Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rabbi Jonathan Kligler
Woodstock NY

On January 7th, 2009, a unique Storahtelling event took place in Oranim, Northern Israel, featuring Amichai Lau-Lavie, with guest artists and scholars, including Prof. Lee Schulman, a renowned scholar and president of the Carnegie Foundation who volunteered to chant Torah. The show was co-created by Amichai and Rabbi Miriam Margles, who is also a Jerusalem Fellow at the Mandel Leadership Institute. Joining them on stage were Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, using drums and voice, and Dafna Rosenberg – a local musician and singer. The event called “BEDTIME’ was part of the International Conference on Multiple Identities in Jewish Education and featured an interactive re-telling of the dying of Jacob and the passing on of leadership to the future generations. Imagine Jacob’s last request to his son Joseph-

‘Bury me in Canaan’. What is Joseph to say? As an Egyptian official is he not bound to honor the burial rites of his new country? But as a Hebrew – should he not bury his father back ‘home’? In “bedtime” we challenged the audience to imagine this dilemma from the perspective of Osnat, Josephs’ Egyptian wife, and to also question the relevance of this dilemma to modern day life. Where are our multiple identity challenges as Jews, people, and citizens of the world? Rabbi Margles’ haunting compositions of original Jewish chants and songs filled the auditorium and created a reflective and deeply moving tapestry to the performance and study piece.

The following quote is by Rabbi Kilgler, photos courtesy of Josh Weinberg.
I was privileged to participate in a masterful presentation / performance by Amichai Lau-Lavie and Rabbi Miriam Margles at the Conference on Multiple Identities in Jewish Education held at Oranim College on January 7, 2009. The dramatic weaving of midrash into the parshah was very moving, and I though Amichai was inspired in the way he used Joseph’s story as a Hebrew who becomes a naturalized Egyptian as an example of “multiple identities” Talk about making the Torah relevant! Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to participate.

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