Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Handmaid’s Tale re-spins the Jewish stories of Genesis

By Jerry Salkin
A scene from The Handmaid's Tale.
Yes, "The Handmaid’s Tale" is about fascism and misogyny. But, it is about far more than that. "The Handmaid’s Tale" is a dark midrash on the patriarchal tales of Genesis. I have been teaching Torah for almost four decades. I have edited and written several books on the Bible (consider my latest, which just came out). And, with all that, I am embarrassed that I had not seen – in a deep way – the utter dysfunction that lies beneath the surface of the patriarchal stories. The whole barrenness/fertility thing. The whole idea that if God favors it, God would open your womb for you (which is the standard greeting in "The Handmaid’s Tale" – “May God open…”. Which is precisely why you need to see The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s about us — and about the stories we tell. [More]