Lilith Evolved: Writing Midrash
In this Go and Learn, guide, we explore the notion of midrash and highlight "The Coming of Lilith" by theologian Judith Plaskow as an example of how contemporary Jewish feminists have created their own midrashim—retellings of biblical stories—in order to incorporate women's viewpoints into the traditional texts of Judaism. In writing their own versions of these texts, Plaskow and her peers have made Judaism more inclusive of the voices and perspectives of all people who engage in its teachings.
- Midrashim are retellings of biblical stories that were written to help address problems or holes in the text.
- The women's movement and Jewish feminists were central to the transformation of midrash into a form of interpretation and commentary used not only by rabbis but also by “ordinary” Jews.
- Having women’s perspectives on traditional Jewish texts makes Judaism more inclusive for everyone.
- Why is it important that we have women’s perspectives on traditional Jewish texts?
- How did Judith Plaskow’s midrash about Lilith differ from the original and why are these differences important?
- For youth:
Lilith Stories: Exploring and Writing Midrashim
- For family/congregational education:
Telling Stories, Discovering Midrash, and Learning about Lilith
- For adults:
The Faces of Lilith: Finding Your Own Voice in Midrash