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.

Korach Was Right

This midrash first appeared on Rabbi Bearman's website which can be accessed by clicking here. “They combined against Moses and Aaron and said to them, ‘You have gone too far! For all the community are holy, all of them, and the Eternal is in their midst. Why then do you raise yourselves above the Eternal’s congregation?” (Numbers 16:3) I stand firm, inches from Moses, and watch as his face falls in response to my shouted challenge. Over Moses’ shoulder, I can see Aaron, shak

Zipporah's Fire

In Bamidbar (the Book of Numbers), Zipporah seems to fade away until, ultimately, she no longer appears in the story...

Moses, Miriam, and Divine Light

I should have known that my sister would be the one to usher me through this moment of danger, possibility, and divine intervention. After all, at the beginning of my life, it was Miriam who watched over me as I floated down the Nile and then courageously suggested to Batyah, Pharaoh's daughter, that she could find a nursemaid for the baby (me) that had been drawn from the water. And now, as I once again found myself floating in uncertain waters, it was Miriam who kept me fro

Miriam's Story

The ceremony that gave Aaron and his sons the responsibilities and power of the priesthood required each man to wear an elaborate garment. In this #MidrashicMonologue, we join Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses, as she sits with her mother (Yocheved), sister-in-law (Elisheva), and cousins (Nepheg and Elzaphan), as they prepare the priests’ decorative clothing. We explore what Miriam, who is so often described as exuberant and confident, might have been thinking as she help

Bezalel Gets Creative

When Moses returned from the mountaintop that second time, I was shocked and dismayed to see the coarse tablets he was carrying. Uneven, jagged, lacking in symmetry. Bumpy all over. Clearly he had fashioned them himself. Whatever words of wisdom had been chiseled on them, the tablets themselves lacked the elegance a skilled stone cutter could have given them. Moses might have been a brilliant leader, but he was a neophyte when it came to craftsmanship. Was this really a suffi

The Story of Assir and Zimmah

In this Midrashic Monologue, we suggest an answer to the question, “Who were the 70 elders who accompanied Moses up Mount Sinai?” We also explore the power of our Torah’s central figure celebrating the love between two men and even lifting up their bond as one of their defining strengths. Our purpose in creating these Midrashic Monologues is to give a voice to the voiceless, and with that in mind, we bring you the story of Assir and Zimmah. When Moses appeared in the doorway

Aaron Learns a Difficult Lesson

I could tell my brother was furious. His nostrils flared as he stood on the mountain, looking down on the crowd dancing around a golden calf. Jaw clenched, arms shaking, he lifted the two tablets up high. His eyes seemed to pick me out from amongst the multitudes. I could feel his gaze boring a hole through my head. Then, anger consuming him, he threw down those tablets and flew toward our people, destroying the golden calf, meting out punishment to those who danced for the

Women and Water

Yocheved: Have you ever stood outside of a moment? Have you ever experienced something so viscerally, with so many of your senses, that you found yourself turning it over and over again as if to study every facet of the experience? That is the way I feel standing a short distance behind my youngest son, my baby, my Moses, as he looks out at the Red Sea. I am close enough to see that his arm is shaking as he lifts it. When I notice his trembling, I start forward, hoping to o

Zipporah's Life Is Transformed By Moses' Revelation

In this Midrashic Monologue, we meet Zipporah, wife of Moses and mother to Gershom and Eliezar, as she and her family travel toward Egypt. As they make camp, she considers and struggles with how her life has changed now that Moses has learned of his destiny as God’s prophet. As the sun arrived at its tallest point, we reached the crest of a particularly large dune and were stunned to find a small oasis directly in our path. We decided to make camp, luxuriating in the shade an

Moses' Passion For Justice Is Rekindled

Moses fled his life from Egypt and in Midian assumed the quiet life of a shepherd. When he encountered what our tradition has called the “burning bush,” Moses began his transformation into a leader able to confront the all powerful Pharaoh. What led him to radically reshape his life yet again? In this Midrashic Monologue, Moses reflects upon that illuminating, transformational moment. In the map of my life, there are moments - flashpoints - when everything changed, and my pa

The Mothers of Moses

Moses, some say, had three mothers: Yocheved, who gave birth to him, raised him for three months, and placed him in the ark on the river; Batyah, Pharaoh's daughter, who drew him out of the river and raised him as her son; and the river Nile herself, whose life-giving waters defied Pharaoh's decree to “throw all the Israelite sons into the river,” and who was the bond between Yocheved and Batyah. In these Midrashic Monologues, we imagine the whispered thoughts of two of Moses