As some of you know, I ended my marriage 4 years ago as of the end of April. But the divorce isn’t complete. The county courthouse was an hour away and no one would drive me there to get help with the paperwork. My health started to skew downwards and that took precedence. We’re legally separated but not divorced. I now live maybe a third mile from the courthouse and plan on going there to get help with my paperwork ASAP! But I also need a get.
A get is a Jewish divorce. While most Reform Jews don’t get one unless they are going to a more religious path, some get one so they can separate themselves from the past and move forwards. I do want that. But then we will have to convene a Beit Din.
A Beit Din (or court of law) is called for several reasons. Some examples are for conversion a dispute over a piece of land or a divorce. During a conversion the convert will take a Hebrew name to show that they are now part of this community. My rabbi told me that some people will take a Hebrew middle name after a divorce. However I already have a Hebrew middle name. She said I can have more than one so why not? I thought about it and I know the name I want to take. I want to take the name of Dina.
In the book of Exodus, Dina was the only daughter of Jacob, sister to Joseph, and daughter of Leah. As the story goes, she was raped by the prince of Shechem. Many stories have been written about Dina to see if there could be another point of view. Was she really raped? Was Dina in love? Did she want this relationship? Or was it truly rape? As friends and readers of my blog know, I am a survivor. I take the name Dina in honor of the biblical Dina and all past, present, and future survivors.