God's Echo: Exploring Scripture with Midrash [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Rabbis of old believed that the Torah was divinely revealed and therefore contained eternal, perfect truths and hidden meaning that required elucidation. The meaning of a text was more complicated than simply reading it. And meaning changed over time. This understanding of how the Bible mystically relates to all of life is the fertile ground from which midrash emerged.

"The rabbis believed that nothing in the Bible, not the choice of words...
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God's Echo: Exploring Scripture with Midrash

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Overview

The Rabbis of old believed that the Torah was divinely revealed and therefore contained eternal, perfect truths and hidden meaning that required elucidation. The meaning of a text was more complicated than simply reading it. And meaning changed over time. This understanding of how the Bible mystically relates to all of life is the fertile ground from which midrash emerged.

"The rabbis believed that nothing in the Bible, not the choice of words or their spellings, not the order of events or the relationship of one text to another, was haphazard or inconsequential. Everything was there with purpose. They deemed it their reponsibility to discover connections and harmony where on the surface none appeared to exist. A text may contain multiple meanings. Time is of no consequence. They felt free to read back into old stories what happened in future eras, and to see in the early stories of Genesis a foreshadowing of future events."

In this engaging book, Rabbi Sasso explores how midrash originated, how it is still used today, and offers new translations and interpretations of more than twenty essential midrash texts.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Between 400 and 1200 C.E., a group of rabbis expounded on the text of the Bible, making it relevant to their times and to subsequent readers. This extensive collection of explanations and interpretations is known collectively as Midrash. Sasso, the second woman ever ordained as a rabbi, considers Midrash "both a product, a body of literature... and a process... that continues to the present day" and has assembled a themed collection of text, extrapolations and guided self-evaluation in the hopes that more people will see not only how the ancients still speak to us but how our own experiences make us writers of Midrash as well. Her brief history of the practice and depiction of the four-fold method used for approaching a particular text provides a good starting point for newcomers. However, while she admits to choosing certain portions regarding rejection, anger and repentance because they're "part of [her] story" and advocates taking ownership of the narratives as they apply in present times, she, for the most part, shares very little of herself or her reasons for selecting these themes. Despite her best efforts to excite a new audience to this tradition, the finished product feels disappointingly more like a series of lessons or sermons cobbled together. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612611822
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 180
  • Sales rank: 1,094,375
  • File size: 226 KB

Meet the Author

SANDY EISENBERG SASSO is the best-selling author of In God's Name, God's Paintbrush, Cain and Abel, and other books. She is a rabbi and earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, where she lives and works.
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Table of Contents


Part 1
Is God Speaking to Me?: Listening to God's Echo     3
What Is Midrash?: Reading the Bible with Question Marks     6
Part 2
How Does Midrash Speak to Us?: Listening to Your Story     35
Revelation Takes Place All the Time: Looking into God's Mirror     37
Should Humans Have Been Created?: Shaping the World out of Compassion     52
What Makes Us Angry?: Eavesdropping on the First Argument     66
Who Is Responsible?: Blaming God for our Shortcomings     75
What if the Angels Should Come Too Late?: Getting On With It, When You Can't Get Over It     83
God Is in This Place, but I Did Not Know It: Finding Holiness in Unexpected Places     94
Who Is the First to Cross the Sea?: Taking Risks for Freedom     108
I Will Call You Batya, Daughter of God: Loving the Stranger     117
God Teaches Adam to Make Fire: Getting Through the Night     131
What Made Miriam Dance and Akiba Laugh?: Making the Sound of Hope     138
Conclusion: What Can Midrash Do?: Learning to Dance While Standing Still     150
Acknowledgments     155
A Beginner's Bibliography on Midrash     157
Glossary: Definitions of Possibly Unfamiliar Words     159
Afterword   Sister Joan Chittister     163
Notes     168
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Wonderful reading on Midrash and listening to G-d's voice to us!

    Rabbi Sasso has written a wonderful book that is inspiring, educational and motivating. It is a delightful book that a person will read and re-read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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