AGGADAT BERESHIT (Heb. אַגָּדַת בְּרֵאשִׁית), an aggadic Midrash to the Book of Genesis. In the Oxford manuscript (see below) the book is called Seder Eliyahu Rabbah, while in the Middle Ages it was cited under the names Tanna devei Eliyahu and Ḥuppat Eliyahu; the name Aggadat Bereshit first appearing in the first printed edition. Aggadat Bereshit is a homiletical Midrash constructed in a unique manner. It consists of 83 (or 84) sections in cycles of three, the first interpreting a verse from Genesis, the second a verse from the Prophets, and the third a verse from Psalms. The verse from Genesis is in general the beginning of the weekly scriptural reading according to the triennial cycle which was in vogue in Ereẓ Israel in early times. The verse from the Prophets is usually from the haftarah and that from Psalms also has a relevance to the portion of the Law and the haftarah (some scholars think it was taken from a chapter of Psalms read on that particular Sabbath). Both the beginning of the Midrash (which in its present state starts in Gen. 6:5) and its end (the last section of the Psalms) are missing. Each section has a proem of the classical type which begins: "This is what Scripture tells us," i.e., opening with a verse not of the portion expounded and finally connected with the verse at the beginning of the portion expounded. However, the introduction, like the Midrash proper, shows signs of relatively late composition. The sections on the Pentateuch are longer than those on the Prophets, and the sections on Psalms the shortest of all, consisting, in general, only of the introduction. The language of the Midrash is late mishnaic Hebrew; there are some Greek words. Aggadat Bereshit is a collection of homilies from different sources. The editor made use of early Midrashim of the amoraim and also of many Midrashim of the tanhuma-yelammedenu type. This factor – together with its Aramaic-free Hebrew, pseudographic sayings, signs of late style and terminology, and an explicit polemic against Christianity (27 and 31) – would appear to place its date of editing at about the tenth century. Aggadat Bereshit was first published at the end of the Shetei Yadot (Venice, 1618) of menahem di lonzano . After this it was republished in Vilna, 1802, by abraham b. elijah of vilna , and frequently thereafter. In 1903 S. Buber collated the first printed edition with an Oxford manuscript and published a critical edition with introduction and notes. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Zunz-Albeck, Derashot, 124, 394; J. Mann, The Bible as Read and Preached in the Old Synagogue, 1 (1940), passim. (Moshe David Herr)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MIDRASHIM, SMALLER — This entry covers those aggadic and midrashic works which are not treated in separate articles. (1) MIDRASH AGUR, also known as Mishnat R. Eliezer, or Midrash Sheloshim u Shetayim Middot. Belonging to some extent to the category of aggadic works …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • BUBER, SOLOMON — (1827–1906), scholar and authority on midrashic and medieval rabbinic literature. Buber was born in Lemberg, Galicia, into a well known rabbinic family and devoted himself to the publication of scholarly editions of existing Midrashim, printed or …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • 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

  • Baraita of the Forty-nine Rules — The Baraita of the Forty nine Rules (Hebrew: ברייתא מ ט מדות) is a work of rabbinical literature which is no longer in existence except in references by later authorities. Rashi, the Tosafists, Abraham ibn Ezra, Yalḳut, and Asher ben Jehiel… …   Wikipedia

  • Abraham ben Elijah of Vilna — (1750 1808)    Polish scholar. His edition of Aggadat Bereshit was the first complete history of midrashic literature. He wrote a critical index to 130 midrashim, Rav Pealim …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • ВАВИЛОНСКИЕ ОТРОКИ — традиц. наименование друзей прор. Даниила, к рые были спасены Богом от cожжения в печи в период вавилонского плена при царе Навуходоносоре. История В. о. в Ветхом Завете В библейском повествовании каждый из В. о. имеет парные имена: Анания… …   Православная энциклопедия

  • ABRAHAM BEN ELIJAH OF VILNA — (1750–1808), talmudic and midrashic scholar. Abraham received most of his education from his father elijah b. solomon zalman , the Vilna Gaon. He acquired complete command of rabbinic literature and much general knowledge. He had a strikingly… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • AẒILUT — (Heb. אֲצִילוּת), a short treatise schematizing the theories of the older Kabbalah, written in the style of a baraita. The significance and age of this small volume are matters of controversy. In various passages the author appears as Elijah b.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ESHET HAYIL — (Heb. אֵשֶׁת חַיִל; a woman of valor ), opening words praising the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:10–31. This poem enumerates the qualities of the ideal wife in a sequential alphabetic acrostic of 22 verses, one for each of the letters of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ḤANOKH ZUNDEL BEN JOSEPH — (d. 1867), commentator on the Midrash. Ḥanokh lived in Bialystok (Poland), and devoted himself to writing commentaries on the Midrash. They are largely based upon the earlier commentators such as the Mattenot Kehunnah of Berman Ashkenazi, the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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.