Bereshith Rabbah (The Great Genesis) is a midrash comprising a collection of rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis. It contains many. Books & Judaica: Parperaot LaTora El Midrash Bereshit (H) Menajem Becker [W] – The core of Jewish thought and it cosmovision finds its. I. The Earliest Exegetical Midrashim—Bereshit Rabbah and Ekah Rabbati. (For Midrash Shemu’el, Midrash Mishle, Midrash Tehillim see the several articles.).

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The word “haggadah” Aramaic, “agada” means primarily the recitation or teaching of Scripture; in a narrower sense it denotes the exegetic amplification of a Biblical passage and the development of a new thought based bersshit.

Bereshit Rabbahconsisting of different interpretations of the same extraneous verse, by one or by various authors, and connected in various ways, but always of such a nature that the last interpretation, the last component part of the proem, leads to the interpretation of the lesson proper.

Spira, Berlin,not complete ; to the Psalms ed. In Debarim Rabbah the word “halakah” is used, the question proper beginning in most of the exordia with “Adam mi-Yisrael.


The Torah portion Bereishit alone comprises 29 sections, being more than one-fourth of the whole work. I have taught him the entire Haggadah, with the exception of that on Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. The opening words of this beresuit are a paraphrase of a famous sentence in which the Haggadah was praised by the midrrash haggadists themselves. The single prefaces, of which there is a large number, contain explanations of their text which refer entirely or in its last part to the verse or passage beresht Genesis to be expounded in that section.

The first traces of the midrashic exegesis are found in the Bible itself see Midrash ; while in the time of the Soferim the development of the Midrash Haggadah received a mighty impetus, and the foundations were laid for public services which were soon to offer the chief medium for the cultivation of Bible exegesis.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Genesis Rabbah – Wikipedia

He pushed the governor out of the coach, and then they recognized the king. Berechiah said, “When the Holy One, praised be He, was about to create the first man, He foresaw that both the pious and the wicked would descend from him.

Levi, said, “He took counsel with the souls of the pious. References to contemporaneous conditions and historical events also occur. This midrash is rich in sublime thoughts and finely worded sentences, in parables, and in foreign words, especially Greek. It was the subject of study in the schools and furnished an inexhaustible supply of material for the sermons and discourses which were deliveredon Sabbaths and feast-days, and which followed the Scripture lesson and formed a part of public worship, or could be separated from it at need.


Far more difficult than any question midradh the outward form of Genesis Rabba is that of deciding how much of its present contents is original material included in it, and how much of later addition.

Mercy said, ‘Let him be created, for he will do works of mercy. Thus, beginning with the Torah portion Vayishlachextensive passages are found that bear the marks of the later haggadah, and have midash of connection with the Tanhuma homilies.

Hoshaiah said, “When the Holy One, praised be He, created the first man the angels erred and would bereehit said before him ‘Holy! What did the Holy One, praised be He? Benaiah, and heard that it was to hear R. Johanan deliver a discourse there, he exclaimed, “Praised be God that He permits me to behold the fruit of my labors during my lifetime. Levi himself says that he once looked into a haggadic work “sifra di-Agadta”and he quotes numerical interpretations therefrom Yer.

Johanan, who always carried a Haggadah with him, is the author of the mirdash, “A covenant has been made: Bene Benaiah and R. According to Solomon Schechter, there are not even six manuscripts of the rabbot to the Pentateuch and the Five Rolls in existence comp. The purely haggadic-exegetic midrashim were edited at a much later time, after the completion of the Talmud. Isidore SingerJ. Many extensive interpretations which are found in connection with Scripture passages in those midrashim are merely proems from various homilies, as often appears clearly in the final proem-formulas retained.

While proems are characteristic of all the homiletic midrashim—and it was due to the popularity of this form of the old homilies that proems were added also midrsh the parashiyyot of the Bereshit Rabbah, although this old midrash is a running commentary on the Scripture text—yet the practise of prefacing the haggadic discourse with the discussion of a simpler halakic question is observed only in a part of those midrashim.

The various midrash works are differentiated by the relation of the simple to the compound proems—the structure of the latter, their development into more independent haggadic structures, the use of the various formulas, etc.

For bersshit introductions, which are often quite lengthy, the material for the several expositions was ready at hand. Mirdash the angels spoke before the Holy One, praised be He: By the method of selecting extraneous texts for the proems so many non-Pentateuchal, especially Hagiographic, verses were expounded, even in early times, in the proems to the Pentateuch homilies and interpretations, that these homilies became mines for the collectors of the non-Pentateuch midrashim.

Most of these passages are anonymous and may perhaps be ascribed in part to the author of Genesis Rabba. The Torah portions of the customary one-year cycle are not regarded at all in the divisions of Genesis Rabba, neither are they marked in the best manuscripts or in the editio princeps of the midrash; the sections, therefore, can not be regarded as mere subdivisions of the sedarim, as which they appear in later editions of this midrash.

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Similarly, as regards the Targumim containing or reflecting the Midrash Haggadah, reference must be made to the articles on the various targumim. The work fared badly in the edition published by R. Many references to contemporary philosophical thought are made with the purpose of refuting the opinions of nonbelievers. At the end of the first part, in the editio princeps only, is a valuable appendix, introduced by the remark that R.

Bereishit Rabbah

The character of the exposition in the exegetic midrashim like Bereshit Rabbah has been discussed in Jew. The interpretations which follow the proems and the halakic exordium in the halakic midrashim are confined, as mentioned above, to some of the first verses of the lesson. Then when the great one comes to ask permission from the small one, and says, “Why do I need to ask permission from the small one? The homilies generally close with verses from the Bible prophesying Israel’s auspicious future.

Genesis Rabbah

A story told in Yer. Then the angels said, ‘Lord of the World, why do you curse your Truth? Views Read Edit View history. Only genealogic passages and passages that furnish no material for exposition as the reiterated account of Abraham ‘s servant in Genesis But with the notoriously loose construction of the haggadic exegesis it became easy to string together, on every verse or part of a verse, a number of rambling comments; or to add longer or shorter haggadic passages, stories, etc.

It is of the utmost importance, in considering the several midrash works, to emphasize the fundamental difference in plan between the midrashim forming a running commentary to the Scripture text and the homiletic midrashim. The highest product of the Haggadah, the public discourse drawing upon all the arts of midrashic rhetoric—sentence, proverb, parable, allegory, story, etc.

Zunz has divided the Haggadah into three groups, following the old designations which were subsequently summed up in the word: Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the Jewish Encyclopedia Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the Jewish Encyclopedia without a Wikisource reference Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the Jewish Encyclopedia.

The midrash forms an aggadic commentary on Genesis, in keeping with the midrashic beresht of that age. The passages were probably added at an early date, since they are not entirely missing in the older manuscripts, which are free from many other additions and glosses that are found in the present editions.

Why should this sorrow be created?