The rape of Dina is probably the most controversial section in the entire Torah.
Shimon and Levi kill the inhabitants of the town and rescue Dinah.
The Torah deliberately makes mention of Yaakov’s silence during the negotiations with Shechem and his father. But Yaakov’s opposition to Shimon and Levi’s actions after the fact is clear.
Despite his opposition, Yaakov’s response generates more controversy than perhaps any other passage in the Torah.
On the one hand there are those commentators, ancient, medieval, and modern, that want to claim that Yaakov found the actions morally repugnant. It was inexcusable to exploit the weakness of the people of Shechem, and perhaps with more patients and negotiation they could have arrived at a more peaceful resolution.
On the other hand, there are those who say that Yaakov had no problems morally with the actions of Shimon and Levi, he only thought that pragmatically this was not the best course of action. As Yaakov says when he chastises his sons, “You have made me disgusting and odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanite and among the Prezite; I am few in number and should they gather together and attack me, I will be annihilated – I and my household.”
He does not say, “Why have you done such a terrible thing?” He just says that the consequences will be bad.
There is support for both sides of this argument among the classical commentaries. Rashi, seems to take a neutral position, but I would say that he leans in the direction of the latter opinion.
Rashi to 34:16 points out how Shechem and his father were duplicitous people, saying one thing to Yaakov’s sons and another thing to their own people. This suggests that they did not have honorable intentions with the negotiations, which could mean that Yaakov’s sons had a right to fear for their lives even after a deal was made.
Also Rashi to 34:7 says eventuates the magnitude of Shechem’s sin. The verse seems to suggest that the rape was only an offensive act to the children of Yaakov, but Rashi says the verse actually means that Shechem had violated a moral code that the entire world had taken after the flood. Rashi seems here to be hinting to the opinion of the Rambam and others that Shimon and Levi acted justly.