Jewish tradition is rich in the work of midrash. From a Hebrew root meaning to explain, or to elaborate, midrashic literature takes the text of Tanakh (Torah, N’vi’im (Prophets) and K’tuvim (Writings)) as its jumping off-point and expands into other stories, always with the aim of deepening and enlightening our sense of what is in Tanakh. They are reminders and inspirations to us, that Torah is a living, breathing entity that can take many forms as part of our lives.
I present three original midrashim here. The first, Cain and Abel, is an entirely original work, which began life as part of a writing workshop with Marge Piercy held at the Jewish Community of Amherst in 2012. The second, The Angel and the World’s Dominion, is a combination of Martin Buber’s work and my own. It was created on Dec. 4th, 2015 from a prompt in the Introduction to Pastoral Care & Counseling class co-taught, at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College, by Brita Gill-Austern and Rabbi Dan Judson. We were given Buber’s story, and asked to imagine it as unfinished, and then to finish it ourselves. The third midrash, Scattered threads of light: a midrash for B’reishit was created for a Youth Shabbat service at Temple Emanu-El in 2019.