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A Different Kind of Midrash

Today was the last session of our Midrash class, taught by a Rabbi whose synagogue is in our neighborhood. Rabbi Jack shared this song by Bruce Springsteen, O Mary, Don't You Weep No More, which is a different version of an old negro spiritual. It is a song of Insurrection and of hope which encompasses, among other things, the Passover narrative and Exodus deliverance.

It is ripe with themes through lyric and music: Standing on the rock; Moses and a 2'x4'; 'three links' with Jesus' 12 o'clock; O Satan, he got mad; the Rainbow sign; No more water - Fire next time; Mary; and the Sea of Reeds. Listen for the different types of music that move in and out of this song: bluegrass, New Orleans stomp/Dixieland, Zydeco, Gospel/revival, Chicago Jazz/Improv, piano parlor/Ragtime, Klezmer, acoustic, waltz and ballad.

The performance recorded in a home living room exhibits the organic nature of Midrash. Midrash is 'a function of intrusion of anything into what we are trying to reconcile or make sense of from tradition or what we experience.' It is a artistically creative process of making God's Word relevant and relatable  - to bring it forward and make it 'now.'