Creative Wordshops September 2017 Writing Newsletter

Midrash: Eve the first story-teller?

The work of imagining God takes place in community, and each person has her or his share in owning and shaping a theology. The plurality of perspectives creates a many-sided living midrash (Peter Pitzele)

This month I’m returning to a theme explored in a many moons ago newsletter. Midrash involves the imaginative fleshing out of an Old Testament story, supplying details that are not recorded and adding a personal interpretation. This applies to the texts of other faiths too. Thickening a thin text. Fleshing out the bare bones. A way of setting down your story and observing it engage with the traditional version. (Much like the space where a reader places herhis story alongside the writer’s one so the two stories can converse.)

The term derives from the verb ‘darash’ – to search… investigate… seek something undiscovered. So Midrash is ‘a ritual evoking the Divine through dedication, emotional involvement and expectant inquiry.’ Questions arise when we do this. Why did Lot’s wife look back? Why did Eve engage with the snake?

Peter Pitzele in Our Father’s Wells a Personal encounter with the Myths of Genesis , writes of his path to psycho drama. He read the Upanishads, western mythical and romantic poetry, studied yoga , read Jung and Joseph Campbell , the mythologst. Ended up exploring his Jewish roots anew. Through psycodrama he gets participants to play Biblical characters. For example, to play out the story of Eve and the Serpent. One woman when asked why she engaged with the serpent, observed ‘ God only talk to Adam. Whom am I supposed to talk to?’

Sept 2017newsletter