Midrash: Reading the Bible with Question Marks

by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. Paraclete Press, 2013.

What is Midrash and why can its method of interpreting scripture open new possibilities for adult scripture study? Midrash is one of several attempts by rabbis and scholars to fill in blanks in the scriptural narrative within a particular historical framework. It attempts to add an oral tradition to the biblical word, so that following generations can think about additional possibilities. Some argue that St. Paul used a Midrash-style approach to his interpretation of Christian theology. Rabbi Sandy Sasso’s work on Midrash allows readers to understand how it works. The book is divided into two parts: 1) what is Midrash; 2) how does Midrash speak to us. The second section deals with several topics, such as: Revelation takes place all the time; should humans have been created; what makes us angry; and loving the stranger. Each of these is designed to engage the student to think more deeply using a Midrash approach. The book also includes a bibliography on Midrash, a glossary of Midrash terms, an afterward by Sister Joan Chiddister and notes.