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Rabbi Gordon - Vayigash: 5th Portion

Rabbi Gordon - Vayigash: 5th Portion

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About this Class
These classes teach the daily section of the weekly Torah portion. The lesson is taught using the original Hebrew text with the indispensable commentary of Rashi — both translated and elucidated so that anyone can follow along.
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Discussion (3)
January 3, 2012
Thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I enjoy your Chumash classes very much. This week (Vayechi) marks one year of listening for me!
E. Einschlag
Spring Valley, NY
January 1, 2012
Canaanis
You ask an excellent question, my friend. The Lubavitcher Rebbe actually discusses this issue and presents it in a very interesting way.

The Rebbe poses two questions: 1) How was Shimon permitted to marry his (full) sister? Even Noahide law prohibits that. 2) Why is Dina referred to as a Cnaanis? The answer: According to Halacha, when one becomes a "slave" he (or she) loses his own identity. He is no longer a free man. When Dina was taken by Shchem, she became a slave. She lost her own identity. When Shimon (and Levi) rescued her, she refused to leave, stating that no one would ever marry her. She "refused" to give up her slave status and opted to remain in Shchem. The only way Shimon could convince her is by promising to marry her. That is why the verse refers to her as a Cnaanis, to explain how Shimon was able to marry his sister. (Biuri HaChumash (Heb) Vol. II page 302-303. Also Likutei Sichis Vol 5 pg 229)
Rabbi Yehoshua B Gordon
Encino, Ca
December 29, 2011
Canaaness
Rabbi, I don't understand how the Torah can refer to Dina as the Canaaness. Is it not lashon hora to name Dina after this embarrassing tragedy that befell her?
E. Einschlag
Spring Valley, NY
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Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon is director of Chabad of the Valley in Tarzana, Ca.