“These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel.” — Deut./Devarim 1:1

Torah in Motion: Creating Dance Midrash employs an unusual method of interpretation. Although this particular resource is most useful if you actually move to the verse(s), and most exercises require a group to work as suggested, unusual perspectives can be gleaned simply from perusing and considering…

How do you envision Moses’ final address? Did Moses ever overcome his speech impediment?

Choreograph a phrase that captures the rhythm and importance conveyed by the verse above. Teach it to the group and have dancers accompnay themselves by chanting the words in either English or Hebrew. Practice the phrase until everyone can do it confidently.

Each person then is to choose another phrase from the first three chapters of Deuteronomy and create a short dance to accompany that phrase. Some examples of phrases:

“You have stayed long enough at this mountain…”

“Go, take possession of the land that God swore to your ancestors…”


The group now chants and dances the phrase, “These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel.” Each person in turn presents an improvision based on and accompanied by the words of his/her phrase. Between each person’s improvisation, the group repeats, “These are the words addressed to all Israel.” Continue until all have danced their individual phrases.

Making Connections: Talk about he power an orator can have…

Challenge: When God first appeared to Moses in Exodus, Moses was reluctant to take on the role of leader….

Have each person develop a dance study which shows Moses going from initial reluctance to dynamic addresses. In the dance movement, resolve whether Moses grows out of speech impediment as he speaks regularly to the Israelites, learns how to deal with its, or continues to have a speaking problem.

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Category

Devarim, midrash, Movement/Dance

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