Join Rabbi Rachel Bearman and Rabbi Paul Kipnes as they restore the voices of biblical women and men who have not been given the opportunity to speak.

Joseph and His Mothers' Blessing

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayigash, Joseph is reunited with his parents after years of separation. The Torah focuses on Joseph’s emotional reunions with his brothers and his father, describing the scenes with language that is moving and evocative. In this Midrashic Monologue, we have chosen to expand on that textual foundation by exploring the moments when Joseph was reunited with his mothers (his father’s wives), Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah. (1) When my family approached, m

Why Isaac Refused to Choose Between His Sons

In Torah, Isaac blesses Jacob, the second of his twins, only after his wife Rebecca arranges what appears to be an elaborate ruse to disguise Jacob like his older brother Esau. Was Isaac fooled or was something deeper at play? In this Midrashic Monologue, we discover how Isaac and Rebecca’s partnership allowed to creatively blend God’s oracle with Isaac’s fatherly love for his sons. I heard that some tribespeople have been whispering behind my back - saying that my wife Rebec

How Do You Know?

In this Midrashic Monologue, we join Isaac, Rebekah, and their twins for their evening meal. Imagining the questions these young boys might have asked about love and marriage, we allow the adults to reflect on the day that they met, the love that they share, and the relationship that they have built together. It happened when we gathered for our evening meal. I was ladling stew into everyone’s bowls when I realized that Jacob and Esau were having one of their “twin conversati

Sisters: A New Story of Leah and Rachel

In this Midrashic Monologue, we reimagine the moments after Leah gave birth to her first child, Reuven. In both the Torah and most of the subsequent textual tradition, the relationship between Leah and Rachel, who are both sisters and sister-wives, is depicted as contentious and filled with animosity. In fact, in Genesis, the majority of their story centers around their competition for the love of their husband, Jacob. Unfortunately, this narrative framing often reduces these