Planning to kick back with the Bible this summer? Many of us have long made a practice of regular devotional reading, while others of us keep saying a better acquaintance with scripture is something we'll get to "some day."
Either way, this article might provide you with some inspiration and a new perspective on your personal or group Bible study. Written by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, it states:
The ancient rabbis spoke of Torah as “black fire on white fire.” The black fire refers to the printed letters, the white fire to the spaces between and around them. Both fires are to be read and interpreted. We read the black fire by asking “What does Torah say?” We read the white fire by asking “What does Torah mean?”
Rabbi Shapiro then explains in simple terms four different perspectives - such as literal, metaphorical, and personal - that are brought to bear when interpreting the scriptures using a midrashic approach. When these four perspectives are combined with the scriptures' purported 72 different "faces," there results a vast array of varied and valid interpretations of any given text!