Midrash: It’s not what it sounds like

I get a weekly email from an organization called the Center for Action and Contemplation. It’s about faith and, well, all kinds of stuff. The one that arrived last weekend had some interesting thoughts about how to approach scripture. It resonated because it seemed to me like a good way to approach wine, especially really good wine. See what you think:

“Try to approach Scripture with patience, humility, respect, and the Jewish practice of midrashMidrash is a way of interpreting scripture that asks questions more than seeks always certain and unchanging answers. It allows many possibilities, many levels of faith-filled meaning — meaning that is relevant and applicable to you, the reader, and puts you in the subject’s shoes to build empathy and understanding. … To use the text in a spiritual way is to allow it to convert you, to change you, to grow you up. …

Rilke“The German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke (left), seemed to grasp the value of this practice applied not only to a sacred text, but to life. He wrote in Letters to a Young Poet: ‘Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. … It is a question of experiencing everything.’ …

“As Jesus modeled so masterfully in his teaching, welcome uncertainty and paradox.”


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