We’ve studied the rape of Dinah in Exodus 34.
We’ve studied the rape of Tamar in 2 Sam 13.
We’ve studied the rape of an unnamed woman in Judges 19.
These were the first three sessions of our April life-long learning series (there’s still one more session, join us Tuesday at 12:00 or 7:30).
When our core text treats women as objects of man’s wrath, and these texts are a part of one of the most read book in the world, this has significant implications for our culture. The images, the responses, the voicelessness, all of this is internalized by the reader.
As readers in modernity, we must accept that these images exist, AND we must push back on images that reinforce violence against women. We could just ignore them, but they’d still be there. We can certainly contextualize them in history as a recognition of life in Ancient Near Eastern culture, and yet these horrific acts still occur today. We grapple with the difficult imagery, we acknowledge it, and we give voices back to these otherwise voiceless women — that is the power of study.
Life-Long Learning is a thriving part of the Temple Emanu-El community where we talk about spirituality, history, medical ethics, and yes, the difficult and trying texts of our tradition. If you haven’t had the chance to make this a part of your routine, be on the lookout for the many powerful learning series to come in the year ahead.