A New Way to Teach Bible Stories

Think you know the stories of Abraham and Sarah and Eve and Moses?

The Bible only tells us part of their stories.

Imagine seeing the full picture. Maybe we’d discover that Adam and Eve were challenging the rules, growing up, or that Noah felt fearful and angry, desperate for any kind of hope. 

Or maybe we’d find out that Moses felt dread at being asked to lead the Israelites

Maybe these iconic figures of the Bible were people just like us, filled with fear and joy, jealousy and passion, mischief and love. 

Maybe It Happened this Way, by Rabbi Leah Berkowitz and Erica Wovsaniker, is a modern take on Bible stories, with relatable characters; not earnest and reverent, but not transgressive either.

It also helps students understand the difference between the biblical text and the Jewish concept of midrash - stories created to add new layers to our understanding of the Bible.

“With this book, chil­dren learn that there is more than one way to tell a good sto­ry and have its lessons stick,” writes the Jewish Book Council.

“They begin to under­stand the use­ful­ness of learn­ing about the Bible through midrashim in addi­tion to the tra­di­tion­al approach of read­ing direct­ly from its pages.” (Read the complete JBC review here.)

Maybe It Happened This Way explores timeless themes of interest to kids, including fairness, sibling rivalry, perseverance, forgiveness, courage. It also covers many lesser-known narratives and lifts up the stories of women in the Bible as well. 

The also book includes the following educational resources:

  • The Bible source for each midrashic story, so students can explore the differences between the actual Torah text and the midrashic enrichment. Note that many of the actual Torah texts are available in an age-appropriate, true to text translation in Explorer’s Bible.
  • An index of values, for those who wish to use the stories to focus on the values they teach.
  • A chapter-by chapter discussion guide with questions to help readers dig down into the meaning of each story and consider their own thoughts and reflections on it.

Maybe It Happened This Way will be published on October 4.

Pre-order Now!