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Midrash UnboundTransformations and Innovations$
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Michael A. Fishbane and Joanna Weinberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113713

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113713.001.0001

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Performative Midrash in the Memory of Ashkenazi Martyrs

Performative Midrash in the Memory of Ashkenazi Martyrs

(p.197) Ten Performative Midrash in the Memory of Ashkenazi Martyrs
Midrash Unbound

Ivan G. Marcus

Liverpool University Press

This chapter looks at certain narratives that record and interpret performative Midrash. In performative Midrash, people act out in specific historical situations and modifications of biblical and biblically related texts. Performative Midrash builds on the notion of the creation of rites based on new exegetical interpretations of ancient words. It explores what Michael Fishbane has called ‘the exegetical construction of ritual reality’ by considering how historical actors themselves engage in behaviour that is stimulated by their own spontaneous or planned midrashic extension of earlier literary motifs and events. The chapter also explains why it is impossible to separate performative from literary aspects of a newly imagined event and its subsequent literary representation.

Keywords:   performative Midrash, biblical texts, rites, exegetical interpretations, ritual reality, historical actors, literary representation

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