The Red Tent | Study Guide

Anita Diamant

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The Red Tent | Characters

Character Description
Dinah Dinah is the strong, intelligent daughter of Jacob and Leah; after a traumatic experience she breaks from Jacob's tribe and, in Egypt, develops a deep spirituality and establishes a fulfilling life. Read More
Leah Leah is the nurturing, capable first wife of Jacob; she bears seven sons and one daughter and becomes the leader of female activities in her tribe. Read More
Rachel Rachel is the beautiful wife of Jacob; she becomes a skilled midwife and, after suffering through several miscarriages, bears two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Read More
Jacob Jacob is a skilled shepherd and husband of Leah and Rachel; he becomes a conflicted patriarch, influenced by his arrogant sons, Simon and Levi. Read More
Zilpah Zilpah is a spiritual, imaginative woman and a concubine of Jacob; she has an intense connection with little domestic idols called the teraphim. Read More
Bilhah Bilhah is a kind, empathetic woman and a concubine of Jacob; she has a close connection with nature and is known for helping others. Read More
Joseph Joseph is a gifted man and the eldest son of Rachel; he uses his ability to interpret dreams to rise to the powerful position of vizier in Egypt. Read More
Adah Adah is the wife of Laban and the mother of Leah, Zilpah, Rachel, and Bilhah.
Adath Adath is Tabea's aunt; Rebecca chastises Adath for wasting Tabea's first blood.
Asher Asher is one of Zilpah's twin sons.
Ashnan Ashnan is Hamor's concubine and the pampered daughter of Re-nefer's nursemaid; she dies attempting to protect her infant son during the massacre at Shechem.
Basemath Basemath is the second wife of Esau and the mother of Tabea.
Benia Benia is an expert woodworker; he falls in love with Dinah and eventually marries her. Benia and Dinah form a passionate bond.
Benjamin Benjamin is Rachel's youngest son; his birth kills Rachel.
Beor Beor is Laban's young son by Ruti.
Dan Dan is a kind man and Bilhah's only son.
Deborahs The Deborahs are servants of Rebecca; she gives them all the same name in honor of her childhood nurse.
Gad Gad is one of Zilpah's twin sons.
Gera Gera is Benjamin's daughter; she tells Dinah stories about Dinah's brothers, their wives, and Dinah herself.
Hamor Hamor is the just king of Shechem; his offer of a bride price for Dinah is treated with hostility by Jacob. Jacob's brothers kill Hamor during the massacre at Shechem.
Herya Herya is the wife of Nakht-re, an Egyptian scribe.
Judah Judah is the fourth oldest son of Leah; he is handsome and forms an affectionate bond with Dinah. Judah takes charge of Jacob's tribe after the death of Simon and Levi.
Inna Inna is the wise midwife for Jacob's tribe; she teaches Rachel the skills of midwifery.
Isaac Isaac is the son of Abram (whose name is changed to Abraham in Genesis 17:5) and the father of Jacob and Esau; he is tricked into giving his blessing to Jacob.
Issachar Issachar is one of Leah's twin sons.
Kemuel Kemuel is Laban's eldest son by Ruti; he is drugged by Rachel, thereby enabling her to steal the teraphim.
Kiya Kiya is Meryt's granddaughter; she becomes close to Dinah and learns the skills of midwifery from her.
Laban Laban is a crude, abusive patriarch and Jacob's uncle; he resents Jacob's success.
Levi Levi is Leah's third oldest son; he becomes an arrogant, greedy man. Levi and Simon convince Jacob to massacre the men at Shechem.
Menna Menna is the son of Meryt; he welcomes Dinah into his home.
Meryt Meryt is an Egyptian midwife; she becomes Dinah's close friend and avid promotor.
Nakht-re Nakht-re is the brother of Re-nefer and an accomplished Egyptian scribe; he welcomes Re-nefer and Dinah into his home after the massacre at Shechem.
Naphtali Naphtali is one of Leah's twin sons.
Nehesi Nehesi is Re-nefer's steward and the only male survivor of the massacre at Shechem.
Rebecca Rebecca is Isaac's haughty wife. She is a fanatical follower of the goddess Inanna and is determined to protect her religious traditions from becoming extinct. Dinah hates Rebecca for her harsh treatment of Dinah's friend, Tabea.
Re-mose Re-mose is Dinah's only child; he grows distant from his mother as he learns to become a scribe in Egypt. Re-mose is devastated when he learns how his father died.
Re-nefer Re-nefer is the mother of Dinah's first husband, Shalem. After Shalem's murder, Re-nefer takes Dinah to Egypt, where Dinah bears Shalem's son. Re-nefer treats Dinah with conditional love, placing restrictions on how Dinah can raise her son.
Reuben Reuben is the eldest son of Leah. A kind man, he has a love affair with Bilhah and, as a result, is disinherited by Jacob.
Ruti Laban's wife, Ruti, is abused by him when she can no longer bear children. When she learns that Leah and her sisters plan to leave for Canaan, Ruti despairs and commits suicide.
Shalem Shalem is the son of Hamor, the king of Shechem. Shalem and Dinah fall passionately in love, but soon after their marriage he is murdered by Simon and Levi.
Shery Shery nurses Dinah back to health and tells her the story of Zafenat Paneh-ah (Joseph).
Shif-re Shif-re is the wife of Menna, Meryt's son.
Simon Simon is Leah's second oldest son; he becomes an arrogant, greedy man. Simon and Levi convince Jacob to massacre the men at Shechem.
Tabea Tabea befriends Dinah and is rejected by Rebecca when Adath wastes Tabea's first blood. By doing this Adath has made Tabea unworthy of being a servant of the goddess Inanna.
Werenro Werenro is the Egyptian servant of Rebecca; Werenro is raped and beaten, thereby hideously scarring her. Years later Werenro and Dinah share their sad stories.
Zebulun Zebulun is Leah's fifth son.
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