Midrash on Midrash

Dena Weiss

Part 2

One of the most distinctive features of the writings and teachings of the Hassidic master, R. Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter, the Sefat Emet, is that he returns year after year to the same source, plumbing it over and over for new dimensions and new insights. Often, the text that he bases his teaching on is a midrashic text and his teachings on that text form a kind of midrash on the midrash, where the midrashic text itself is read and reread as containing multiple meanings and various, overlapping teachings. In this two-part class, we will focus on texts which teach about the willingness or perhaps the necessity to approach God as fallible people who will make mistakes, but are both humble enough and bold enough to serve God through our incompleteness.