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

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

When Ben-Oni Becomes Benjamin

In Parashat Vayishlach, we read of the death of our matriarch, Rachel, who does not survive the birth of her second child, a boy whom she names Ben-oni. As she lay dying, the baby’s father, Jacob, renames him Benjamin (Gen. 35:16-18). The Torah does not tell us why this change is made. In this midrashic monologue, we imagine Rachel, in her final moments, whispering to her newborn: "Oh, my youngest child, my baby, you will know me only through the stories of others. I hold you