Bibliodrama with Peter Pitzele: Remembering Miriam and Honoring Rabbi Pauline Tamari

We look forward to welcoming Peter Pitzele, who will share the practice of Bibliodrama with us. Deriving from the Jewish tradition of midrash, Bibliodrama explores the unspoken in the lives of the characters, the “back story” or “subtext” in the written narrative, even the spaces between the words, to bring the Bible alive.

From this week’s Torah portion, Hukat:

The Israelites arrived in a body at the Wilderness of Zin on the first new moon, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there. The community was without water. (Numbers 20:1)

The spirit of our Bibliodrama will be something like a communal yarzeit, remembering Miriam by going back through the three stories in which she figures prominently. What will make it a Bibliodrama is that we will imagine ourselves into these moments and speak as her or as anyone, named or unnamed, who might have been witness to or part of that story.

These are 3 mentions of Miriam in the Torah with a fourth that records her dying. We will read them as we go along, but in case you want to review them beforehand, here they are:

Exodus 2: 1-10
Exodus 15:20-22
Numbers 12:1-16
And the final one: Numbers 20:1

After playing her stories, we will break into smaller groups for some sharing and reflection, back to the whole group for some last words. We will conclude with a Kaddish for Miriam.

(And don’t let the name “Bibliodrama” worry you. It’s serious and playful, and it requires no preparation, no expertise. You can always just be an observer. No one gets put on the spot.)

You can find more information about Peter and Bibliodrama at his website: