Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women

Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women

Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women

Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women

Synopsis

An anthology of 24 stories about women in the Bible. Drawing from the ancient tradition of midrash, the author brings to life the inner world and livedexperiences of these haracters, weaving both rabbinic legends and her own imagination into the biblical text.

Excerpt

Why are there two redactions, Jerusalem and Babylon?

To teach us that there is not one and given two, that
there is room for more.…

—ALLEN MANDELBAUM, Chelmaxioms

A story is a body for God.

—RACHEL ADLER, Engendering Judaism

In the very middle of the Torah are two words: darosh darash (he shall surely seek). The context is a priestly rite, but the context, as any rabbinic midrash will assert, is unimportant—every verse of the Torah applies to every other verse, every time and every place. Midrash, the creative interpretation of the Torah invented by the Sages and carried on in various forms into the present day, comes from the same root as these words—darosh darash—and means “seeking.” I have come to interpret the words that are at the heart of the Torah to be a positive commandment: Make midrash. Interpret. Tell the story a different way. Reveal something new.

Ancient legends relate that the Torah was written in black fire on white fire (Deuteronomy Rabbah 'Ekev 2; JT Shekalim 6a), and some say that the midrash is the white fire that forms the spaces around the black letters. The midrash is defined by the outlines of the words, but it is as infinite as the white expanse. The vast realm of interpretation is already hidden in the Torah, and it is up to us to find . . .

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