping over” even the toughest of stories. In this chilling video, David Block and Imu Shalev face the rape of Dinah head-on, asking tough questions and scouring the text for answers. In doing so, they uncover a “story within a story”: a trail of clues that gives us a brand-new insight into the larger family story that this episode was part of, and what this experience may have meant to Dinah, her brothers, and her father.

For more on Shimon and Levi’s response to the rape of Dinah, see Rabbi Fohrman’s audio series, Abraham’s Journey.