MIDRASH HA-GADOL

MIDRASH HA-GADOL (Heb. מִדְרַשׁ הַגָּדוֹל), a 13th-century rabbinic work on the Pentateuch, emanating from Yemen and consisting mainly of excerpts of older rabbinic texts of the talmudic period. The Midrash is anonymous, but it is now certain that it was written by a native of Aden, david b. amram adani . Adani writes in clear, limpid Hebrew prose, introducing each weekly portion with a proem in rhymed verse. His work is of importance not only because of the author's original contributions to the literature of halakhah and aggadah, but also because of the multitude of extracts which he incorporates from ancient tannaitic Midrashim either unknown, or only partially known, from other sources. Thus, for instance, the Midrash ha-Gadol has enabled scholars to reconstruct large portions of the lost Mekhilta of R. Simeon b. Yoḥai , the sifrei zuta , and the Mekhilta of R. Ishmael on Deuteronomy. In addition, the Midrash ha-Gadol is valuable for the accuracy of its quotations from known sources, such as the Talmud and the Midrashim. Its readings have made it possible to correct the texts of older works which have survived in garbled form. The Midrash ha-Gadol is also notable for its contribution to the study of the code of maimonides , as it preserves many sources available to Maimonides but otherwise unknown. Not only does Adani frequently quote the code on which the Yemenites largely, if not exclusively, base their religious rulings, but his work enables students to reconstruct the older authorities on whom Maimonides had based his rulings. As a result, many difficulties which had puzzled students of Maimonides over the generations have been solved. The Midrash ha-Gadol first came to the notice of European scholars in the 19th century. The text was brought to Europe in manuscript in 1878 and sold to the Royal Library in Berlin by M.W. Shapira, whose name is associated with the alleged forgery known as the shapira fragments . Since then, other manuscripts have been acquired by the major libraries in the western world. Solomon Schechter in his edition of the Avot de-Rabbi Nathan (1887) was the first to make extensive use of this Midrash and he edited the first part (on Genesis) in 1902. Different parts of the Midrash have been edited by other scholars: Exodus by D.W. Hoffmann (1913–21), Leviticus by Nahum E. Rabinowitz (1932), and Numbers by Solomon Fisch (partial edition, 1940; reissued in complete form with Hebrew commentary and introduction, 2 vols., 1957–63). Genesis and Exodus were re-edited by M. Margulies (margalioth ; 1947, 1956), and Numbers by Z.M. Rabinowitz (1967). There exist two Yemenite commentaries on the Midrash, one titled Segullat Yisrael ("The Treasure of Israel"), dated 5440 (i.e., 1680) by R. Israel b. Solomon ha-Kohen, containing only a few interpretations and these of   only slight value, and the other (anon.), the Sefer ha-Margalit ("Book of the Pearl"), containing explanations in Hebrew and Arabic of difficult words. The Midrash ha-Gadol is still a standard work of rabbinic homily for the Yemenite community and circulates widely in manuscript. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Riqueti, Ḥokhmat ha-Mishkan (Mantua, 1676), 5, 6, 13; S.A. Poznański, in: HHY, 3 (1886), 1–22; S. Schechter, Avot de-Rabbi Nathan (1887), introd.; D.Z. Hoffman (ed.), Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai (1905); idem, Midrash Tanna'im, 2 vols. (1908–09); S. Liebermann, Midreshei Teiman (1940); S. Fisch, Midrash ha-Gadol (1940), 1–136; M. Kasher, Ha-Rambam ve-ha-Mekhilta de-Rashbi (1943), introd.; M. Margulies, Midrash ha-Gadol, Shemot (1956), 5–15; Y.L. Nahum, Mi-Ẓefunot Yehudei Teiman (1962), 181–205; Y. Ratzaby, in: Tarbiz, 34 (1965), 263–71; Z.M. Rabinowitz, Midrash ha-Gadol, Ba-Midbar (1967), 5–16. (Solomon Fisch)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Midrash ha-Gadol — or The Great Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש הגדול) is an anonymous late (14th century) compilation of aggadic midrashim on the Pentateuch taken from the two Talmuds and earlier Midrashim. In addition, it borrows quotations from the Targums and Kabbalistic …   Wikipedia

  • MIDRASH — (Heb. מִדְרָשׁ), the designation of a particular genre of rabbinic literature containing anthologies and compilations of homilies, including both biblical exegesis (see hermeneutics ) and sermons delivered in public (see homiletics ) as well as… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • MIDRASH LEKAḤ TOV — (Heb. מִדְרַשׁ לֶקַח טוֹב), a late 11th century Midrash on the Pentateuch and Five Scrolls by Tobias b. Eliezer. The author called it Lekaḥ Tov ( good doctrine ) on the basis of its opening verse (Prov. 4:2): For I give you good doctrine which he …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Midrash Halakha — Littérature rabbinique Littérature de Hazal Mishna • Tossefta Guemara • Talmud Talmud de Jérusalem Talmud de Babylone Traités mineurs Baraïta Midrash Halakha Baraïta de Rabbi Ishmaël Mekhilta de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Midrash Sur Les Proverbes — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Proverbe (homonymie). Littérature rabbinique Littérature de Hazal Mishna • Tossefta Guemara • Talmud Talmud de Jérusalem Talmud de B …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Midrash — Le Midrash ((he): מדרש; pluriel midrashim) est un terme hébreu désignant une méthode d exégèse herméneutique, comparative et homilétique, parmi les quatre méthodes réunies sous le nom de Pardès. Le terme midrash se réfère aussi à une compilation… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Midrash halakha — The Midrashim are mostly derived from, and based upon, the teachings of the Tannaim …   Wikipedia

  • Midrash HaGadol — Rabbinic Literature Talmudic literature Mishnah • Tosefta Jerusalem Talmud • Babylonian Talmud Minor tractates Halakhic Midrash Mekhilta de Rabbi Yishmael (Exodus) Mekhilta de Rabbi Shimon (Exodus) Sifra (Leviticus) Sifre (Numbers Deuteronomy)… …   Wikipedia

  • Midrash Rabba — Rabbinic Literature Talmudic literature Mishnah • Tosefta Jerusalem Talmud • Babylonian Talmud Minor tractates Halakhic Midrash Mekhilta de Rabbi Yishmael (Exodus) Mekhilta de Rabbi Shimon (Exodus) Sifra (Leviticus) Sifre (Numbers Deuteronomy)… …   Wikipedia

  • Midrash Aggada — Aggada Littérature rabbinique Littérature de Hazal Mishna • Tossefta Guemara • Talmud Talmud de Jérusalem Talmud de Babylone Traités mineurs Baraïta Midrash Halakha Baraïta de Rabbi Ishmaël Mekhilta deRabbi Ish …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.