In this ten-lesson course, learners will delve into reading classical and modern midrash, exploring some of the major female figures of the Bible, and gaining multiple perspectives on their characters, relationships, and choices. By utilizing the midrash’s strategy that reads texts very closely, the “behind the scenes” will be uncovered—clarifying issues that are seemingly unaddressed in the biblical text but can be found when looking for textual hints. Learners will discover how the form and content of midrash changes as contemporary writers and artists add their interpretations to ancient traditions. In the fertile ground of midrashic study, these biblical women emerge from the margins of the biblical text becoming full characters whose legacies guide and inspire.
The course will answer questions like:
- What became of Eve when she leaves the Garden of Eden?
- How did Sarah react to the Binding of Isaac?
- What conversations transpired between sisters Rachel and Leah as co-wives of Jacob?
- What motivated Lot’s wife to look back at the destruction of Sedom?
- What thoughts went through Yocheved’s mind when she placed Moses in the Nile?
- What factors motivated Pharoah’s daughter’s defiance of her father’s decree?
- What behind-the-scenes interactions occurred between Deborah, the judge, and Yael, the Kenite, in the battle against the Canaanites and their general Sisera?
- Did Hannah come to terms with her vow to have the son for whom she had desperately prayed serve in the Sanctuary, separated from her?
We look forward to learning together!