Dirshuni: A Taste of Israeli Women’s Midrash
Tamar Biala, editor of the modern midrashic work, Dirshuni, has written midrashim that function as commentaries on the Torah, Israeli society, feminism, and so much more. This series will explore three of her midrashim. You can join for any or all. No Hebrew background is needed. We will be studying in English translation.
Session 1: The Kiss of Death: Reflection on Miriam
This session will explore Tamar Biala’s midrash about the death of Miriam. The midrash invites us to explore themes of isolation, illness, death, and holiness. Let’s read this midrash together and unpack what it has to offer us in this moment.
Session 2: From the Flood to the Rainbow
When Destruction leads us into Covenant The first crisis and covenant are inextricably linked. Through studying a Midrash from Tamar Biala, we will examine the biblical flood narrative to discover multiple models of coping after catastrophe, and how disaster changes our relationship to God.
Session 3: For Love is as Fierce as Death: Modern Women’s Midrash as a Tool for Reading our Most Difficult Texts
The #metoo movement offered an unprecedented wave of written and oral testimony from women about their painful experiences of sexual assault and harassment. We cannot deny that our Torah also contains many similarly troubling and hurtful narratives. How should we approach these hard moments in our canon? Can midrash serve as a tool to engage with our harshest texts? In this class, we will study a modern midrash from the book Dirshuni that offers one approach to hearing, and maybe even healing from our most difficult texts. Together, CSP will ask how this approach may offer us guidance as we bear witness to so much pain in our world.
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