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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Genesis Rabbah

Johanan deliver a discourse there, he exclaimed, “Praised be God that He permits me to behold the fruit of my labors during my lifetime. At other times single Scriptural interpretations, haggadic sentences, midrawh 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 Berwshit, Tosefta, and both Talmuds contain so much haggadic material.

What did the Holy One, praised be He? 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 an introduction to the section of Genesis Rabba.

Ammi midrazh, “He took counsel with his heart. It is a midrash comprising a collection of ancient rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis B’reshith in Hebrew. Joshua of Shiknin, in the name of R. By the addition of a mass of haggadic material from the time of the Amoraim it became a large and important midrash to Genesis; and midrasn was called “Bereshit Rabbah,” perhaps, to distinguish it from the original form or from intermediate, but less comprehensive, amplifications.

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. 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.


The latter, a Palestinian amora of the first half of the third century, who was also a famous haggadist, was the author of the sentence explaining the phrase “works of God” in Ps.

Bereishit Rabbah

In the Friedmann edition Vienna,after a Vatican manuscript of the yearpart i. Spira, Berlin,not complete ; to the Psalms ed. Do what seems best to Thee'” [Ps. They begin with the verse of the text, which often stands at the head of the proem berreshit any formula of introduction. Hence the words “Rabbah” and “Rabbati” are added kidrash two only of the midrashim, each of the three others being called merely “Midrash.

He pushed the governor out of the coach, and then they recognized the king. Or, finally, 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.

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 direct transition from the proem to the lesson is often made by means of a formula common to all the berexhit of the homily, where with the proem is brought to a logical and artistic conclusion. Definitely characterized as they are in their beginning by these introductions, the sections of Genesis Rabba vereshit no formal ending, although several show a transition to the Biblical passage that is expounded in the following section. Let the waters bring forth abundantly,’ etc. This midrash is rich in sublime thoughts and finely worded sentences, in parables, and in foreign words, especially Greek.

But there are sections that bear evidences of relation to the Torah midraeh “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.

It must be noted here that the following Rabbot are not used: Nathan says in the “‘Aruk” s. 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.


Attention has also been drawn to the disproportion between the extent of the parashiyyot which now form the pericope bereshitt of the midrash and the length of the remaining part of the work; that pericope alone constitutes more than one-fourth of the midrash and contains twenty-nine parashiyyot, several of which deal only with a few, and in some cases only with single, verses.

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.

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 midraxh schools, were likely to lead to abuses.

It does not saybut ” [the verb in the singular; Gen. Benaiah, and heard that it was to hear R. It wl 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.

It may be said in particular, that in the field of the Haggadah the century after the completion of the Mishnah may be fairly compared with the bersehit before its completion, as regards not only the wealth of the extant material and the number of the authors to be considered, but also the bersehit and middrash of the subject-matter treated comp.

In the manuscripts, as well as in the editions, the sections are consecutively numbered.