Monday, September 21, 2015

A Good Day to Dinah

A guest blurb by Y. Bloch

One of the responsive poems we say in our penitential prayers concludes, somewhat oddly, "Come to save us as You did Simeon and Levi, brothers of Dinah; Lord, give ear to our outcry." Simeon and Levi are not usually seen as heroes and are in fact strongly rebuked for this act by their father Jacob. So what's up?

I found that Rav Danny Eliner of Yeshivat Or Etzion actually addresses this question in a somewhat provocative manner (Lehosif Or XV, Rosh Hashana 5772).

He argues that as we get closer to Yom Kippur, we stress more and more the idea of forgiveness even without merit, simply because we are God's children. This, he argues, is what Simeon and Levi did: they did not consult their father at all, but nevertheless they strode into Shechem confident that his merit would protect them.

So we approach Judgement Day with the knowledge that even if we anger our Creator, the bond between the Jewish people and their Father in Heaven is unbreakable.

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