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Rachel-K
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Biblical Dinah

The Red Tent builds a story around the Biblical character, Dinah. I'd love to hear what expectations different readers brought with them when they picked up the book, if any, and how those expectations affected your reading.

And does your reading of the novel affect your reading of some of the Genesis stories?

If you haven't read the Biblical passage, it is Genesis 34, and Bartelby.com has the full text of the King James version available online.

(And of course, I hope we can all take care to be respectful of the different spiritual and intellectual ways that each of us read this!)
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Peppermill
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Re: Biblical Dinah

Here is a link to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Biblical version of Dinah's story:

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Genesis+34
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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heymom
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Re: Biblical Dinah

I had not really thought about Dinah when reading the Biblical version in the past.

This gave an interesting view of how life for the women may have been during that time. It made me go "hmmmmm" and think about the way things might have been for the women of that time.
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Jo6353
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Re: Biblical Dinah



rkubie wrote:
The Red Tent builds a story around the Biblical character, Dinah. I'd love to hear what expectations different readers brought with them when they picked up the book, if any, and how those expectations affected your reading.

And does your reading of the novel affect your reading of some of the Genesis stories?

If you haven't read the Biblical passage, it is Genesis 34, and Bartelby.com has the full text of the King James version available online.

(And of course, I hope we can all take care to be respectful of the different spiritual and intellectual ways that each of us read this!)


There is so little in the Bible about Dinah that I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found though was a remarkable story about the emotional strength of women, especially Dinah. Jo
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shatril
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Re: Biblical Dinah

It has been awhile ago that I had a first impression, so I don't really remember what I thought then. What comes to mind though is how in the world did all of those women get along sharing the same man. Now you have to realize that I'm reflecting my own crap here. It never occurred to me that it wouldn't have been that way, and was the way to survive a difficult time. I remember being impressed that the book was written around what is such a feminine concept as the menses of women and the camaraderie of that situation.

Shatril
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IBIS
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Re: Biblical Dinah

Peppermill, thank you for the link to Dinah's story. It's very helpful background material, and will give me context while reading THE RED TENT.
IBIS

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TeriSueT
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Re: Biblical Dinah

I can’t say that I had any expectations other than a deeper understanding, perhaps, of a culture ... a women’s culture ... of long ago, a connection to what was or may have been.
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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Biblical Dinah

I also didn't have any expectations upon picking up The Red Tent except that many people told me it was very good.

Yet, now that I've reread the biblical story of Dinah in Genesis I see how totally one sided the story is. The brothers are quick to revenge and never once consider Dinah. Perhaps she had come to love Shechem, who knows. How different the bible might have been had women told the stories. And it's funny, in chapter 2 Rebecca laments that she has no daughters to tell her stories to so she tells them to Jacob. Women need to pass on the stories from their perspective as well as men need to pass on theirs.
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Peppermill
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Re: Biblical Dinah

"Women need to pass on the stories from their perspective as well as men need to pass on theirs."

It's only taken us 4,500 years, but we are getting there. (And I know my statement isn't entirely accurate, but a lot has happened, even just in my lifetime.)


Carmenere_lady wrote:
I also didn't have any expectations upon picking up The Red Tent except that many people told me it was very good.

Yet, now that I've reread the biblical story of Dinah in Genesis I see how totally one sided the story is. The brothers are quick to revenge and never once consider Dinah. Perhaps she had come to love Shechem, who knows. How different the bible might have been had women told the stories. And it's funny, in chapter 2 Rebecca laments that she has no daughters to tell her stories to so she tells them to Jacob. Women need to pass on the stories from their perspective as well as men need to pass on theirs.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: Biblical Jacob

The first chapters that we have been discussing include much of Genesis 29-31. If you haven't already or recently, you may find it interesting to read one of these:

NRSV: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Genesis+29 (select at the bottom of the page to go on to the next chapter)

KJV: http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/KjvGene.html
(side-by-side comparison w/RSV is no longer available)

http://www.ibs.org/niv/booklist.php
This site provides access to several versions, including NIV and NLT, among others.

Tanakh: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Genesistoc.html
Not certain which version this is.

http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=1
New Jerusalem Bible

You might want to peruse different translations. Some of you that may have been following discussions on others of these boards realize that we have been exploring the significances and reasons for the differences that arise as equally skilled but different scholars render one language into another.

It was a talented minister who first started me on reading multiple versions on the Bible in parallel, most often with different members of a group sharing. It continues to be a fascinating journey, with a lot of richness.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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heymom
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Re: Biblical Jacob



Tanakh: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Genesistoc.html
Not certain which version this is.



Tanakh would be a Hebrew version, right? Thanks for that link. I, too study/worship with several versions and did not have that link or a hardcopy of that one.

I will be reading this version of Dinah's story. Thanks again.
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Peppermill
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Re: Biblical Jacob

Hey Mom, like your moniker! Sounds like one I might have used in another place and time!

Fun to "meet" a fellow traveler who studies/worships across several versions. I think the answer to your question is "yes," but it is the English translation of the Hebrew on this site.

I didn't try to figure out the version because I am not as familiar as with Bible versions and wasn't certain I would get it correctly. Usually I do my Tanakh reading from "The New JPS (Jewish Publication Society) Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text." The book I have is copyrighted 1985. It is my understanding that is considered one of the excellent translations. (Correction, update, anyone?) But it is always enjoyable to find an online site, especially if one wants to print out or work with a passage.

Did someone teach you to work with multiple texts or did you develop the technique through your own training, perhaps in literature or natural curiosity? I owe much of my interest in multiple translations to some comments of John Ciardi on translating Dante and to a minister who introduced us to a plethora of texts in her Bible study classes.

heymom wrote:

Tanakh: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Genesistoc.html
Not certain which version this is.



Tanakh would be a Hebrew version, right? Thanks for that link. I, too study/worship with several versions and did not have that link or a hardcopy of that one.

I will be reading this version of Dinah's story. Thanks again.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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heymom
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Re: Biblical Jacob

Nice to meet you, Peppermill,

lol my kids always called "hey mom", not "mom" but always "hey mom". Now all of their friends and some of their parents will greet me that way. I don't mind it at all. I have an African Grey who calls me that (in my son's voice), too. I tried to teach him my nickname but he has yet to call me anything but "hey mom".

I wanted to understand the Bible better and just couldn't get past all of the "ancient" wording. As a result I started using several different versions for a better understanding. I don't like being told I have to use a specific version for studies. Meanings are lost in translations so I suppose I am trying to get the full version? I have not had the Jewish version but do study Judaism & Prophecy.

The story of Dinah was interesting because I had not read/studied anything extensively on women in Judaism. Other than the stories of the women in the Bible, of course. I had not really focused on how women lived in that time period and how they might have felt about their way of life.
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Peppermill
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Re: An Artist's Dinah

I enjoyed these -- hope they might be of interest to others:

An provocative artist's evocation of Dinah:
http://www.feldman-hill.com/Dina.html

http://www.feldman-hill.com/BibWomGallery.html
Some haunting paintings of Biblical women, including Dinah
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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DSaff
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Re: An Artist's Dinah

Thank you for sharing these. =)
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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JulieZ
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Re: An Artist's Dinah

When I began reading The Red Tent, I was very familiar with other versions of the story of Jacob and his sons -- both from having heard and read the biblical story since preschool, and from watching the Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat many times! It was fascinating to add Dinah's perspective to these two very different versions of the story that I already knew.

The Red Tent helped me see this time as a real historical period, where real people lived just like people live today, not just as a setting for Bible stories. It also made me think differently about many aspects of the Bible story. For example, I had always sort of accepted the fact that Abraham said to his family, "we now believe in one God," and everyone did. After reading The Red Tent, I realized how unusual that was, and that although it surprised me to read about Rebecca as a pagan priestess, her behavior in the novel was far more normal for her time.

I think that with every version I hear, read, or watch, I gain a richer, more layered perspective of life in this fascinating time.
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poimenes
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Re: An Artist's Dinah



JulieZ wrote:
The Red Tent helped me see this time as a real historical period, where real people lived just like people live today, not just as a setting for Bible stories. It also made me think differently about many aspects of the Bible story. For example, I had always sort of accepted the fact that Abraham said to his family, "we now believe in one God," and everyone did. After reading The Red Tent, I realized how unusual that was, and that although it surprised me to read about Rebecca as a pagan priestess, her behavior in the novel was far more normal for her time.

I think that with every version I hear, read, or watch, I gain a richer, more layered perspective of life in this fascinating time.




I really agree and this resonates with my first reading of the book as well. What God asked of Abraham and his descendants was new and different from the culture. Realizing that each person was to marry someone who might not have completely known or followed such a decree makes my understanding of Biblical times more rich. It makes them real - as opposed to story book characters.
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JesseBC
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Re: Biblical Dinah

I've known a fair number of polygamous and polyamorous families (between living many years in Utah and then hanging out with lots of hippie/New Age/Rainbow Family/commune types) and, to answer the question as to how they all get along sharing the same man (or, in the case of polyamory, man or woman), I'd say the answer is...

...about as well as monogamous couples get along.

In other words, some get along just fine and others are totally dysfunctional.

The sister-wife relationship in fundamentalist Mormon families is complex (and very hidden from the mainstream since they aren't accepted by the formal LDS church nor by much of anybody else).

The poly crowd? They publicly counter the dominance of monogamy by extolling the many blessings of Big Love. Privately, they have love, intimacy, drama, jealousy, fighting, tears....

So, in other words, about as well as monogamous couples get along.

The difference is that monogamy is now the norm in Western society and widely believed to be the only possible way to have a family. In 10th Century BC Palestine, polygamy was the norm and widely believed to be the only possible way to have a family.

Time and culture make us very myopic.





shatril wrote:
It has been awhile ago that I had a first impression, so I don't really remember what I thought then. What comes to mind though is how in the world did all of those women get along sharing the same man. Now you have to realize that I'm reflecting my own crap here. It never occurred to me that it wouldn't have been that way, and was the way to survive a difficult time. I remember being impressed that the book was written around what is such a feminine concept as the menses of women and the camaraderie of that situation.

Shatril


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