This article examines the intersection of Judaism and rape culture by investigating the Jewish commentaries on a biblical rape story (Gen 34) for reflections of rape myth. The exegeses on Genesis 34 are well suited to this endeavor because, in the biblical story, the victim Dinah is mostly passive and entirely silent. She is a neutral figure, a screen upon which commentators project the thoughts or behavior they ascribe to her. Additionally, the word generally translated as “rape” (innah) can have a range of meanings, which gives the commentators greater latitude to project their own values and anxieties onto the text. As this article demonstrates, rape myth ideology enters Jewish tradition during the rabbinic era and is absent prior to that period.

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