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fore he learned the principle that a Bible verse can
never lose its evident and literal meaning, is not
to be taken as an indication of the general state of
Bible study in his time; on the contrar3^ Rab
Kahana wishes to indicate thereby that he was an
exception to the rule. Raba's statement in Yeb.
24a likewise proves that a distinction was made be-
tween midrash and peshat. At the most it can be
proved that in some cases the Midrash was based on
a peculiar interpretation of the literal meaning;
thus, Sifra, Tazria', Neg. ix. 14 remarks in regard
to the sentence "We-im be-'enaw 'amad ha-netek "
(Lev. xiii. 37), "En li ellabe-'ene'azmobe-'enebeno,"
etc. ; this shows that "be-'enaw" was explained as
"in his eyes," an interpretation which certain!}^
does not contradict the statement that the difference
between midrash and peshat was recognized.

The Bible exegesis of the Rabbis which had a
moralizing or edifying tendency must be distin-
guished from that which was of a legal nature: tlie
former is known as Midrash Hagg.xdaii; the lat-
ter, as Midrash Halakah. Exegesis from an eth-
ical or devotional point of view admits of more free-
dom than hermeneuties aiming at the determination
of legal maxims. This is true not only because the
imagination has freer play in the former, and reason
in the latter, but also because halakic exegesis,
.since it is intended for practical guidance and is
more far-reaching in its results, is bound more
closely by certain laws and principles (comp. the
different view of Ilirschfeld in " Ilalachische Exe-
gese," p. 13).

As concerns the origin of (be Midrash, 'Maimonides
("Sefer ha-Mizwot," Ililkol "Shoresii," 2) lield that
the Midrash was a product of tiie IlalaUah ; Nahniani-
des, on the contrary, that the former was the source
of the latter. It is iniiKissible to decide whetiier
either one was correct. Oniv tliis much can be said



549



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Midi an
Midrash



a priori, that there are certain expositions which
could not liave been evolved through mere theoret-
ical speculation. Any other conclu-

Origin of sions on the subject must be based on
the a consideration of the various cir-

Midrash. cumstances which favored the origin
and development of the Midrash.
In the first place, any application of theory to practise
demands a more recondite interpretation than does
the mere explanation of the literal meaning. A gen-
eral JaAv demands special exposition in order to deal
with the complications which frequently arise in
daily life. Even Moses was obliged to seek instruc-
tion in several instances (Lev. x. 16, xxiv. 12; Num.
XV. 34; the expressions "to expound unto them
according to the mouth of the Lord " and " because
it was not declared what should be done unto him "
in the second and third of these passages respect-
ively being especially noteworthy ; see Krochmal,
"Moreh Nebuke ha-Zeman," p. 13). But even if
the Midrash gave rise to the Halakah in certain
cases in which an " investigation " of the Law be-
came necessary for a practical decision, there were
in all probability many more instances in which a
legal basis, often difficult to tind, was sought for
certain rules which h9,d arisen from the exigencies of
life. That there were many such cases in which the
Halakah was a subsequent justification of an accom-
plished fact, though they are not always specifically
noted, is shown by the well-known sentence of the
Mishnah (Hag. 10a), " Mikra mu'at. halakot merub-
bot," by the sentence of R. Johanan (Yer. Ber. 4c),
" Kol milla di-la mehawwera mesammekin lah min
atrin saggin," and by the remark " Kera asmakta be-
'alma," which is frequently found in connection with
very important rules, such as the determination of
weights (Ber. 41b; Yer. Pes. 15a). Retroactive justi-
fication is to be seen in many of the cases when one
and the same halakah is variously deduced by dif-
ferent tannaim (" mishma'ot dorshin "), and where the
Amoraim feel themselves compelled to assume a
material difference, as in Pes. 84a, where no less
than eight explanations are attempted.

Great as was this twofold influence of actual
practise on the origin and development of the Mid-
rash, it must be borne in mind that speculation for
its own sake in the obligatory study of the Law
(Dent, vi 7; Josh. i. 8) was likewise a factor; for
this exclusive and continued study probably con-
tributed much to the search for other interpretations
than the merely literal one. The exegetes endeav-
ored to find everything expressed in the Law; and
Philo's view that there were no superfluous words
in Sciipture, and that everything had a meaning
("De Profugis," § 458), dominated not only the alle-
gorical exegesis of Alexandria, but also to a large ex-
tent the Midrash, even though no other connection
existed between the two. On the rules by which
the exegetes were guided in making these deduc-
tions see Midrash Halakah and Talmud.

The history of the Midrash may be divided into
three periods: (1) of the Soferim; (2) of the Tan-
naim; and (3) of the Amoraim. (1) Midrashim
ascribed to Biblical persons (BeK. 31b; Yeb. lHa et
passim) are haggadic aphorisms and may be recog-
nized as such. Noteworthy is Shek. vi. 8, "Zeh



Midrash she-darash Yehoyada' Kohen Gadol " (This
is the Midrash which Jehoiada the High Priest
taught), a statement which, however,
Historical can not lay claim to historical value.
"View. The real date of the: origin of the
Midrash in question appears to be the
period of the Soferim, the writers or scribes (Kid.
31a; Yer. Shek. 48c), whose activity is summed up
in the sentence, " So they read in the book, in the
law of God, distinctly, and made them to under-
stand" (Neh. viii. 8); however this verse is to be
explained (Ned. 37b; Yer. Meg. 74d; "Responsen
der Geonim," ed. Harkavy, p. 217), it certainly in-
dicates that the Soferim were much more than mere
translators. Alleged traces of their Midrash, closely
based upon the Bible, are Neg. xii. 5 et seq. ; Sotah
viii. 1 et seq. ; Ma'as. Sh. v. 7 et seq. According to
Krochmal {I.e.), the Soferim indicated which were
their interpretations by means of peculiar script and
certain signs (dots, kere and ketib, full and defect-
ive writings); accordingly such midrashim as Sifra,
Emor, ix. 3; ib. Shemini, v. 8; ib. Behar, iv. 4;
Mek. , Mishpatim, 3, would belong to them ; and even
though the later explanations of these signs and this
peculiar script are not established by tradition, but
are in general controvertible and doubtful (comp.
Sanh. 4a), the great age of some of the interpreta-
tions is indicated by the Septuagint; e.g., Ex. xxii.
7; Lev. xxiii. 11, xxxiii. 40; Deut. xxv. 5 (comp.
Frankel, " Ueber den Einfluss der Palastinensischen
Exegeseauf die Alexandrinische Hermeneutik," pp.
89 etseq.; Hoffmann, "Zur Eiuleitung in die Ha-
lachischen Midraschim," p. 74).

(2) The beginning of the second period likewise
is shrouded in obscurity. Of the "zekenim ha-
rishonim," whose date can not be definitely deter-
mined, three midrashim have been preserved, Sifra,
Wayikra, Hobah, xii. 1; ib. Mezora", ix. 12; Mek.,
Amalek, 2; likewise a few midrashim by Judah
b. Tabbai and Simon b. Shetah, both of whom lived
in the first century B.C. (Mek., Mishpatim, 20;
Tosef., Sanh. viii. 3; Mak. 5b; Yer. Sanh. 22b).
The opposition of the Sadducees, who rejected the
oral law, and who were attacked by Tabbai and
Shetah, naturally led to an attempt to base the oral
law on Scripture, thus encouraging midrashic exe-
gesis. The well-known interpretation of the pas-
sage "an eye for an eye " (Ex. xxi. 24), contradicting
the view of the Sadducees, who wished to apply the
Law literally, gives evidence of a free and profound
conception of the Biblical text even at that early
date. In the following period Shemaiah and Ab-
talion are mentioned as "darshanim gedolim " (Pes.
70; comp. Mek., Beshallah, 3). The seven rules
of exposition propounded by Hillel — of whom, as
of his opponent Shammai, only a few midrashim, all
simple in character, have been preserved (Sifra,
Shemini, ix. 5; ib. Neg. ix. 16; Yer. Pes. 33a;
Tosef., 'Er. iv. 7; Shab. 19a; Kid. 43a)— presup-
pose a very extensive Midrash ; and a like inference
is to b'e draw^n from the attempt of Hananiah b.
Hezekiah b. Garon to harmonize the contradictions
between Ezekieland the Pentateuch. The explana-
tion in Sifre, Deut. 294, transmitted in the name of
Hananiah's son, and also mentioned in the passage
Mek., Bahodesh. 7, is perhaps a fragment of this



Midrash Haggadah



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



550



same Midrash. On the Mishuuh of R. Akiba see
Jew. Encyc. s.v.

(3) In regard to the Midnisli of the Ainoraim the
Babylonians employed more simple methods than
the Palestinians, as Frankel correctly says ("Mebo,"
31b), though Weiss objects to this view (" Bet ha-
Talmud," i. G9, note 4). But the exegesis of the
Palestinian Amoraim was more simple than tiie Pales-
tinian. For the midrashim of this period whicli have
been preserved see MiuK.\sii 1Ial.\kah.

Bibliography: Abraham b. David, exposition of the Ba/nifa
dc-Rabbi Yislima'd in his coiniiieiitiuy on the Sitra ; Abu-
darham, ih. pp. STt ct s,-q.. Warsaw. L'^TT: Aaron ibn Hayyiin,
MicUhit AhariDi: Algazi. Yatiiit SJuiniCah: B. Auerbach.
Ha-Zofch 'al Darke Ita-Mi.-iliitali, Frankfort-on-the-Main,
1861;' Bacher, Die Aclfcste TcnninolodU der JUdiscliot
Schriftmisle(iu»(l, Leipsio, 1899; J. HaRiz, TehiUnt Hoknialu
Amsterdam, 1709; Uobsrhiitz. Die Eintache Bilicle.veuese
der Tainiaiin. Halle-on-the-Saale, iKffi; Derenbourg. //^^■^
pp. 393-39.') ; Frankel, Darke lia-Mish nali : idem, Lhl)cr i'o/o.s-
tineitsische latd Ale.randrinif'cltc Schrifttorscinuw, Bres-
lau, ia5-t; idem, Uc}>erdcn fjiiiliuiis der PaliistiitetiKischen
Exegese auf die Ale.raiidriiiisclie Hermeneutik; M. Plun-
Kian, Taiin\m<it. 1H49; (ieiger, Tr/.s.s-. Zcit.Ji'id. riieiti. v. 53
et sfif/., 231; Levi b. (iershim. .sVia'dre Zcdek, reprinted In
Berit Ya'akoh. Leghorn. 1M4(); Srfir )ia-PelVali, pp. 74 et
seq., Koret, 'nsi; Hamburger, R. D. T. s.v. Talwudisehe
Schrifteii; D. HolTiiiann, Zur Kiideituiuj in die Halnelii-
scheii Midraschim, Berlin, IHKfi 87 ; idem, in Jlldir^ehe
Piesxe, 1892, Supplement, pp. 18 et xeq.; idem, in Berliner
Fextgehrift, U)()3, pp. .5.5 c^ .-e'/.: Hirsi'lifeld, Die Halaeliitielic
£.rf(/c.sc, 1840, reviewed in (»ieiit. Lit. 1)*4\[ idem, in Mn-
Jiatsschrift, xxviii. 308-374; I. Horowitz, Tmah she-lie'al-
Peh; A.L. J. Jehuda, Kizziir Kelale ha-Gemnrali ; Ihn
Musa, in the collection Mc-Harare Nemerim, Venice. 1599;
Joshua ha-Levi. Halikot "Ohim ; J. S. Kaempf, Mnnttik Sud,
Prague. 1861; S. K\ein,Mi-Pene Kustd. Friinkfort-on-the-Main
1861 ; J. Caro, Kelale ha-Gemarali : Ch. Kases, Kin'at Sofe-
rim, 1740; Konigsberger, £)ie Quellen der Halaeha, Btiriin,
1890 : N. Krochmal. Morch Nebuke lia-Zeman, pp. 13 et »eq.;
Malbim. Ayyelet ha-Shnhar, Introduction to his commentary
on the Sifra ; Malachi Ooiien, Vad MaVaki ; 3. Mecklenburger,
Ha-Ketdb ireha-K(dil)alali : S.Kapoport, Dilire Shahnii we-
Emet, Prague. 18(il ; Kashi, commentary on Middnt ; Kobak,
Jei<churun, vi. 138 ei neq.; Saadia, commentary on Midilat,
reprinted by Schechter in liet Talmud, iv. 235 ct f<cq.: by
Muller, in Saadia's collected works, vol. ix., Paris; Samuel
Valenci, in Me-Harare Ncmerim ; Scherschavvski printed
an old exposition to Middnt in Ha-Karmel, viii. 213 et xeq.;
S.Serillo, Kelale Sliemuel ; Samson of Chinon.Se.ferllLeritof;
Schwarz, Die He7'men(\di,'<clte Analnnie, reviewed in R. E.
J. xxxvi.: Idem, Der HermetH'Uti.-<rhe SiiUogixmiis; Moses
Solomon, A'erjT) 3fos/ie/i, Vienna, 189<> ; Strack, Midrash, in
Herzog-Plitt, Real-E))eiic. ix. .507 et xeq.; Eliezer Trietsch,
Sheb tihema'teta: Weber, Siy.sfcm der Altujitiadogalen Pa-
lastiniifCheuThetthtgir, 1880, xix. et xeq.\ Weiss, Gesc/i. der
Tradition ; Zunz, (i. V. pp. 37 et aeq.
J. S. Ho.

MIDRASH HAGGADAH : The subject w ill
be treated under the following lieadings:

Ruth, Ecclesiastes, and
i;sther.

1. Shir ha-Shirim Kab-
bah.

2. Midrash Ruth.

3. Midrash Kobelet.

4. Midrash ' Megillat
Esther.

IV. The other exegetical
midrashim not dealing
with the Pentateuch.
(For Midrash Sliemu'el,
Midrash Mishle. Mid-
rash Tehillim see the
several articles.)

1. Midrash Veshayah.

2. Midrash Yonah.

3. Midnish lyyob.

V. Special haggad i c
works.

1. Pirke R. Kli'ezer.

2. Si'der Kliyahu.
(Other liaggadic works

referred to the article
Midrashim, Small-

VI. Yalkut Shim'oni, Val-
kut ha-Maklr. and Mid-
rash ha-(iadol.



General Statement.
Special Divisions :

A. Midrash Haggadah in the
tannaitic midrashim, etc.

1. Mekilta.

2. Sifra.

3. Sifre to Numbers.

4. Sifre to Deuterono-

my.

B. The purely haggadic mid-
rashim.

I. The earliest exegetical
midrashim.

1. Bereshit Kabbah.

2. Ekah Kabbati.

II. The homiletic mid-
rashim.

1. Pesikta.

Wayikra Ral)hah.
Tanhiima Yelam-

meilenu.
Pesikta Habb.iti.
Debiirim Kabbah.
Hemidbar Kabbah.
Sliemot Kabbah.

8. Agadat Bereshit.

9. We-Hizhir (Hash-
kem ) .

III. The exegetical mid-
rashim ti> Canticles,



2.
3.

4.
5.
6.

7.



Connota-
tion of
Hag-gadah.



Midrash Haggadah embraces the interpretation,
illustration, or expansion, in a moralizing or edify-
ing manner, of the non-legal portions of the Bible
(see Haogadah; Miduasii; Midkasii IIalakaii).
The word "haggadah" (Aramaic, "agada") means
primarily the recitation or teaching of Scrii)ture;
in a narrower sense it denotes the exegetic ampli-
tication of a Biblical passage and the develop-
ment of a new thought based thereupon. Like the
formula "maggid ha-Katub " (= " the Scripture
teaches"), frequently found in the ancient writings,
the noun "haggadah" (plural, "haggadot") proba-
bly had at first a general application, but at an early
date was restricted to denote a non-
halakic e.xplanalion (comp. Baclier,
"Ag. Tan." 2d ed., pp. 461 et .neq.).
The word then came to be used in a
more; general sense, designating not
the haggadic interpretation of single passages, but
haggadic exegesis in geneial, the body of haggadic
interpretations— in fine, everything which does not
Ijelong to the field of the llalakah. The haggadic
Midrash, whicli confined itself originally to the ex-
position of Scripture text, was developed in its
period of tlorescence into fini.shed discourses. " The
Haggadah. which is intended to bring heaven down
to the congregation, and also to lift man up to
heaven, appears in this office both as the glorifica-
tion of God and as tht; comfort of Israel. Hence
religious truths, moral ma.xiins, discussions concern-
ing divine retribution, the inculcation of the laws
wiiicli attest Israel's nationality, descriplions of its
past and future greatness, scenes and legends from
Jewish history, compari.sous between the divine and
Jewish institutions, praises of the Holy Land, en-
couraging stories, and comforting refiections of all
kinds form the most important subjects of these
discourses" (Zunz, " G. V." Isted.. pp. 849 ct seq.).
The opening words of this quotation are a para-
phrase of a famous sentence in which tlie Haggadah
was ]iraised by the old haggadists themselves. " If
thou wishest to know Him at whose word the Avorld
came into being, then learn the Haggadah, for
through it thou slialt know the Holy One, praised
be He, and follow His ways" (Sifre to Deiit. xi.
22). Indeed, the Haggadah, being exegesis from a
religious and ethical standpoint, undertook to influ-
ence the mind of man and to induce him to lead a
religious and moral life, "that he
Object of might walk in the ways of God." In
Haggadah. conformity with the conditions of its
time, it neither could uor would limit
itself to the simple interpretation of Scripture, but
included in its ever-widening circle of discussions
and refiections on the Scripture text the highest
tlioughts of religious iiliiloso])hy, mysticism, and
ethics. It interpreted all the iiistorical matter con-
tained in the Bible in such a religious and national
sense that the heroes of the olden time became luo-
totypes, while the entire history of the jKJople of
Israel, glorified in the light ot Messianic hopes, was
made a continual revelation of God's love and jus-
tice. F'or this reason the inqiortance for modern
Jewish science of the study of the Haggadah can
not be overestimated.

The entire wealth of the haggadic Miilrasli has



551



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Midrash Hagg-adah



been preserved in a series of very different works,
wliieli, like all the works of traditional literature, are
the resultant of various collections and levisious,
and the contents of all of which originated a long
time before they were reduced towiiting. The tirst
traces of the midrashic exegesis are found in the
Bible itself (see Miduash) ; while in the time of the
Soferim the development of the Midrash Haggadah
received a mighty impetus, and the foundations were
laid for public services which Avere soon to offer the
chief medium for the cultivation of Bible exegesis.
Much Midrash ilaggadah, often mixed with foreign
elements, is found in the Apocrypha, tiie Pseud-
epigrapha, the works of Josephus and Philo, and
the remaining Juda'o-Hellenistic literature; but
haggadic exegesis reached its highest development
in the great epoch of the Mishnaic-Talmudic period,
between 100 and 500 c.e., when all its different
branches were fidly worked out. The Haggadali of
the Amoraim is the continuation of that of the Tan-
naim; and, according to Bacher, there
Develop- really is no ditference between the
ment of Amoraim and the Tannaim with refer-
Haggadah. ence to the Haggadah. The final edi-
tion of the Mishnah, Avhich 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. It may be said in particular, that in
the field of the Haggadah tiie century after the
completion of the Mishnah may be fairly compared
with the century 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
independence and originality of the subject-matter
treated (comp. Bacher, "Ag. Pal. Amor." vol. i.,
pp. viii. et seq.).

A story told in Yer. Hor. iii. 48b indicates the
great extent of the haggadic exegesis and its general
popularity at this time. When the aged Hauina b.
Hama saw the people of Sepphoris tlocking to the
school of R. Benaiah, and heard that it was to hear
K. Johanan deliver a discourse there, he exclaimed,
" Praised be God that He permits me to behold the
fruit of my labors during my lifetime. I have
taught him the entire Haggadah, with the exception
of that on Proverbs and Ecclesiastes." In another
passage, in a conversation between the patriarch
Judah I. and Israel b. Jose, the story is told of R.
Hiyya, that, lost in thought, he read through the
whole Book of Psalms from the haggadic standpoint
(Yer. Kil. ix. 32b; Gen. R. xxxiii.). During the
third and at the beginning of the fourth centurj-the
masters of Halakah were also the representatives of
the Haggadah ; but side by side with them appeared
the haggadists proper (" I'abbanan di-Agadta,"
"ba'ale Agadu"), who subsequentl)' became more
and more prominent, attracting w.ith their dis-
courses more hearers than the halakists. The high-
est product of the Haggadah, the public discounst
drawing upon ail the arts of midrashic rhetoric —
sentence, proverb, iiarable, allegory, story, etc. —
now received ifs final form. The ancient sen-
tence "We-kullehon yesh lahem mikra we-yesli
lahem mashal we-yesh lahem melizah " (For each of
them there is Bible text, a proverb, and a saying;



comp. Cant. R. i. 1) may be applied to these prod-
ucts of haggadic rhetoric. The epigoni of the
Haggadah fiourished in the fourth and at the be-
ginning of the fifth centurj-, and were followed by
the anonymous haggadists who preserved and re-
vised the immense haggadic material. Creative
haggadic activity ceases with the end of the Tal-
mudic peiiod. The post-amoraic and the geoulc
period is the epoch of the collectors and revisers,
during which the haggadic midrashim were reduced
to writing, receiving the form in which they have
been handed down more or less unchanged. Some-
times the results of the Midrash Haggadah — specific
deductions on the one hand, general precepts, sen-
tences, 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. At
other times single Scriptural interpre-
Divisions tations, haggadic sentences, and stories
of of all kinds, which originated or were

Haggadah. used in the course of some halakic dis-
cussion—and this was often the case
— were included when that discussion was reduced
to writing; and it is for this reason that the ]\Iish-
nah, Tosefta, and both Talmuds contain so much
haggadic material. Or, finally, the mass of hag-
gadic matter was collected and edited in the exe-
getic midrashim proper — the midrashim par excel-
lence, which formed either running haggadic
commentaries to the single books of the Bible, or
homiletic midrashim, consisting of discourses actu-
ally delivered on the Sabbath and festival lessons or
of revisions of such discourses.

The following discussion of individual midrashic
works will be restricted to the most important produc-
tions in the field of the Midrash Haggadah proper;
for the ethical and historical Haggadah, and such as
is included in halakic works, see Abot; Apoca-
lypse; Apocalyptic Literature; Apocrypha;
Cabala; Dkrek Erez Rabbah; Ethics; etc.
Similarly, as regards the Targumim containing or
refiecting the Midrash Haggadah, reference must be
made to the articles on the various targumim. It
may be regarded as characteristic of the midrashim
proper that they are anonymous — that is, the name
of the editor who made the final revision is un-
known ; accordingly, haggadic works whose authors
are known {e.g., R. Tobias b. Eliezer's " Lekah Tob " ;
R. Menahem b. Solomon's "Sekel Tob"), and the
haggadic commentaries of a later period, such as
that published by Ruber under the title "Midrash
Agada" (Vienna, 1894), must likewise be excluded
from this review. Haggadic exegesis was, as men-
tioned above, a.ssiduously cultivated in the period
of its florescence by the most eminent rabbis, some
of whom are praised in particular as being " learned
in the Haggadah " ( " baki ba-Agada ") ;
Students and it became a special branch of tradi-
of the tional .science for the "scholars of the
Haggadah. Haggadah" ("rabbanan di-Agadta").
It was the subject of study in the
schoolsand furnished an inexhaustible Supply of ma-
terial for the sermons and discourses which were de-



ITidrash Hag-gadah



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



552



livered on Sabbaths aud feast-days, and wliicli
followed the Scripture lesson aud formed a part of
public worship, or could be separated from it at
need. Opportunity, moreover, often arose, both on
joyous and on sad occasions, to resort to haggadic
expositions for words of comfort or of blessing, for
farewell discourses, etc.

References to the arrangement of the Haggadah,
to connected haggadic discourses, to the writing
down of single haggadic sentences, and even to books
of the Haggadah, are extant even from early times.
Thus R. Simon b. Pazzi was an editor of the Hag-
gadah ("mesadder Agadta") before the time of R.
Joshua b. Levi (comp. Ber. 10a). The latter, a Pal-
estinian 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. xxviii. 5 as referring to the haggadot
(Midr. Teh. ad toe); he, as well as his pupil R.
Hiyya b. Abba, severely censures the reducing of
haggadot to writing and the use of written hagga-
dot, for it was in general considered that the pro-
hibition against writing down the " words of the
oral law " referred not onlj'' 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 the schools, were
likely to lead to abuses. The severity of this cen-
sure indicates that it was not a question of writing
down single haggadot merely. R. Joshua b. Levi
himself says that he once looked into a haggadic



Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 135 of 169)