ART MIDRASH CAN BE A GREAT WAY TO EXPLORE WHAT THE STORY OF EXODUS FROM EGYPT MEANS TO US.
IT'S GREAT FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS!
BELOW YOU WILL FIND DIRECTIONS FOR ART MIDRASH PROJECTS AND THREE SUGGESTIONS
FOR SUBJECT MATTER.
Directions for Art Midrash Projects
Midrash involves the
process of uncovering new meaning in familiar texts or concepts. Here you can use a simple art project to explore what particular
ideas or passages from the Haggadah mean to your Seder participants. Try this before your Seder begins. Distribute sheets
of colored paper and glue sticks to each of your guests. Some scissors would be helpful, but are not necessary.
Read aloud the particular passage that will serve as the basis for your art midrash project. Ask everyone to spend about
twenty minutes making a collage that expresses something important to him or her about an idea the passage raises.
Explain that the collages can be representational or completely abstract, using shape and color to express feelings of or
about one of the transitions. When you have finished, ask a few of your guests to hold up their collages, one at a time. Ask
others to make a brief comment on what they think the collage may be saying. Then ask the creator of the collage to explain
what he or she had in mind. Remember, the goal of this “art midrash” project is to explore our ideas, not to see
who is the “best” artist.
Those interested in learning more about this approach may want to look at
Jo Milgrom’s Handmade Midrash (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1992).
I. "Now we are
Toward the beginning of the Haggadah, "Now we are slaves." Ask your guests
to make a collage expressing what this mean to them.
Here's an example.
II. Passover, Freedom, and Spring
Ask your guests to participate
in an art midrash project by creating a collage that expresses the relationships among Passover, freedom, and spring.
III. “Begin with Disgrace and End with Praise.”
Create an art midrash project
based on the Mishnah’s instructions that when telling the story of the Exodus at the Seder, you should “begin
with disgrace and end with praise.” Explain that the Mishnah is a collection of teachings and a law compiled about 1800
years ago. It contains the oldest directions for a Passover Seder as we have come to know it. Also mention that the transition
from disgrace to praise recurs throughout the Haggadah. Ask each of your guests to make a collage that illustrates their feelings
and ideas about beginning with disgrace and ending with praise.
A few years ago, I really got into Art Midrash and made