Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Red Tent



   I was deeply touched by the story of Dinah in the Book and film, The Red Tent. It is much more than a story of her life and times to me. The circle of sisterhood is deeply felt and one of great spiritual significance in the family of women. I treasure the devotion of the Mothers, and that they honored the Mother of us all. It came as no surprise that Jacob destroyed their clay representation of her, all through the ages and particularly in the Bible, little is mentioned of the divine women and the root of us all, the connection we as humans have with Mother Earth.
    This Classical Ambient collaboration with Simon Reich is  the circle of life and the sacred bond of womanhood in song.
  The piano part was something that came to me one day at my sisters house. I remember  that  it was like speaking a beautiful psalm or poem. I only had a scratchy recorder with me at the time, and months later I asked Simon if he could recreate it. I deeply value the care he took in phrasing it just the way it happened and the lilting sacred sound at it's heart.  I added the music arrangement of "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes because, It is my wish and my dream that all people will honor Womankind and cherish the Divine Nature within us all.

"Dinah opens the story by recounting for readers the union of her mother Leah and father Jacob, as well as the expansion of the family to include Leah's sister Rachel, and the handmaids Zilpah and Bilhah. Leah is depicted as capable but testy, Rachel as something of a belle, but kind and creative, Zilpah as eccentric and spiritual, and Bilhah as the gentle and quiet one of the quartet.

Dinah remembers sitting in the red tent with her mother and aunts, gossiping about local events and taking care of domestic duties between visits to Jacob, the family's patriarch. A number of other characters not seen in the biblical account appear here, including Laban's second wife Ruti and her feckless sons.

According to the Bible's account in Genesis 34, Dinah was "defiled" by a prince of Shechem, although he is described as being genuinely in love with Dinah. He also offers a bride price fit for royalty. Displeased at how the prince treated their sister, her brothers Shimeon (spelled "Simon" in the book) and Levi treacherously tell the Shechemites that all will be forgiven if the prince and his men undergo the Jewish rite of brit milah so as to unite the people of Hamor, king of Shechem, with the tribe of Jacob. The Shechemites agree, and shortly after they go under the knife, while incapacitated by pain, they are murdered by Dinah's brothers and their male servants, who then bring back, or rescue (depending on point of view), Dinah.

In The Red Tent, Dinah genuinely loves the prince and willingly becomes his bride. She is horrified and grief-stricken by her brothers' murderous rampage. After cursing her brothers and father she escapes to Egypt, where she gives birth to a son. In time she finds another love and reconciles with her brother Joseph, who is now prime minister of Egypt. At the death of Jacob, she visits her estranged family. She learns she has been all but forgotten by her other living brothers and father but that her story lives on with the women of Jacob's tribe." - Wikipedia





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