Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).

You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Eisenstein, A. Rebillot, K. (2002). Midrash and Mutuality in the Treatment of Trauma: a Joint Account. Psychoanal. Rev., 89(3):303-317.
  

(2002). Psychoanalytic Review, 89(3):303-317

Midrash and Mutuality in the Treatment of Trauma: a Joint Account

Ann Eisenstein, CSW and Kathryn Rebillot, CSW

The practice of midrash, or the art of creating legends, originated in the early centuries of the Common Era. The rabbis were an elite group of scholars who were highly respected and served as the semiautonomous governing body of the Jews in Palestine during the reign of the Roman Empire. They believed that the Bible was written by God and was a veritable gold mine of meaning and wisdom. In the context of this belief system, the legends that they wove around the original biblical stories were sometimes designed to redress something that the rabbis found ambiguous or disturbing in the Holy Scriptures. God's behavior was often questionable, and human characters were often dysfunctional and nasty to each other. This was especially distressing when the characters were the idealized ancestors of the Jewish people, such as Abraham or Moses. These legends became widely known and were themselves studied, interpreted, and ultimately considered part of the sacred canon. In this way, the then-contemporary understanding of the biblical text was shaped. The reader's understanding of the biblical stories was actually transformed by these familiar, interpretive legends, or midrashim.

In one traditional midrash, there is an elaboration of the story in Genesis of Abraham's banishment of his concubine, Hagar, and their son, Ishmael. In this midrash, Abraham figures out a way of tracking Ishmael down in case he wishes to find him in the future, and, indeed, he later intervenes indirectly and anonymously to counsel and provide materially for Ishmael.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.