13. Introduction to Vayikra Rabbah

Hi. I’m Jay. Welcome to More Midrash. I started this podcast as a new way to explore midrash, to read these ancient Jewish texts closely with anyone no matter how far away we may be from each other. I believe that close reading is an act of love, attention to detail is an act of devotion, and opening to imagination is a spiritual practice. In this first episode of Season 2, I want to introduce you to me, to midrash, and to our specific focus for the season – folktales in the midrashic collection Vayikra Rabbah.
If you’d like to read a transcript of the episode, go to https://moremidrash.com/introduction-season-2-vayikra-rabbah/.

12. Jacob: The End Draws Close

Bereishit Rabbah 96:1. In the Torah scroll, every parashah begins on a new line or after a significant space from the last word of the previous parashah. Vayechi, however, the final parashah of Genesis, begins immediately after the last word of Vayigash. Our midrash offers three suggestions for what meaning we can make of such a “closed off” text.