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work ("sifra di-Agadta"), and he quotes numerical
interpretations therefrom (Yer. Shab. xvi. 15c; So-
ferim xvi.); a "Haggadah-book of the school" is
mentioned by R. Jacob bar Aha, the contemporary
of Judah I. (Sanh. 57b); and it is said of R. Johanan
and R. Simeon b. Lakisli, the contemporaries of R.
Joshua b. Levi, that they read a Haggadah-book on
the Sabbath. They regarded such collections as de-
manded by the times, and paraphrasing Psalm cxix.
126 they declared that it were better to repeal an
interdiction (i.e., that against writing down the oral
law, which they referred to the Haggadah) than to
allow the Torah to be forgotten in Israel (Git. 60a;
Tem. 14b).

R. Johanan, who always carried a Haggadah with
him, is the author of the saying, " A covenant has
been made: whoever learns the Haggadah from a
book does not easily forget it" (Yer. Ber. v. 9a).
There are other scattered allusions to haggadic
works in Talmudic-midrashic literature. There
must also have beeji collections of legends and
stories, for it is hardly conceivable that the mass of
liaggadic works .should have been preserved for cen-
turies by word of mouth only. These scattered al-
lusions merely show, however, that the beginnings
of the written Haggadah date very far back ; very
little is known of the nature of the old Ilaggadah-
books, and it is impossible to determine what traces
they left in the old Midrash literature. Much ma-
terial from the various early midrashic collections,
which gradually increased in numbers, was doubt-
less incorporated in the exegetic midrasliiin which
have been preserved; and the latter clearly indicate
tiie nature of the early exegesis, the "manner of
discourse of antiquity"; but only the above-men-



tioned tannaitic midrashim — the Mekilta, Sifre, and
Sifra, containing Haggadah mixed with Halakah —
date in their earliest component parts from the sec-
ond century, having been definitively edited in the
post-tannaitic time. The purely haggadic-exegetic
midrashim were edited at a much later time, after
the completion of the Talmud. One may, as Bacher
says, "speak in a certain sense of the completion of
the haggadic Midrash as one speaks of the comple-
tion of the Talmud, although the works belonging
to this class continued to be produced for five cen-
turies or more after that time."

It is of the utmost importance, in considering the
several midrash works, to emphasize the fundamen-
tal difference in plan between the midrashim form-
ing a running commentar}' to the Scripture text and
the homiletic midrashim. In order to
Exegetic avoid repetitions later on, brief refer-
and ence must here be made totheconnec-

Homiletic tion of the midrashic homilies with the
Midrash. Scripture lessons, which were deliv-
ered at the public worship on the
Sabbath and on feast-days after the Sedarim and
Pesikta cycle; to the structure of the homilies; to
the nature of the proems which occupy such an im-
portant position in the entire midrash literature; to
the halakic exordia, the formulas, etc.

When the scholars undertook to edit, revise, and
collect into individual midrashim the immense hag-
gadic material of centuries, they followed the method
employed in the collections and revisions of the
halakot and the halakic discussions; and the one
form which suggested itself was to arrange in tex-
tual sequence the exegetical interpretations of tlie
Biblical text as taught in the schools, or the occa-
sional interpretations introduced into public dis-
courses, etc., and which were in anyway connected
with Scripture; and since the work of the editor was
often merely that of compilation, the existing mid-
rashim betray in many passages the character of the
sources from which they were taken. This was the
genesis of the midrashim which are in the nature of
running haggadic commentaries to single books of
the Bible, as Bereshit Rabbah, Ekah Rabbati, the
midrashim to the other Megillot, etc.

But even the earliest of these works, Bereshit
Rabbah, is essentially different in its composition
from the tannaitic midrashim in that the several
"parashiyyot " (sections) are introduced by proems.
These are characteristic of a different class of mid-
rashim, the homiletic, in which entire homilies and
haggadic discour.ses as delivered during public
worship or in connection with it were collected and
edited, and which accordingly do not deal in regu-
lar order with the text of a book of the Bible, but
deal in separate homilies with certain passages, gen-
erally the beginnings of the lessons. These lessons
were either the pericopes of the Pentateuch divided
according to the three-year cycle-reading of the
Torah as customary in Palestine and on which the
division of the Pentateuch into from 154 to 175
" sedarim " is based, or the Pentateuchal and pro-
phetic sections as assigned in accordance with the
Pesikta cycle to the various feast-days and special
Sabbaths {e.g., the Salibaths of mourning and of
comforting from the 17t]i of Tammuz to the end of



553



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Midrash Ha^gudali



the Jewish calendar 3-eai). These may be desig-
nated respectively as sedarim homilies and as pe-
si^ta homilies. The Sedarim homi

Sedarim lies are the homilies to the pericopes
and of the Sedarim cycle— of which, al-

Pesi^ta though no collection to the entire cycle
Homilies, has been preserved, one to the entire
Pentateuch exists in the Tanhuma
midrashim— and to individual books of the Penta-
teuch in Shemot Kabbah (in part), Wayikra Kabbah,
Beraidbar Kabbah (beginning with ch. xv.), De-
barim Kabbah, etc. The Pesikta liomilies are the
liomilies to the Scripture sections according to the
Pesikta cycle, as found in the Pesikta edited by Sol-
omon Buber and in the Pesikta Kabbati: the
designation is applied also to the homilies on les-
sons of the Pesikta cycle in the Tanhumas and
other Pentateuch midrashim. In brief, the arrange-
ment and division of the Pentateuch midrashim,
with the exception of Bereshit Kabbah, it is gen-
erally recognized, is based on the Palestinian three-
year cycle, with the sedarim of which its sections
correspond almost throughout. These midrashim
therefore contain homilies to the Sabbath lessons of
the three-year cycle together with a number of
homilies intended for the feast-days and Sabbaths
of the Pesikta cycle (Theodor, in "Monatsschrift,"
1885, pp. 3.56 et seq.).

The sedarim and pesikta homilies are clear and
comprehensive in structure, although this may not
be recognized in the midrash editions, in which the
homilies are often not properly arianged. In the
Pesikta, Wayikra Kabbah, etc., the homilies begin
Avith several proems; in the Tanhumas (with con-
siderable differences in various parts and in the dif-
ferent recensions), the Pesikta Kabbati, Debarim
Kabbah, and Bemidbar Kabbah, a halakic exordium
more or less systematically precedes the proems.
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
The (or the first part thereof) of the lesson

Proems, is generally discussed more fully than
the remaining verses. The homilies
generally close with verses from the Bible prophe-
sying Israel's auspicious future. This is the com-
mon form of the homilies in all the homiletic
midrashim; it allows, however, of the utmost
freedom of treatment and execution in its various
parts. The proems, which are the clearest evi-
dence of the existence of a deliberate technical ar-
rangement in the haggadic midrashim, constitute
both in name (" petihah ") and in nature an intro-
duction to the exposition of the lesson proper; to
this, however, they lead up by means of the inter-
pretation of an extraneous text, the proemial text,
which must not be taken from the lesson itself; and
the proems may be as different in structure and fin-
ish as in contents. The proems are either simple,
consisting of a simple exposition of the proem-text,
often amplified by quotations, parables, etc., and
connected throughout, or at least at the end, with
the lesson or with the initial verse thereof, or com-
posite (see Jew. Encyc. iii. 62, ».v. Bereshit
K.'VBB.xii), consisting 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 interpre-
tation 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 proems of the hom-
ily, wherewith the proem is brought to a logical and
artistic conclusion. Exegetic material for use in the
proems, especially the composite ones, which are
often very extensive, was always at hand in abun-
dance ; and the art of the haggadist appeared in the
use he made of this material, in the interesting com-
bination, grouping, and connection of the several
sentences and interpretations into a uniform struc-
ture so developed that the last member formed the
fitting introduction to the exposition of the lesson
proper. There arc many formulas (" Ketib," " Hada
hu da-ketib " |n nn], "Zeh sheamar ha-katub "
[n'K'T]) with which the proem-text is introduced,
which may, however, also appear without formula,
as often in Bereshit Kabbah and in the Pesikta;
and the final formulas, which frequently are very
rigid in form, as in tlfe Pesikta, are likewi.se very
numerous.

The various midrash works are differentiated by
the relation of the simple to the compound proems—
the structure of the latter, their development into
more independent haggadic structures, the use of
the various formulas, etc. By the method of se-
lecting 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. Many extensive inter-
pretations which are found in connection with Scrip-
ture passages in those midrashim are merely proems
from various homilies, as often appears clearly in
the final proem -formulas retained. In such cases
these formulas offer the surest criterion for proving
the dependence of one midrash upon another.
While proems are characteristic of all the hom-
iletic midrashim— and it was due to the popularity
of this form of the old homilies that proems were
added also to the parashiyyot of the Bereshit Kab-
bah, although this old midrash is a running com-
mentary on the Scripture text— yet the practise of
prefacing the haggadic discourse with the discussion
of a simpler halakic question is observed only in a
part of those midrasliim. The halakic exordium
begins in the Tanhumas with the words, "Yelam-
medenu rabbenu " (Let our teacher teach us). This*
formula gave rise to the name " Yelammedenu," by
which this midrash and an earlier version of it were
frequently designated ; the same formula occurs in
the Pesikta Kabbati. In Debarim Kabbah the word
"halakah'Ms used, the question proper beginning
in most of the exordia with "Adam mi-Yisrael."
The word "halakah" instead of the formula "ye-
laiumedenu rabbenu" is used also in the part of Be-
midbar Kabbah which is derived from the Tan-
huma. The interpretations which follow the proems
and the halakic exordium in the halakic midrashim
are confined, as mentioned above, to some of the first
verses of the lesson.

In some homilies the proems are equal in length



Hidrash Hag-g-adah



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



554



to the interpretations proper, wliile iu others thciy
are much longer. Even if tlie editors of tlie mid-
rashini combined the proems of different uutliors
from llie various homilies tiiey had at hand, it yet
seems strange that they shouki liave been able to
select for each homily several proems, including
some very long ones, while they could find only a
limited number of interpretations to the lessons, these
interpretations, furthermore, covering only a few-
verses. The disproportion between the proems and
the interpretations has not yet been satisfactorily
explaineil, iu spite of various atiemi)ts to do so.

The character of the e.\ position in the exegetic
midrashim like Bereshit Kal)bah has been discussed
in Jew. Encyc. iii. 153, ,s.r. Bkuesiiit Rahhaii.
Here the literal and textual explana-
Character tion is not yet in contrast to the
of Midrash Haggadah, as it often was in

Exegesis, the time of the scientific exegesis.
The old midrash contains many Scrip-
tural interpretations which are exegetic in the truest
sense of the word, affording a deep insight into the
contemporary attitude toward the Scripture. But
the haggadic midrash is the well-spring for exegesis
of all kinds, and the simple exposition of Scripture
is more and more lost in the wide stream of free in-
terpretation which flowed in every direction.

Zunz has divided the Haggadah into three groups,
following the old designations which were subse-
quently summed up in the word D'TIS: (1) inter-
pretation of the Scripture text according to its lit-
eral meaning; (2) development of the thought iu
any desired form, with a free use of the text; (8)
discussion of the mysteries of religion and the super-
sensuous worlds (corap. "G. V." p. 59). The words
of Zunz, the master of midrash study, in his chapler
"Organismus der Hagada," may serve to close the
first, general part of the present survey: "Definite
rules were as impossible for this exegesis as rules of
rhetoric for the Prophets; the thirtj'-two ' middot '
postulated by Eliezer ha-Gelili were in part cate-
gories deduced from former works, which remained
unobserved in the later Haggadah, and in part merely
sentences given for the purpose of determining the
literal meaning, and not intended to be applied in
haggadic exegesis. For the power of this exegesis
lay not in literal interpretation and in natural her-
meneutics, . . . but in the unhampered application of
the contents of the Bible to contemporary views and
needs; everything that was venerated and beloved
by the present generation was connected with the
sacred tliough limited field of the jmst. This met hod
of free exegesis was manifested in many ways: the
obvious sense of tlie Biblical passage was followed :
or the inner meaning of the text, to the exclusion
of the literal sense, was considered; or recourse was
had to the traditional haggadah (mjN TTTlDD):
or the results of the Masorah were taken into ac-
count. . . . But this liberty wished neither to falsify
Scripture nor to deprive it of its natural sense, for
its object was the free expression of thought, and
not the formulation of a binding law " ("G. V." pj).
325 et ser/.).

Bibmograpmy: Zunz, (i. V. IJcilin. 1832 (the basic work fnr
the sUuiy of the mklni.sh literature); VVeiss, Dur. ii. 2;.'."i il
sr*/., ill. 2.')2 ff .s«'/.; Barher, yl(/. Tan i. 451-47."); idt-iii, Au-
Pal. Amor, i., pp. vil. e( Ki-q.; iil. 500-514; Theodor, Zitr



Composilion der AqadUchen Homilien, In Monatsschrift,
1879; idem. Die, Midraxclnm zum Pentateuch und der
Dnijdltriiie PalaxtiniM'ltc CiicJus, in Monataschrift, 1885-
1887 : liloch, Studien zur Avuadah, lb. 1885.

A. Midrash Haggadah in the Tannaitic
(Halakic-Haggadic) Midrashim — Mekil-
ta, Sifra, and Sifre. For the name, composi-
tion, origin, and edition of these midrasliim see
special articles and Midrash Halakah.
1. The Mekilta: The Midrash to Exodus gen-
erally known under this name, and which originated
iu 11. Ishmael's school, begins with Ex. xii., the first
legal section in the book — on the Passover and the in-
stitution of the Passover festival. The exegesis is
continued, with the omission of a few verses, down
to xxiii. 19, the end of the principal laws dealt with
in the book, to which are added two shorter pas-
sages on the law referring to the Sabbath — xxxi.
12-17 and xxxv. 1-3. It appears from this that the
editor of the Mekilta intended to compile a halakic
midrash. But as the exegesis is iu the nature of
a running commentary to these passages without
regard to whether the subject under discussion is
legal or historical iu nature, and as much haggadic
matter is mingled with the halakic interpretations,
it appears from a comparison of all the haggadic
passages with the halakic passages that the larger
part of the Mekilta is really haggadic in nature ; e.g.,
nearly one-half of the exegesis in Bo to Ex. xii. 1
et seg. is haggadic. Beshallah (ed. Friedmann, pp.
23b-5Gb) is, with a few exceptions, haggadic through-
out; so is nearly the whole of Yitro (pp. 56b-74a),
with the exception of a few verses, where even the
exposition of the Decalogue contains only a small
amount of halakic matter. But Mishpatim through-
out and the exegesis of xxxi. 12 et seq. and xxxv. 1
et seq. are halakic, including only a few haggadic in-
terpretations. (The Mekilta is divided not accord-
ing to the Biblical pericopes, but into massektot
and parashiyyot.) The following are simple ex-
egetic explanations such as frequently precede the
haggadic elaboration. Toxiii. 17: DPIJ has only the
meaning " to lead " (not " to comfort "), like n^nj in
Ps. Ixxvii. 21 and Dnri in Ps- Ixxviii. 14. To xiii.
18: D'E^Oni means "armed" (comp. Josh. i. 14), or
("dabar ahar") "equipped" (comp. ib. iv. 12), or
"one out of five," or, according to others, "one out
of fifty." To xiii. 20: n3D is the name of a place,
likeDJT'X; R. Akiba says, "n3D means the clouds
of the glory of God [which surrounded them like a
hut]," etc. To xiv. 7: □"•t^^^t^'l means "heroes"
(comp. Ezek. xxiii. 23 H seq.). To xiv. 8; " And the
children of Israel went HDI T'l " denotes that they
went with covered heads (».c. , as free men), or that the
power of Israel was above that of Egypt. To xiv.
27: 1jn"'N means " his strength " (comp. Num. xxiv.
21). To xiii. 19: Tps> ipQ is interpreted hoinilet-
ically as referring to both ]iast and future: "God
remembered you in Egypt, He will remember you at
the Red Sea ; He remembered you by the .sea, He will
remember you also in the desert; He remembered
you in the desert. He will remeniljer you al.so by the
brook of Anion; He remembered you in this world,
He will remember you also in the future world."
The editor of the IMekilta had such a wealth of
haggadic material at his disjiosal that he was en-
abled to compile entire parashiyyot to single verses,



555



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Midrash Hagrg-adah



as to xiv. 15 aud xv. 1 (two paraslii\ yot) ; xv. 2,
11; XX. 2. See Mekilta.

Two passages may be translated here as speci-
mens of the liaggaduli of the 3Iekilta :

To Ex. xvii. II : And it caiuf to jja.ss, whoi Moses held Jip
/ii.s hand, that Israel [ii evaded: aiul when hclct flown his
hand Amalck pirraded. Did the liaiids of Moses belp Israel
to vk'tory or did lliey destroy Ainalek '^ Neither; but as long
as lie pointed his hand upward [heavenwaid] the Israelites
looked up to and believed in Him who had conmianded Moses
to do thus, and the Holy One, praised be He, vouchsafed to
them marvels and victory (comp. R. H. iii. 8). Similarly: "And
the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a flery serpent" [Num.
xxi.8]. fan the serpent kill and make alive again? No;butso
long as Moses did thus, the Israelites looked upon it and be-
lieved in Him who had thus commanded Moses, and the Holy
One, praised be His name, gave them healing. Similarly:
"And the blood shall be to you for a token ..." fEx. xii. 13].
R. Eliezer said : "What mean the words, 'And Israel pre-
vailed,' or ' And Amalek prevailed ' ? So long as Moses kept
up his hand he reminded Israel that they would be victorious
through the word of the Torah, which was to be revealed by
him."

To Ex. XX. I" et seg. (conclusion of the Decalogue) : In what
way were the Ten Commandments given ? Five on one table
and five on the other. There it is written : " I am the Eternal
One, thy God," and opposite to it, "Thou shalt not kill."
Scripture teaches that the person who sheds blood lessens the
image of the king [the prototype of God for man] : simile of
an earthly king who came into a province and erected statues
and images, and minted coins ; subsequently he overturned the
statues, broke the images,- destroyed the coins, and lessened the
image of the king. Similarly, the person who sheds blood
is adjudged to have lessened the image of the king, for it is
written : " Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood
be shed ; for in the image of God made he man " [Gen. ix. 6].
It is written, "Thou shalt have no other gods," and opposite to
it, "Thou Shalt not commit adultery." Scripture teaches that
whosoever practises idolatry is adjudged to have committed
adultery behind God's back, as it is written, " A wife that com-
mitteth adultery, which taketh strangei-s instead of her hus-
band ..." [Ezek. xvi. 33]. It is written, " Thou shalt not take
the name of the Lord thy God in vain," and opposite to it,
"Thou shalt not steal." Scripture teaches that whosoever
steals win flually swear falsely also, as it is written, " Will ye
steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely ? " [Jer.
vii. 9]. It Is written, " Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy,"
and opposite to it, "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Scrip-
ture teaches that whosoever desecrates the Sabbath testifles
that God did not create the world and rest on the seventh day ;
but whosoever keeps the Sabbath testifles that God ci'eated the
world in six days and rested on the seventh, as it is written,
" Therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord " [Isa. xliii. 12].
It is written, " Honor thy father and mother," and opposite to
it, "Thou shalt not covet." Scripture teaches that whosoever
lusteth will Anally beget a son who will curse his father and
mother and will honor him who does not honor his father.
Therefore the Ten Commandments were given, five on one ta-
ble and Ave on the other. This is the view of R. Hanina b.
Gamaliel. The sages say : "Ten were on one table and ten on
the other."

2. The Sifra : Tlie Sifra, or Torat Kohanim,
originating in the school of R. Akiba, with addi-
tions belonging in part to the school of R. Ishmacl,
and finally edited by R. Hiyya, "provides, in so
far as it has been preserved intact, the text of the
Book of Leviticus with a running lialakic commen-
tary which explains or turns almost everj^ word into
a source for a halakic maxim" (Hoffmann, "Zur
Eiuleitiing in die Halachischen Midraschim," j).
21). It contains onlj' a small proportion of hag-
gadic matter, of which the most significant parts are
to Lev. viii. 1-x. 7 (on the dedication of the Taber-
nacle; ed. Weiss, pp. 40c-46b), to Lev. xviii. 1-5
(ih. pp. 85c-8fid), to some verses in the beginning of
the pericope "Kedoshim'' (I>ev. xix. 1-3, 15-18), to
Lev. xxii. 32 et fieq., to the bles.^ings and punishments
announced in Lev. xxvi. 3-46 (ib. pp. 110c-112c).



The following is a translation of the important pas-
sage, to Lev. xix. 17-18, containing Akibas and
Ben 'Azzai's sentences on the fundamental principle
of Judaism:

2'liou slialt not Itate thii hrother. One might take this to
mean. Thou shalt not curse him, nor strike him, nor box his
ears; therefore it is written, " in thy heart," which indicates
that here merely such hatred as is harbored in silence is meant.
And wherefore does it follow that when you have reproved him
four or five times you shall continue to r-eprove him V Because
it is written n^Di.n riDin. This might be taken to mean in case
you reprove him and his countenance changes [shows shame].
Therefore it is written, " that thou sin not on his account." R.
Tarfonsaid," By worship I [i.f.,"by God"] there is no one in our
time who is able to reprove." R. Eleazar b. Azariah said, " By
worship ! there is no person in our time who would accept a re-
proof." R. Akiba said, " l?y worship ! there is no one in our time
who understands how to reprove." R. Johanau b. Nuri said, "I
call heaven and earth to witness that Akiba was lashed by R.
Ganraliel more than four or five times because I complained of
him. And yet I know that he loved me all the more on that
ac<'ount."'

Thou slialt not take vengeance. What is meant by taking
vengeance ? When one person says to another, " Lend me your
sickle," and he will not lend it : then on the following day the
latter says to the former, "Lend me your ax," whereupon he
replies, " I will not lend it to you because you would not lend
me your sickle."

Tliou shalt not l>e rcfentful. What is meant by being re-



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