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 then came to be used in a more general sense, designating not the haggadic interpretation of single passages, but haggadic exegesis in general, the body of haggadic interpretations—in fine, everything which does not belong to the field of the Halakah.

Midrash Rabba Book of Genesis. Then the angels spoke before the Holy One, praised be He: Thus, beginning with the Torah portion Vayishlachextensive passages are found that bear the marks of the later haggadah, and have points of connection with the Tanhuma homilies.

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 of Genesis to be expounded in that section.

Perhaps the editor made use also of different bfreshit on the several parts of Genesis. In such cases these formulas offer the beresiht criterion for proving the dependence of one midrash upon another. The haggadic Midrash, which confined itself originally to the exposition of Scripture text, was developed in its period of florescence into finished discourses.

See Tanna debe Eliyahu. A castle with all good things, and there are no guests; what pleasure has the owner who takes his fill? Although the original commentary on Genesis may have been divided into parashiyyot with rudimentary proems see Bereshit Rabbah beresjit of such proems appear also in the tannaitic midrashim—yet the addition of the many artistic proems found in the existing form of the commentary was doubtless the work of a later time, when the Bereshit Rabbah received its present form.

According to Solomon Schechter, there are not even six manuscripts of bereshi rabbot to the Pentateuch and the Five Rolls in existence comp. The latter, a Palestinian amora of the first half midrwsh the third century, who was also a famous haggadist, was the author of the sentence explaining the phrase “works of God” in Ps. Nathan says in the “‘Aruk” s. Eleazar, said, “He created him as a golem [Adam in the primal state], who reached from one end of the world to the other, as it is written, ‘Thine eyes did see my substance’ ” [Ps.

Bereishit Rabbah

Or, beeeshit, the mass of haggadic matter was collected and edited in the exegetic midrashim proper—the midrashim par excellence, which formed either running haggadic commentaries to the single books of the Bible, or homiletic midrashim, consisting of discourses actually delivered on the Sabbath and festival lessons or of revisions of such discourses.


But the haggadic midrash is the well-spring for exegesis of all kinds, and the simple exposition of Scripture is more and more lost in the wide stream of free interpretation which flowed in every direction. 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. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It was used for the critical edition issued by J.

Micrash word “haggadah” Aramaic, “agada” means primarily the recitation midradh teaching of Scripture; in a narrower sense it denotes the exegetic amplification of a Biblical passage and the development of a new thought based thereupon. Retrieved from ” https: The proems are either simple, consisting of a simple exposition of the proem-text, often amplified by quotations, parables, etc.

The final edition of the Mishnah, which was of bbereshit signal importance for the Halakah, is of less significance for the Haggadah, which, in form as well as in content, shows the same characteristics in both periods. The structure of the prefatory brreshit varies.


The homilies generally close with verses from the Bible prophesying Israel’s auspicious future. 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.

By various explanations of these texts, a transition is effected to the exposition of the particular verse of Genesis heading the section. It would be singular if the authorial designation had been lost and yet the attribute had remained in the title of the mmidrash. Far more difficult than any question concerning 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.

Do what seems best to Thee'” [Ps. It must be noted here that the following Rabbot are not used: Only genealogic passages and passages that furnish no material for exposition as the reiterated account of Abraham ‘s servant in Genesis Berlin, the basic work for the study of bereshjt midrash literature ; Weiss, Dor, ii. Midrash ha-Gadol, Preface, xi.

The division into chapters is frequently merely an external one, and the several chapters vary greatly in length. The present Genesis Rabba shows a singular disproportion between the length of the first Torah portion bereshih that of the eleven others.

Here the literal and textual explanation is not yet in contrast to the Midrash Haggadah, as it often was in the time of the scientific exegesis. The character of the exposition in the exegetic midrashim like Bereshit Rabbah has been discussed in Jew. The above-mentioned publications by Levy and Hoffmann on the tannaitic midrashim that had entirely disappeared, as well as the notes of the editor to many passages of the edited part, give an idea of the treasures contained in the Midrash ha-Gadol.


Jonathan, said, “When Moses wrote down the Torah, he noted therein the creative work of each beresiht when he reached the verse, ‘And God said, Let us make man,’ he said, ‘Lord of the World, why dost Thou give cause for attack to the “minim” [heretics]?

Though the stories mivrash in Genesis furnished little midrahs for comments on legal topics, Genesis Rabba contains a few short legal or halakic sentences and quotations taken from the Mishnah and other sources.

Rabbinic literature Talmud Readers by Adolf Behrman.

Pazzi vereshit an editor of the Haggadah “mesadder Agadta” before the time of R. It is characteristic of the midrash to view the personages and conditions of the Bible in the light of the contemporary history of the time.

At the end mirdash the first part, in the editio princeps only, is a valuable appendix, introduced by the remark that R. At other times single Scriptural interpretations, haggadic midraxh, and stories of all kinds, which originated or were used in the course of some halakic discussion—and this was often the case—were included when that discussion was reduced to writing; and it is for this reason that the Mishnah, Tosefta, and both Talmuds contain so much haggadic material.

It is by these means distinguished from the tannaitic midrashim to the other books of the Torah, such as MekiltaSifraand Sifre. The latter are followed by the exposition proper, which, however, covers only a few of the first verses of the Scripture lesson; the midraash verse or the first part thereof of the lesson is generally discussed more fully than the remaining verses.

Genesis Rabbah

For this reason the importance for modern Jewish science of the study of the Haggadah can not be overestimated. 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. But imdrash are sections that bear evidences of relation to the Torah portions “sedarim” of the Palestinian triennial cycle, and a careful investigation of these may lead to the discovery of an arrangement of sedarim different from that heretofore known from old registers.