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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

An enduring mode of retelling and interpretation, the genre of rabbinic midrash can be adopted as a model for the study of biblical adaptation as well as adaptation writ large. This approach is source-centered, always emphasizing the relationship of the new text to the original text. At the same time, the midrashic approach allows for a radical reshaping of the materials to fit contemporary concerns. This essay explores several forms of midrashic adaptation of the stories the biblical Moses—exegetical, homiletic, narrative and running commentary, and figurative. In Hebraic tradition, Moses is not merely a character in a story: he is the speaker, writer, and transmitter of the Torah. Adaptations of Moses thus do not merely function as discrete re-enactments or interpretations but also provide commentary on the very idea of biblical adaptability and the unfolding nature of Torah.

Keywords: Moses, midrash, exegetical, homiletic, narrative, figurative

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