Copyright
Isidore Singer.

The 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

. (page 139 of 169)
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 139 of 169)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


" genuine " portions of the Pesikta Babbati, in the
proems of B. Tanhuma following the halakic exor-
dium, the year 845 is indicated as the date of com-



Midrash Hag-g-adah



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



562



jiositioii of tlic \V(irl-L ; there are no grDUiuls for le-
garding the date as a gloss (see Pksikta Habbati).
In the appendix to the Friedniann edition four
lioniilies are printed from a manuscript. Nos. 1 and
2 of Aviiieh have yelammedemis and proems. The
midrash referred to Iiere is a later, shorter midrash
for the feast-days, designated as "New Pesikta," and
frequently drawing upon the Pesikta Habbati; it
has been puhlislied by Jellinek in " IJet ha-Midrash,"
vi. ;J()-T().

5. Debarim Rabbah : Debarini Kabbah contains
tweidy-live lioinilies and two fragments of iiomi-
lies on sections of Deuteronomy which are known
for tiie larger part as lessons of the sedarim cycle.
Homilies on the Pesikta les.sons of Deut. x\v. 22 and
x.w. 17 are not included in this nudrasli. Debarim
Kabbah has been fully analyzed in .Jkw. E^cvc. iv.
487, where it lias been said that it contains a much
more comjilete collection of' Tanhuma homilies in a
much more original form than does tiie Midrash
Tanhuma in JJubers and the earlier editions; and it
nuist be again especially noticed here that in De-
barim Kabbah ail homilies begin with halakic exor-
diums (preceded by the word •'halakah'" instead of
the yelammedenu formula), while the pcntioii of
Midrash Tanhuma to Deuteronomy does not have
that introduction in either edition. The proems in
Del)arim Kal)l)ah are (]uite independent structures;
while the old sources, as Vertishalmi, Bereshit l^ab-
I)ah, and AVayiki'a Kabbah, are used, a freer ren-
dering is often noticeable, as well as the endeavor
to translate Aramaic passages into Hebrew. Zunz
ascribes the midrash to about the year DOO. See
Dkhahim 1{ \i;i! \ii.

6. Bemidbar Rabbah: This midrash is, in its
earlier portions, begiiuung with the pericope " Ke-
ha'aloteka," not an independent midrash, but an ex-
tract from Tanhuma, giving, with some variations
and additions, the text of the earlier editions rather
than that of Kuber's edition. The word " hidakah "
instead of "yelammedenu l{abbenu " isadded to the
halakic exordiums in the editions, as in Debarim
Kabbah ; somcof theliomilies in Bemidbar Kabbahare
without the halakic exordiums found in Tanhuma.
The thirty homilies which are foinid here in jiara-
sln'vyot xv.-xxii. (sec r.i;Mii)r.Ai! KAur.An), are on
the whole identical with Tanhuma (the earlier edi
tions, from " I3eha'aloleka " toiheend); noteworthy
amcmg the interpolations is parashah xviii., No. 21
(remarkatile on other grounds also), which is not
found in the manuscripts of Taidiuma. but which
was a<lded to the eili'tio princeps of Tanhuma (Con
stanliiiople, 1.")2()-22) from r>emidi)ar Kabbah. 'I'o
the Taidiuma homilies to N'umbers, lieginning with
ch. viii., was added a later haggailic elaboration of
Num. i.-vii., which, according to Zunz, is not older
than the twelfth century: it is laid out on such a
large scale that, covering only the ])ericopes " r>e
midbjir " and '"Naso."' it takes up nearly three-
fourths of the Midrash Bemidbar Kal)bah. The ex
position of "Naso" is, again, more iIkiii three times
as long as that of " Hemi<lbar '" : in it tiie method of
revising and elaborating tln' old Tanhuma homilies
may still be seen; in the p(iicnp<' " N'a-.o " nearly
all traces of the old arrangemeni have been swept
away by the new Hagiradah. It isfloulit fill whether



the midrash in l)oth ]ierieopes is the woik of the
same author, and it is improbable that originally
it foiined a part of a hagu:adic work which dealt in a
similar way with the entire Book of Numbers. The
extent of the development of the ]Midrasli Ilaggadah
in tli(! course of the centuries, from the epoch of the
tannaitic midrashim down to the period that pro-
duced the Bemidbar Kabbah to Num. ch. i.-vii., ap-
pears on comparing the exegesis to Num. vii. 1 ct
acq., which is so brief that only one verse relating to
the gifts of the princes on the second day is ex-
jiounded, with that in Bemidbar Kabbah, in which
thehaggadist gavea twelvefold ingenious and sug-
gestive exposition of the same gifts. See Bkmidiiaii

KAIUiAII.

7. Shemot Rabbah: The Midrash to Exodus,
containing in the editions lifty-two ])arashiyyot, is
likewi.se not uniform in its composition. In para-
shiyyot i.-xiv. the proems are almost invariably
followed by the running commentary on the entire
seder or other Scriptural division (the beginnings of
the sedarim are distinguished by an asterisk):

(1) Piirasliati i., on *Ex. i. 1-ii. 2.'i ; {•2) par. ii. and iii., on
*E.\. iii. 1-iv. 17; (3) par. iv. and v., Ncjs. :i-S, on*Ex. iv. is-'3i;
(t) par. v., Nos. 1.9 '^, on Ex. iv. 27-vi. 1 ; (5) par. vi., on *Kx.
vi. 'Z-Vi: (ti) par. vii., on Kx. vi. 1:5 it .■«'/.; ^7) par. viii., on Kx.
vii. 1 et Hcq. (a 'J'anliiiina liomilyi; (H) par. Ix., on *Kx. vii.
Si'); (9) par X., on Kx. vii. ^'i>-viii. 15; (10) par. xi., on *Ex.
viii. IG-ix. ]2; (11) par. xii., on Ex.ix. i:!-:].'); (12) par. xiii., on
*Ex. X. 1-2(1; (13) par. xiv.,on Ex. x. 21-29 (there is no exposi-
tion nor, in the Tanhuma niidrasliiin, any homily to *Ex. xi. \K

Shemot Kabbah, beginning with parashah xv.,
contains homilies and homiletical fragments to the
first verses of the Scripture sections. Many of the
homilies are taken from the Taid.uimas. tliou;:li ])ara-
shiyyot xv., xvi.-xix., xx., xxx., and others show
that the author had access also to homilies in many
other sources. In the editionsthe text is .soiiu times
abbi'cviated and the reader referred to such collec-
tions, as well as to the Pesikta; in parashah xxxix.
tiie entire exposition of the Pesikta lesson Ki 'J'is.sa
(Ex. xxx. 11) has been eliminated in tliis fashion.
Such icferences and abi)reviations were doubtless
made by later copyists. There is an interesting
statement in parashah xliv. regarding the manner
of treating a proem-text from the P.salnis for the
homily to Ex. xxxii. Vi. The assumption is justi-
fied that Shemot Kai)liah down to Ex. xii. 1. with
which section the ^Mekilta liegins, is based on an
earlier exegetical midrasli, constituting, jx'rhaps,
the continuation of Bereshit Kabbah. This would
explain the fact that in tiie liisl part there are sev-
eral i)arashiyy()t to the (^i)en and closed Scrii)ture
sections, ami that several expressions recall the ter-
minology of the tannaitic midrash. Zunz ascribes
the composition of the entire work to the eleventh
or twelfth century; although, immediately follow-
ing Bereshit Kabbah in the collection of the rabbot,
it "is separated from the latter by 500 years" ("G.
V." )!. 2.")(;). See Siii.MOT K\i;i;\ii,

8. Ag-gadat Bereshit: .Vizgadat Bereshit is a
ci.jlection of homilies to a luimbcr of sedarim of
(leiiesis, notable for its artistic comixisition. In
Kulier's edition (Cracow. I'.Xi:!) it contains s;5 hom-
ilies in S4 chapters (really 83, since 82 and 83 form
one chapter); each homily, down to ch. Ixxxi., is in
three sections, soarranircd that the first one connects



563



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Uidrash Ha^gadah



Avitli a seder Irom Genesis, tlie seioiul with a jno-
plietic section (wliicii may be reirardeil as the liaf-
taraii to tiiis seder), and tiie tliiid with u psahn
(whicli. perhajis, Wiis recited during worsliip on tiie
Sabbalii for which this seder was a lesson). The
several homilies are combined from proemial pas-
sages iicnerail}' connected with extraneous texts.
'I'wenly-six of the twenty-eiglit sections of tJenesis
are known as sedarim from old lists; Gen. vi. Hand
xviii. '2~). to winch the liomilies in ch. i. ami x\ii.
iiclong, and to w hicii there are homilies in the Tan-
liiima midrashim (to Gen. xviii. 25 in ed. Bnber),
were proi)ably beuinnings of sedarim according to a
dilTercnt division of the sedarim cycle, llence the
Aggailat iiereshit contains the haggadic material for
1 weiiiy-eiglit Sabbaths, ou which, according to the
tiircc year sechirim cycle, the following passages
well' read (the Roman numerals between paien-
liicses indicate the corresponding perakim in the
Tanhuma): (1) Gen. vi. 5 witli Ezek. xxxviii. 10 and
I'>. li. (ch. i.-iii.): (2) Gen. viii. 1 with Jer. xxxi.
!!• and Ps. xvii. (iv.-vi.); (3) Gen. viii. 15 with

Micali vii. 9 and Ps. .\ vii. (\ ii,-ix.) ; (4)

Sedarim and Gen. xi.\. 8 witii ]Micah vii. 9 and Ps.

Homilies, xxvii. (x.-xii.); (.")) Gen. xv. 1 with

Isa. i. 1 and Ps. xxvii. (xiii.-xv.); (6)
(JiMi. xvii. 1 with Jer. xxxiii. ^'5 and Ps. ex. (xvi.-
xviii.); (7) Gen. xviii. 1 with Mai. iii. 19 and I's. ex.
(\ix.-.\xi. ); (S) Gen. xviii. 25 with J\Ial. iii. 18 and
P^. ex. (xxii.-xxiv.); (9) Gen. xx. 1 with Judges
ix. 22 and I's. ex. (xxv. -xxvii. ) ; (10) Gen. xxi. 1
with I Sam. ii. 21 and l^s. ex. (xxviii.-xxx.) ; (11)
fJcn, xxii. ] with Judges iii. 1 and Ps. cxii. (xxxi.-
xxxiii); (12) Gen. xxiv. 1 with I Kings i. 1 and Ps.
cxxi. (xxxiv.-xxxvi.); (13) Gen. xxv. 19 with I
Kings i. 1 and Ps. cxxi. (xxxvii.-xxxix.) ; (14) Gen.
xxvii. 1 with I Sam. ii. 22 and Ps. Ixv. 10 txl.-xlii.) :
(15) Gen. xxvii. 28 with IVIicah v. 6 and Ps. cxxi.
(xliii.-xlv.) ; (16) Gen. xxviii. 10 with Hosea xii.
13 and Ps. cxxi. (xlvi.-xlviii.); (17) Gen. xxix.
31 with I Sam. i. 1 and Ps. cxxi. (xlix.-li. 1); (18)
Gen. XXX. 22 with I Sam. i. 11 and Ps. cxxi. (lii.-
liv.); (19) Gen.xxxii. 4 with Ob. i. 1 and Ps. cxxi.
(Iv.-lvii.); (20) Gen. xxxvii. 1 with Ob. i. 1 and
l^s. cxxix. (Iviii.-lx.); (21) Gen. xxxviii. 1 (correctly
so after a MS.) with Isa. xl. 27 and Ps. cxxix. (Ixi.-
Ixiii.); (22) Gen. xxxix. 1 (so the MS.) with Isa. xl.

27 and Ps. cxxix. (Ixiv.-lxvi.) ; (23) Gen. xli. 1 with
Hag. i. 1 and Ps. cxxix. (Ixvii.-lxix.) ; (24) Gen.
xlii. 1 with Isa. xlix. and Ps. cxxix. (Ixx.-ixxii.) ;
(25) Gen. xliii. 13 with Jer. ii. 4 and Ps. Ixxvi.
(Ixxiii.-lxxv.); (26) Gen. xliv. 18 with I Kings xviii.
36 and l^s. Ixxvi. (Ixxvi. -Ixxviii. ) ; (27) Gen. xlvi.

28 with I Kings xviii. 36 and Ps. Ixxvi. (Ixxix.-
Ixxxi.); (28) Gen. xlix. 1 Avith Isa. xlviii. 12 (Ixxxii.-
Ixxxiii., belonging together, and Ixxxiv. ; there is
no Psahn exposition for this passage.)

The collection is not complete, beginning only
with Gen. vi. 5; there are no homilies to a large
ntimber of sedarim of Genesis, and the ending is de-
fective. The assumption that the prophetic sections
in Aggadat Bereshit are haftarot to the respective
sedarim according to the three-year cycle is in part
supported by the list of the sedarim haftarot which
has been published by Biichler, from a manuscript
source, in the "Jewish Quarterly Review " (1894, vi.



39 ^< f<c(/.): heic, as in Aggadat Bereshit, the sedarim
Gen. XV. 1, xxi. 1, xxvii. 28, xxviii. 10, xxx. 22,
XX xii. 4 have a«signed to tiiem the haftarot Isa. i.

I, I Sam. ii. 21, Micah v. 6. Hosea xii. 13, I Sam. i.

II, Ob. i. 1. After lUichlcr's statements, the dif-
ference in the haftarot to the other sedarim docs not
seem strange. But it is curious that several pro-
phetic sections, as 1 Kings i. 1, xviii. 36, Isa. xl 27,
Ob. i. 1, Micah vii. 9, Malachi iii. IS, are repeated.
The P.salms which are expounded in Aggadat Bere-
shit i)rcscnt a i)r()blem that has not yet been ex-
plained. Ps. xvii. occurs twice, xxvii. twice, Ixxvi.
three times, ex. five times, cxxi. seven times. As
is the case with the above-mentioned prophetical sec-
tions, the seilarim in which the same Psalm is used
are, with one exception, consecutive, the treatment
being always a (lifTerent one and disjilaying not a
little of the art of midrashic exegesis.

The contents of Aggadat Bereshit were taken, for
the greater part, from Tanhuma, and there are
many signs to indicate a lute date of composition of
the midrash; nor is it quoted, according to Buber,
by the old authors. The author of this work
must have been living in a country where Greek was
freely spoken; he uses Greek words not found in
other midrashim — as in ch. xi., D^Spn ci/"";) — ■
words for which he could easily have substituted
equivalent Hebrew expressions. The word in-
stanced, a ii-a^ ?.f}ofinnv. Avas recognized to be
Greek even by Menahem di Lon.sino, who first ed-
ited this midrash at the end of the collection "Shcle
Yadot '• fVenicc, 1618),

9. We-Hizhir (Hashkem) : Although t lie dis-
cussion of the purely haggadic Pentateuch mid-
rashim does not belong to this article, yet a brief
mention of a work known to the old authors in-
differently as Midrash. we-Hizhir or Midrash.
Hashkem is iTMpiired here. It took its halakic por-
tion from the Talmudic sources, the baraita on the
buildingof the Tabernacle, the " She'eltot," and the
"Halakot Gedolot," the "She'eltot" also beinu' ar-
ranged according to the one-year cycle and being in
its minor portions especially dependent on Tanhuma.
The first ])art of the Munich codex, after which the
work was published (by I. M. Freimaim, under the
title "We Hizhir." part i., Leipsic, 1873: part ii.,
Warsaw, 1880), is doubtless somewhat defective. It
begins with a haggadic pa.ssage, which, belonging
to Ex. viii. 16 (" Wa-yomer hashkem ba-boker "), is
found also in tlie earlier eilitions of Taidiunia (ed.
Stettin, ,v.r. '•>Va'era." p. 14).

The work was called "Hashkem" after the second
word in this introductor}- sentence. In the editions
as well as in the codex this first passage, as well as
the beginning of the following haggadic passage to
Ex. ix. 22, included in bcjth Tanhumas in the jieric-
ope " Wa'era," is erroneously combined with a i)as-
sage to Ex. x. 21 — which also, perhaps, was taken
from Tanhuma — as belonging to the perico]ie "Bo. "
The midrash was called by other authors "We-Hi/-
hir," after the standing formula ""\Ve-hizhir lia-
Kadosh, baruk Hti," with which nearly all the
pericopes in the midrash as now extant begin, and
which is occasionally found at the beginning of a
new section in the middle of the pericope. No one,
however, quotes Hashkem and We-Hizhir together



Midrash Hag^^adah



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



564



as two difft'i-cnt works. "Tlie lialtikic expositions
refff in ' Ijo ' to tlie fetillin : in ' Beshallali ' to the
rest on tlic Subbatli and tlio ' dine 'enib ' ; in ' Yitro '
to tlie conmumdnients connected with the Deca-
logue; in ' ;Mislipatiin ' to the requirements of the
juilge; in ' Teruniah ' to the pri'eslly gift: in ' Wa-
yakhel' to the Sabbath; in ' Wayikra ' to slaughter-
ing; in ' Zaw ' lo the oath and the testimony of wit-
nesses; in ' Shennni ' to tiie 'dine terefah ' ; in
' Tazria' ' to the ' dine yoledot ' ; in ' Mezora' ' to the
' dine tum'ah ' ; in 'Ahare ' and ' Kedoshim ' to for-
bidden marriages; in " Behukkotai ' to vows; in
• Bemidbar ' to the 'dinebekor ' " (Zunz, "G. S." iii.
258). The haggadic portions are those mentioned
above; also part i., pp. 4a f^ f«'q. (from the Mekilta);
pp. \9ii,etseq. (from Tanhuma, ed. Buber, and Me-
kilta); p. 23a (from Mekilta); p. 76b (after Tan-
huma); pp. 115a et seq., 121b (after Tanhuma); p.
128b (after Tanhuma, ed. Buber); partii., pp. 34b
et aeq. (from Wayikra Kabbah, i.\.); p. 128b (from
Sifra), etc.

The midrash, which ends in the edition with the
balakic jiassage (to Num. v. 11 et seq.) n "3pn TnTill
"131 ^nZ'vh n-jpor ■'D ^^K', is probably defective at
the end as well as in some other passages (following
the manuscript), and it can not be determined
whether it covered Numbers only or Numbers and
Deuteronomy. Several passages quoted by the old
authors, but not found in the edition, may have been
included in the missing portion of the work. Zunz,
who closely examined the manuscript after which
the edition was subsequently printed {I.e. pp. 251 et
seq.). comes to the conclusion that We-Hizhir and
Hashkem are one and the same work. This view
must be unhesitatingly accepted (comp. also Geiger's
" Jiid. Zeit." 1875, pp. 95etseq.). The fact that some
passages quoted by the old authors from the Mid-
rash Hashkem do not correspond entirely with the
edition, and that some are not found in it at all, does
not prove that these are two different works (as
Freimann, Buber, and Gri'inhut assume). The
differences are not important, and both differences
and omissions maybe due to variations in the copies
or to different revisions. The work, which is
quoted as early as the middle of the eleventh cen-
tury as a recognized authority, is assigned by Zunz
to the tenth century. The assumption of the edi-
tor expressed even in the title, that Hefez Alluf is
tlie author of the work, lacks support. The (luo-
tations from Hashkem by the old authors have
been collected by Griinhut (" Sefer ha-Likkutim,"
part i.).

Se(! MiDK.xsHiM, Sm.\m,er, for the Midrash Ab-
kir (which jjrobably covered Genesis and E.\-
odus, and of which extracts are preserved in the
Yalkut). for Tadshe (based on Gen. i. 11), forWa-
yissa'u (on Gen. xxxv. 5), for Wayosha' (on Ex.
xiv. 30-xv. 18), for the Midrash of the Ten Com-
mandments, and for Esfa (on Num. xi. 1(3).

III. The Exegetical Midrashim to Canti-
cles, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, and Esther : The
midrashim to the Five Rolls, which, like the Babbot
to the Pentateuch, are entirely separate midrashic
works, are, as mentioned above, printed together in
the editio princeps, Pesaro, 1519. under the title
"Midrash llumcsh .Megillot"; in the Venice edition,



1545, the word " Kabbeta " was added to the title.
The sequence of the midrashim with the names
given to them in the paginal superscriptions of the
Venice edition (as in the editio princeps) is as fol-
lows: (1) "Shir ha-Shirim Kabbah" (called " Kab-
bati " in the editio princeps, and, at the end, "'Mid-
rash Shir ha-Shirim"); (2) "Midrash Kuth " (at the
end, "Midrash Megillat Kuth ") ; (3) "Midrash Mc-
gillat Esther" (at the end, ".Alidrash Ahashwerosli '");
(4) "Ekah Kabbati " (at the end, "Midrash Ekah
Kabbati"); (5) "Midrash Kohelet " (at the end,
"Nishlam Midrash Hamesh Megillot"). Hence the
words "Kabbah" and "Kabbati" are added to two
only of the midrashim, each of the three others
being called merely "Midrash." The five works
collecteel here were, perhaps, the most popular mid-
rashim to the rolls used during divine service ; other
midrashim to the rolls have, in part, been published
recentl}'. The very old midrash Ekah Kabbati has
been discussed above; the remaining four are treated
below.

1. Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah, or Midrash Shir
ha-Shirim (called also Midrash or Aggadat
Hazit, after the proem-verse Prov. xxii 24, quoted
in the beginning): Shir ha-Shirim Kabbali is an ex-
egetical midrash to Canticles, in which the author
collected and edited, verse by verse, following the
Biblical text, the wealth of material at his disposal.
Canticles was made the subject of midrashic inter-
pretation at a very earlj' date; Akiba declared it to
be "most holy," taking it as an allegorical gloriticu-
tion of the relation between God and Israel. Kules
for its exposition occur in the midrashim to i. 1, 2,
and ii. 4. "Canticles must not be interpreted to the
shame [that is, erotically] but to the glory of
Israel " ; " Where the word ' king ' stands, there
God [or, according to another view, Israel as a
whole] is meant." Some passages were explained as
glorifications of the exodus from Egypt, the revela-
tion of the Temple, etc. The numerous interpreta-
tions of single verses in the Seder 'Olam, Sifre, Me-
kilta, and the Talmud follow this old allegorical
method of interpretation. Much of this interpreta-
tion is found in Shir ha-Shirim Kabbah, taken di-
rectly or indirectl}' from those old sources. But
not all the comments are so old. The compiler of
the Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah, who intended to com-
[lile a running midrash to Canticles, took — as has
often been remarked in connection witn theexegetic
midrashim — the expositions for the single verses
wherever, and in whatever connection, he found
these verses explainetl.

There is a remarkable variation in the extent and
characterof the several expositions; there are clearly
recognizable proems f-rom older homilies; whole
sermons, with many variations of texts, on several
verses; and short, disconnected explanations of
single words and sentences, tiie expositions to the
same or similar verse-parts being repeated here two
or three times, as in other old midrashim. Shir ha-
Shirim Kabbah is dependent on the Pesikta and
Wayikra liahbah as well as on Yerushalmi and
Bereshit Rabbah. Thcproems borrowed from these
works may be recognized by the linal formulas,
which also were borrowed. More than one- fourth
of Shir ImShirim is directly borrowed from Yeru-



565



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Midrash Hag-gradah



shalmi and the three old midrashim mentioned.
Mislinah passages and baiaitot are quoted very fre-
quently. The live proems in the beginning .of the
midrasli each close with the same sentence, taken
Irom Seder "Olam. The author has, of course, used
also other sources that are no longer extant. The
longer pa.ssages, as liiose to Cant. iii. 9-10, iv. 1-4,
jiiuiOthers, are, perhaps, taken from these sources, or
tliey may be the Avork of the author himself; they
contain interpretations of several verses, and most
of them consist of several variations of the same
theme (presented, however, in a way diiferent from
that found in the variations of the earlier midrashim),
in which entire sentences are frequently repeated
verbatim, and in some of which many passages from
the Misiinah, etc., aie quoted.

In the editions these passages are, almost inva-
riably, wrongly divided, making a survey of them
(iilticiilt. They belong, doubtless, to a later period
of tiie midrash— j.e., the time after the edition of
Bcreshit Rabbah, "Wayikra Kabbah, and the Pesikta.
Tlie words "Sidra Tinyaua " are inserted between
the comments to Cant. ii. 7 and ii. 8; in the sedarim
cycle theie are no sedarim for Canticles. Two other
midrashim to Canticles, lost for centuries, are now
known— the Aggadat Shir ha-Shirim, published by
Solomon Schechter (Cambridge, 1896; also by Bubcr
in ".Midrash Zuta," pp. 1-41), and the Midrash Shir
ha-Shirim, published by Grunhut (1897). For these
midrashim and their relation to the Shir ha-Shirim
Kabbali discussed here see Song of Songs, Mid-
rashim TO.

2. Midrash Ruth : Midrash Pvutli (so called in
the editio piinceps and the Venice edition) contains
comments, haggadic sentences, etc., following the
seciuence of the text, and is divided into eight para
shiyyot, beginning at Puth i. 1, i. 2, i. 18, i. 22, ii
1(1, iii. 8, iii. 14, iv. 18. The midrash begins with a
passage called a "petihta," consisting of six proems,
and a lengthy exposition of an old haggadic rule
(probably taken from Bereshit Rabbah or Wayikia
Rabbah and found in other midrashim), " which has
been brought back from the Exile" and which de
dares that a time of sorrow is referred to wherever
a Ijiblical story begins with the words "It happened
in the days f)f." There are also proems toparashiy-
yct iii., iv., vi., and viii. Parashah ii. begins with
a composite exposition to I Chron. iv. 21-23: para
shah v. with an exposition to I Chron. xi. 13-15
taken from Yerushalmi. ]Midrash Ruth has bor-
rowed from Yerushalmi, Bereshit Rabbah, Pesikta,
Wayikra Rabliali, etc., and, perhaps, from Babli
also; it has several passages in common with the
^Midrash Kohelet, as, e.g., to Ruth iii. 13, the story
of R. Mei'r and his teacher Elisha ben Abuyah,
which, probably, was not taken directly from its
source, "lei. Hag. ii. 77b, c.

Among the other longer passages maybe men
tinned the sixfold interpretation ("shet shittin") of
R. Johauan, leferring to David, Solomon, Hezekiah.
Manasseh, the Messiah, and to Boaz himself Boaz's
words to Ruth in ii. 14. The passage " Famine came
ten times into the world," found in Bereshit Rab-
bah XXV. (40), 64 to Gen. v. 29 (xii. 10), xxvi. 1, is
quoted in connection with Ruth i. 1 ("there was
a famine"), and is here further worked out with ref-



erence to Elinielech. An inexact reference to Bere-
.shit Rabbah occurs in the editions, in a defective
passage toward the end of the work. In this pas-
sage, to Ruth iv. 18, there must have been the in-
terpretation of the writing of the word nn^lD
which is quoted by Abravanel in "Yeshu'ot .Me-
shiho " (ed. Konigsberg, p. 55b) from the Midrash
Ruth, and which is found also in Lekah Tob to
Ruth jft. In regard to this interpretation a copyist
has referred the reader to Bereshit Rabbah xii. (6);
and in connection with the words y\Zi }nS there must
have been added to the interpretation of n^X and n^XI



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 139 of 169)