Genesis 34, Take 2


Mythological Musing

One of the three most disturbing chapters in the Torah, or Five Books of Moses

One of the things I have realized over the years is the power that stories have over our mental landscape, for better and for worse. My son just sent me a copy of Whoopi Goldberg’s book If Someone Says “You Complete Me,” RUN! which goes on at length about how fairy tales give us false expectations of what it takes to have a successful longterm relationship. Whoopi came to the same conclusion I have. If you have enriched your own life, it may well not be worth the trouble to nurture a “relationship.” If you are growing and learning on your own, your life will be rich without making so many compromises.

Well, Genesis 34 (Jewish translation, Christian translation)  for those who don’t remember, or don’t know, is the story of how Jacob’s only daughter had a relationship without parental permission, and whose brothers caused a whole lot of trouble about it afterwards. I wanted to imagine a new telling of this story. More feminist. More youth empowerment. A new way of relating, that might have been, but apparently wasn’t, 3500 years ago. I am not the first to rewrite bible stories. In fact, Judaism has a long history of “Midrash.” Some brave people from Christian traditions are also doing this work.

Take a listen to my telling of “The Daughters of the Land.”

Thanks to Patrick Doyle of Edwardsburg, MI, for recording and mastering all of the audio files on this web-site.