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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It was probably undertaken not much later than the Jerusalem Talmud 4th to 5th centuries.

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 mifrash homilies following the type of the Pesikta and Tanhuma Midrashim — was the result of beresgit editing of Genesis Rabba that is now extant, when the material found in 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.

The division into chapters is frequently merely an external one, and the several chapters vary greatly in length. Definitely characterized as they are in their beginning by these introductions, the sections of Genesis Rabba have no formal ending, although several show a transition to the Biblical passage that is expounded in the following section.

It berfshit difficult to ascertain the exact date of the editing of Genesis Rabba.

See the special articles on the various works here treated. This is the common form of the homilies in all the homiletic midrashim; it allows, however, of the utmost freedom of treatment and execution in its various parts. Johanan quotes the verse [Ps.

gereshit Retrieved from ” https: One may, as Bacher says, “speak in a certain sense of the completion of the haggadic Midrash as one speaks of the completion of the Talmud, although the works belonging to this class continued to be produced for five centuries or more after that time. He answered, “It means one of his ‘sides’ midrsh ribs], as it is written, ” [‘And for the second side of the tabernacle’; Ex.


The epigoni of the Haggadah flourished in the fourth and at the beginning of the fifth century, and were followed by the anonymous haggadists who preserved and revised the immense haggadic material. Levi himself says that he once looked into a haggadic work “sifra di-Agadta”and he quotes numerical interpretations therefrom Yer.

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 to 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.

Bereishit Rabbah

There are separate sections in the midrash for almost all these sections as they are still found in Genesis, with the exception of the genealogical passages. About 70 are cited with the name of the Rabbi with whom they originated or whose explanation of the verse in question was used as jidrash introduction to the section of Genesis Rabba.

Misrash editor adds to the running commentary longer aggadic disquisitions or narratives, connected in some way with the verse in question, or with one of the explanations of it — a method not unusual in the Talmud and in other midrashim. Berechiah said, “When the Holy One, praised be He, was about to create the first mierash, He foresaw that both the pious and the wicked would descend from him.

Isidore SingerJ. Talmud Readers by Adolf Behrman. Sometimes the results of the Nereshit Haggadah—specific deductions on the one hand, general precepts, sentences, and maxims on the other, obtained by a study of the Biblical books from the religio-ethical or historical side, or by penetration into the spirit of Scripture—were collected in special works, forming special branches of the Haggadah, such as ethical Haggadah, historical Haggadah, Cabala, etc.

In Debarim Rabbah the word “halakah” is used, the question proper beginning in most of the exordia with “Adam mi-Yisrael.

Zunz has divided the Haggadah into three groups, following the old designations which were subsequently summed up in the bereshi Then the angels spoke before the Holy One, praised be He: Though the stories embraced in Genesis furnished little occasion for comments on legal topics, Genesis Rabba contains a few short legal or halakic sentences and quotations taken from the Mishnah and other sources.


Let the waters bring forth abundantly,’ etc. The disproportion between the proems and the interpretations has not yet been satisfactorily explained, in spite of various attempts to do so.


The proems are either simple, consisting of a simple exposition of the proem-text, often amplified by quotations, parables, etc. At the end of the first part, in the editio princeps only, is a valuable appendix, introduced by the remark that R.

The entire wealth of the haggadic Midrash hasbeen preserved in a series of very different works, which, like all the works of traditional literature, are the resultant of various collections and revisions, and the contents of all of which originated a long time before they were reduced to writing.

He put him into a deep sleep [comp.

Between the beginning and the completion of these works — if ever they were completed — a long period elapsed during which there was much addition and collection. He said, ‘What shall we do with midash The latter are followed by the exposition proper, which, however, covers only a few of the first verses of the Scripture lesson; the first verse or the first part thereof of the lesson is generally discussed more fully than the remaining verses.

There must also have been collections of legends and stories, for it is hardly conceivable that the mass of haggadic works should have been preserved for centuries by word of mouth only.

Genesis Rabbah

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. In the manuscripts, as well as in the bersehit, the sections are mmidrash numbered. As different manuscripts were used for the two collections, they vary, as regards many of the readings, both from each other and from other midrash texts, these variations constituting the greatest value these collections possess.

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