by Rabbi Avis Miller

Deconstructing Dena: Genesis 34:1-31

Before the Red Tent...

The Biblical Dena has been the spur for countless contemporary midrashim, including Deena Metzger’s novel What Dinah Thought, an excerpt from which appeared in Lilith in Spring, 1990.  The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, with over 1.5 million copies in print, is surely the most widely known re-imagining of Dena’s life.  This novel has spurred both renewed interest in midrash (the reweaving of Bible stories) and some controversy among traditionalists.  The original Bible verses describing Dena are ominous, ugly and bloody.  Now it’s time to ask: Why were they written?

Continue reading this article…

Already a subscriber? Log in above to keep reading. Or subscribe now for immediate access to the complete digital and print editions, plus exclusive online access to Lilith's back issues.