I think it would have been helpful if Prof. Zornberg had explained how a midrashic commentary comes into existence. There is always something strange about the text to generate the midrash. For example, Zornberg cited Rashi's midrash on Genesis 2:15, "the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden": Rashi explains "took" as "seduced him with words." Normal people listening would think Rashi was just making something up out of whole cloth. The two concepts (to take, to seduce) don't look as though they connect. What Zornberg left out is that the Hebrew verb for "to take," *laqach*, is used many times elsewhere in the Bible for "to marry." That is why one of the questions you always hear in Biblical interpretation is "what's bothering Rashi?": what ambiguity is there about the text that generates his felt need for a re-interpretation.
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