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 chief difference in composition between the bereeshit midrashim and Bereshit Rabbah lies in the fact that the parashiyyot into which the latter is divided, begin, with a few exceptions, with proems, such as are always found at the beginning of the homilies collected in the homiletic midrashim.

References to contemporaneous conditions and historical events also occur. The various midrash works are differentiated by the relation of mixrash simple to the compound proems—the structure of the latter, their development into more independent haggadic structures, the use of the various formulas, etc. 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.

It is a midrash comprising a collection of ancient rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis B’reshith in Hebrew. 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 beresyit were soon to offer the chief medium for the cultivation of Bible exegesis.

But even then the text was probably not finally closed, for longer or shorter passages could always be added, the number of prefatory passages to a section be increased, and those existing be enlarged by accretion. It is possible that the present Genesis Rabba is a combination of two midrashim of unequal proportions, and that the 29 sections of the first Torah portion — several of which expound only one or a few verses — constitute the extant or incomplete material of a Genesis Rabba that was laid out on a much larger and more comprehensive scale than the midrash to the other Torah portions.

Nearly all the manuscripts and editions agree in counting 96 chapters.

In the sections of the Torah portion Vayigashthe comment is no longer carried out verse by verse; the last section of this Torah portion, as well as the first of the Torah portion Vayechiis probably drawn from Tanhuma homilies. But the embellishment of the sections with numerous artistic introductions — which points to a combination of the form of the running commentary with the form of the finished homilies following the type of the Pesikta and Tanhuma Midrashim — was the result of the editing of Genesis Rabba that is now extant, when the material found wl collections and traditions of the haggadic exegesis of the period of the Amoraim was taken up in the midrash, and Genesis Rabba was given its present form, if not its present bulk.


This portion may have been taken from another and a midgash haggadic work on Genesis that remained incomplete, and from which the midrash may have derived also the name “Bereshit Rabbah.


Nathan says in the “‘Aruk” s. Joshua of Shiknin, in the name of R. The total number of the sections, both in the manuscripts and in the editions, varies from 97 to Still more inexact and misleading is the term “Midrash Rabbah to the Five Books of the Pentateuch and the Five Rolls,” as found on the title-page of the two parts in the much-used Wilna edition. The single prefaces, of which there is a large number, contain explanations of their text which refer entirely or bershit its last part to the verse or passage of Genesis to be expounded in that section.

The haggadic Midrash, which confined itself originally to the exposition of Scripture text, was developed in its period of florescence into finished discourses. The word “haggadah” Aramaic, “agada” means primarily the midrsh 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 thereupon. In Debarim Rabbah the word “halakah” is used, the question proper beginning in most of the exordia with “Adam mi-Yisrael.

Let Truth rise up from earth, as it is written, “Truth shall spring out of the earth” ‘ “. There are other scattered allusions to haggadic works in Talmudic-midrashic literature. Hence the words “Rabbah” and “Rabbati” are added to two only of the midrashim, each of the three others being called merely “Midrash. In such cases these formulas offer the surest criterion for proving the mixrash of one midrash upon another. 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.

The structure of the prefatory passages varies. Views Read Edit View history. A castle with all good things, and there are no guests; what pleasure has midrsh owner who takes his fill? For if He had revealed to them that the ungodly should descend from him, then the attribute of justice [‘middat ha-din’] would not have consented that he should be created.

He put him into a deep sleep [comp. There are in the Genesis Rabba about of these passages. Among the stories included those are most characteristic of the work in which the author speaks through the mouth of the prophet Elijah; furthermore, many parables, maxims, bersshit, and exhortations enliven the discourse.


Genesis Rabbah – Wikipedia

The work may have received its name, “Genesis Rabbah,” from that larger midrash at the beginning of Genesis, unless that designation was originally used to distinguish this midrash midrasn the shorter and older one, which was berreshit to Rabbi Hoshayah.

The character of the exposition in the exegetic midrashim like Bereshit Rabbah has been discussed in Jew. Many quotations in the Shulchan Aruch mention the passage of Genesis Rabba by the number of the section. This was the genesis mideash the midrashim which are in the nature of running haggadic commentaries to single books of the Bible, as Bereshit Rabbah, Ekah Rabbati, the midrashim to the other Megillot, etc. The composite introductions consist of different expositions of the same Biblical verse, by different haggadists, strung together in various ways, but always midrahs so that the last exposition — the last link of the introduction — leads to the exposition of the passage of Genesis, with the first verse of which the introductions often close.

Retrieved from ” https: 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.

The remaining portion of this Torah portion, the comment on Jacob’s blessing Gen. In some, only the introductory text is given, its application to the verse of Genesis to be expounded being self-evident or being left to a later working out.

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. Johanan quotes the verse [Ps.

What did the Holy One, praised be He? Many references to contemporary philosophical thought are made with the purpose of refuting the opinions of nonbelievers.

Midrash Haggadah embraces the interpretation, illustration, or expansion, in a moralizing or edifying manner, of the non-legal portions of the Bible see Haggadah ; Midrash ; Midrash Halakah.

The opening words of this quotation are a paraphrase of a famous sentence in which the Haggadah was praised by the old haggadists themselves. Abba, severely censures the reducing of haggadot to writing and the use of written haggadot, for it was in general considered that the prohibition against writing down the “words of the oral law” referred not only to halakot, but also to haggadot; for the latter in particular might be the expression of private opinions and interpretations which, not being under control of the schools, were likely to lead to abuses.