Monday, 7 July 2014

Midrash #1.

I love tramping and skipping through Google. It always leads to such interesting things. One such thing was the midrash, a term I had never heard of before. I shan't go into a long explanation (for you can Google it yourselves!) but simply say that seems to use inspired storytelling to interpret older stories. I could be wrong. 

Anyhoo, I found this one site that showed how to write a midrash yourself, and decided to give it a go. My piece is based on the following exercise I found at

"Imagine that you are Eve. You have just had an interesting conversation with a talking serpent who insists that God doesn't want you to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because doing so would make you godlike. Observing the tree, you decide that the attractive fruit must be good to eat and capable of making a person wise. You reach forth your hand, take the fruit, and eat. What do you feel at that moment? What are you thinking?"


I have bitten into the apple, and the first thing I notice is how juicy it is. How intoxicatingly sweet. I have eaten many fruit in this garden, but none like this. This beautiful, irresistible fruit. Then I wonder:  is it really more delicious, more succulent? Or am I just attributing superior qualities to this fruit in particular, simply because it was more beautiful? Or was I merely influenced by the serpent’s opinion and so inclined to think that this fruit was somehow better than all the others. Or does the thrill of doing something forbidden add flavour to the experience?

Suddenly my head seems full and throbbing with all these thoughts.  Through their clutter, the simplicity and clarity and sheer joy that once filled my mind can no longer be found.
I drop the fruit with a sickening realisation. It was not the tree that was special. There was no magic in its fruit.  It was I. My act, my choice to reach out my hand, pluck the fruit and bite into it. It was just another tree until I did that.  

“What is this?” asks Adam, coming up behind me.

“It is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” I answer, without turning around. I do not tell him that it was a tree like any other, until a few moments ago. My new knowledge weighs very heavily in my heart, and I suddenly know that I do not want to be alone in this.  I pick up the fallen fruit and brush the earth off it, against my bare belly.  The tingling, not-unpleasant sensation of wet, cool fruit against my skin makes me uncomfortable.   I turn around, feeling shame for the second time in my life, and hold the fruit out to him.

“Here,” I say. “Have a bite.”


zohra said...

I always love your stuff Nazu!

Barb Schanel said...

I love this!