Judaism for the Thinking Person

The Incommunicability of Experience and the Rape of Dinah

November 29, 2021

[WARNING: The second half of the podcast discusses the rape of Dinah and I share an account of sexual harrassment from recent congressional testimony.]

If the early chapters of Genesis are about where we come from, the second half of Genesis is about the experiences that change us, that make us who we are as adults, not through our own achievements but through what happens to us, from tragedy to transcendence, from rejection to love, from struggles with mental health, sexual harrasment, being cheated, to seeing God in a place.  Little do we notice how in these chapters the experiences are incommunicable:  the experience is the words of Torah --as in our lives they are experiences of the ineffable depths in which we are changed, in which we receive a new name-- but the figures don't speak of them to others, and certainly don't record their experiences in the self confessional blogs and interviews that dominate our media world today.  And nowhere is this more poignant than the experience of sexual harrasment and rape, which I discuss using the reflections of Hadar's Rosh Yeshiva Aviva Richman.  

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