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Modern Midrash

On Sacrifices and Life: Wholeness Dismembered but Re-membered

A burnt offering, must be whole (תמים), after which it is dismembered (נתוח) and offered to YHWH. In the wake of the loss of my parents, I have come to appreciate how this process mirrors the creation story and life.

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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Reconciling Hagar and Sarah: Feminist Midrash and National Conflict

In Jewish and Muslim interpretation, Hagar and Sarah represent the matriarchs of Abraham’s blessed heirs, the Arabs and the Jews. In classical sources, the break between the two women is never mended, but feminist readers of the Bible, Jewish and Muslim, have used midrash-style poetry to rewrite the ending of their story. Part of this endeavor is the hope of rewriting the contemporary conflict and reconciling between their putative descendants.

Noam Zion

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A Tribute to the Blasphemer's Mother: Shelomit, Daughter of Divri

A struggling ex-slave and single mother labors against all odds to raise her son and shield him from the prejudices of the surrounding community.

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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The Enduring Value of "These Days of Purim"

The megillah emphasizes the ongoing obligation to observe Purim, and Maimonides asserts that it will endure even into the messianic age. Yet many modern Jewish thinkers have questioned this holiday’s continued relevance. What value does Purim continue to hold?

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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The Right Way to Read the Haggadah

The Seder as a Night of Hermeneutic Freedom: Introducing the Four Readers of the Haggadah

Dr. Rabbi

Norman Solomon

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Can Elijah Reconcile Fathers and Sons ?

Biblical tradition often depicts difficult father and son relationships. Accordingly, the concluding verses of Malachi--the final book of the Prophets--imagines ultimate redemption through a metaphor of father-son reconciliation, in which the fire and brimstone prophet Elijah is its unlikely harbinger. Leave it to the poet Yehuda Amichai to step in and offer a counter-model to rescue the metaphor.

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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The Skin of the Metzora and the Heart of the Messiah

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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Re-Encountering Miriam

The biblical portrait of Miriam can leave the feminist reader with a lingering bitterness but a literary rereading may help highlight her prophetic leadership role.

Prof.

Wendy Zierler

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The Opening of Devarim: Redaction Criticism and Modern Midrash

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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