Learning to Read Midrash

Challenges & Initiatives in
Contemporary Torah Education

By Simi Peters
January 2004
Urim Publications
ISBN: 965-7108-57-8
310 pages, 6 " x 9 "
$26.95 Hardcover

Learning to read midrash is a valuable skill for students of Tanakh. For teachers, it is of vital importance. And yet our attempts to study midrash are often stymied by the lack of tools for grappling with this complex realm of Torah study. Even those familiar with midrashic sources may have difficulty defining exactly what midrash is or understanding the connection between a particular midrash and the biblical text it discusses. Readers may also find certain midrashim disturbingly implausible, such as the Talmudic description of the angel Gavriel affixing a tail to Queen Vashti. Are such accounts meant to be taken literally? If not, what are we trying to make of them? This book presents a systematic approach to the study of midrash. Each of the readings in this book attempts to reconstruct the reasoning behind midrashic commentary on biblical narrative. The goal of the book is to convey a sensitivity to the language and meanings of the Tanakh, and to develop a reverent appreciation for the language and teachings of Hazal (the Jewish Sages).

Judaism; Religion

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