Activity: Handmade Midrash: ‘This is the sign of the covenant’ – UPS, MS, HS, A

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Activity: Handmade Midrash: ‘This is the sign of the covenant’

12 And God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I set between me and you and all living creatures that are with you, for all ages to come: יב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, זֹאת אוֹת-הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר-אֲנִי נֹתֵן בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם, וּבֵין כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם–לְדֹרֹת, עוֹלָם.
13 My bow, I set in the cloud, so that it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth יג  אֶת-קַשְׁתִּי, נָתַתִּי בֶּעָנָן; וְהָיְתָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית, בֵּינִי וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ


Make a ‘Handmade Midrash’ that draws on how you understand this text in light of the distinctions you explored in your community of inquiry. Make your midrash from colored construction paper by tearing forms out of the paper and sticking them onto a background sheet of paper.


Handmade Midrash
is a process of interpretation developed by Jo Milgrom. Her process has a number of stages:

  1. Text Study
  2. Creation of an artwork
  3. Discussion in small groups
  4. Reflective writing on what you can learn through looking at what you created more carefully.
  5. Return to the text
  • The artwork is created through tearing paper and attaching it to a background. It is not about creating a realistic kind of picture, but capturing ideas and representing them – often through symbolic representation –the torn paper represents ideas in relation to one another. It doesn’t require you to be ‘good at art’ as you can represent ideas through abstract shapes, a blob, color, etc.
  • After you have created your midrash, divide into small groups to share what you have done and what it means. Here what other people see in what your midrash. Describe what was the hardest and easiest elements to do, what role color plays in your midrash, why you placed things where you did, how the parts relate to one another, etc.

After the discussion, take some time to do some reflective writing. You might like to think about some of the following prompts: Did anything surprise you in what you constructed? In what people saw in it? How did the ideas come together? How does what is happening in the picture relate to your own feelings and thoughts about the world you live in? How does it relate to your own feelings and thoughts about the Divine human connection?

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