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. Johanan deliver a discourse there, he exclaimed, “Praised be God that He permits me to behold the fruit of my labors during my lifetime. The final edition of the Mishnah, which was of such 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.

Hence religious truths, moral maxims, discussions concerning divine retribution, the inculcation of the laws which attest Israel’s nationality, descriptions of its past and future greatness, scenes and legends from Jewish history, comparisons between the midrwsh and Jewish institutions, praises of the Holy Land, encouraging stories, and comforting reflections of all kinds form the most important subjects of these discourses” Zunz, “G. It is a midrash comprising a collection of ancient rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis B’reshith in Hebrew.

The editor adds to the running commentary longer aggadic disquisitions or narratives, connected in some way with the verse in question, or with midrwsh of the explanations of it — a method not unusual in the Talmud and in other midrashim.

The last chapter may be recognized as spurious. They begin with the verse of the text, which often stands at the head of the proem without any formula of introduction. Many references to contemporary philosophical thought are made with the purpose of refuting bereshot opinions of nonbelievers.

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. Bene Benaiah and R. The proems are either simple, consisting of a simple exposition of the proem-text, often amplified by quotations, parables, etc.


Simeon ha-Darshan edited it after having composed the work. 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 brreshit of the lesson is generally discussed more fully than the remaining verses. It interpreted all the historical matter contained in the Bible in such a religious and national sense that the heroes of the olden time became prototypes, while the entire history of the midrsah of Israel, glorified in the light of Messianic hopes, was made a continual revelation of God’s love and justice.


See Tanna debe Eliyahu. The comment to the whole 48th chapter of Genesis is missing in all the manuscripts with one exceptionand to verses in the editions.

Genesis Rabbah

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.

Hence the words “Rabbah” and “Rabbati” are added to mideash only of the midrashim, each of the three others being called merely “Midrash. The first chapters of Genesis, on the creation of the world and of manfurnished especially rich material for this mode of exegesis.

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 bereshti mouth only.

The nature of the homilies has been sketched above; they begin with several proems, to which is added the exposition, which generally covers only a few of the first verses and verse-texts of the lesson in question, ending with a Messianic or other comforting verse.


Bereishit Rabbah

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. Isidore SingerJ.

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.

I have taught him the entire Haggadah, with the exception of that on Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Mercy said, ‘Let him be created, for he will do works of mercy.

This extensive and important midrash, which forms a complete commentary on Genesis, and exemplifies all points of midrashic exegesis, is divided into sections. Simlai said, “Where you find a sentence for the minim, there you will find beside itits refutation. 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.

Pazzi was an editor of the Haggadah “mesadder Agadta” before the time of R.

Genesis Rabbah – Wikipedia

Prefaces head these sections. This process of accretion took place quite spontaneously in Genesis Rabba, as in the other works of the Talmudic and midrashic literature. He put him into a deep sleep [comp.

Many extensive beresgit which are found in connection with Scripture passages in those midrashim are merely proems from various homilies, e often appears clearly in the final proem-formulas retained.

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.