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

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in Deut. R. xi. and the second recension on the orig-
inal version. Early in the midrash the angels Ga-
briel and Zangaziel, "the scribe of all the sons of
heaven," are mentioned; but in the last hours of
the life of Moses it is Samael, the head of the Sa-
tans, whose activity is most conspicuous as lie
watclies for the passing of the soul, while Michael
weeps and laments. At last Samael receives the
command to bring the soid of Moses, but flees in
terror before his glance. Again he appears with a
drawn sword before Moses, but he has to yield be-
fore the "shem ha-meforash," carved on the staff of
the leader of Israel. The last moment approaches,
however, and God Himself appears to receive Moses'
soul. The three good angels accompany Him to
prepare a resting-place for Moses, whose soul at
length is taken in the kiss of death. See Moses in


Large portions of this midrash are contained in
Deut. R., ed. Wiliia, xi. 4, 7, 8, 9 (?), and 10, where
they must be regarded as later additions. The en-
tire passage represented by paragrajjhs
Other Re- 9 and 10 of Deut. R. xi. is found also,
censions. cond)ined in the same manner, in
Yaik., Deut. 9-10 (on Deut. xxxi. 14),
where the Midrash Petirat Mosheh is given as the
source. Sifre 305 contains an little hag-
gadah on Moses and the angd of deatli (rf)nip.

Pe.sik. p. 199b; Deut. R. xi. 5). A long citation
from the beginning of the midrash is also contained
in a homil}' in Tan., Wa'ethanan, 6 (on Deut. iii.
26), treating of the same theme, the death of Moses.

A second recension is based on Prov. xxxi. 39, and
is considered by Jeliinek, but probably incorrectly,
to be the older. It was edited by him in "B. H." vi.
71-78, and has an entirely different beginning from
that which is found in the other recension (comp.
Deut. R. xi. 8). As it is based upon a defective
manuscript, the manner in which this introduction
was connected with the original midrash can not
be determined; but what follows the missing por-
tion docs not differ essentially from that found in
the first recension, although it is somewhat shorter
and is changed in arrangement. Moses' lament that
he may never taste the fruits of the land receives a
long explanatory addition to the effect that he grieved
not for the products of the earth, but because he
Avould be unable to fulfil the divine commands per-
taining to Palestine.

A third recension or revision of the midrash was
published by Gaulmyn (Paris, 1692), together with
a Latin translation and the first recension. In the
"Assumptio Mosis" the manuscript ends abruptly
before the account of the assumption from which
that work receives its name. According to Schurer,
this concluding portion must have related to the dis-
pute of tiie archangel Michael with Satan, men-
tioned in Jude 9.

BrBi.iOfiRAPHY : Zunz, G. V. p. 146; Jeliinek, D. H. 1., p. xxi.;
vl., pp. .xxi. ct seq.; Schurer, Gescli. 3d ed., iii. 219 ef seq.

13. Midrash. Ta'ame Haserot we-Yeterot :

This midrash, which has been edited most completely
by Wertheimer (Jerusalem, 1899), gives haggadic
explanations not only of the words which are writ-
ten defective or plene, as the title of the work im-
plies, but also of a great number of those which
are not read as the}' are written (comp. on the ketib
in Wertheimer's ed., Nos. 8, 11, 13, 19, 21-30, 37,
51, 89, 106, 111, 113, 124, 125, 127-129, 131, 134, 138-
140, 181, and No. 12 on a word which is read with-
out being written). There are likewise notes on
names and words winch are read differently in differ-
ent places {£.(/., in Nos. 17, 20, 123, 126, 141, 142, 164.
172), on the cTraf Ityo/itvov HD^DC, Judges iv. 18 (No.
108), on the peculiar writing of certain words {e.f/..
No. 133 on naiD^, Isa. ix. 6, and No. 163 on Nisfjnn,
Josh. X. 24), and on the suspended letters in Judges
xviii. 30, Ps. Ixxx. 14, and Job xlviii. 50 (Nos. 112-
114). The midrash may be termed, therefore, a Masor-
etic one, although it frequently deviates from the Ma-
sorah. The haggadic interpretations are derived for
the most i)art from scattered pa.ssagesin the Talmud
and in the Midrashim, while the arrangement is
capricious, the individual words being arranged
neither according to the order of the alphabet nor
according to the seciuence of the books of the Bible.
In the different manu.scripts and editions of it this
midrash varies considerably, not only in the number
and arrangement of the passages which it discusses,
l)Utalsoin the wording of individual interpretations.
It is cited under its present title in the Tosafot (Ber.
34a). in the " Sefer JSIizwot Gadol " of Moses of Coucy,
and by Asher ben Jehiel, while it is called "Midrash
Haserot we-Yeterf)t" bv'Solomon Norzi. A brief

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(From the Sulzbergir collection in the JewisU Tli«ilo2ical Seininary of America. New York.)




extract from tliis work (■mniieratiiiii: tl)L' words to be
writteu "(Icreclive " or " plt-ne," but oiuitliug tlic
reason therefor, is contained in tlic ilahzor Vitry,
§ /)18, pp. 6.J6 ct seq.

To tlie .Masoretic niidrashiin belong also the
explanations of passages read and not written or
written and not read which have been edited from
an old grammatical anil Masoretic tniscellany in the
■• Manuel du Lecteur " of Joseph Derenbourg (Paris,
1871), and in Jacob Saphir's "Eben Sappir " (ii. 218
et xcq.. Mavence, 1874), and reprinted by Jellinek in
his"B. IL"(v. 27-80).;raphy : The midrash on tlie reasons for words written
■•defeitive" and "plene" was edited by Berliner on tlie
basis i>f a Munich niaruiscript in his Pdctat .So/eri///. He-
bi-ew section, pp. 3t) ct. .sei/., Breslau, 1872; by Wertheitner on
the basis of a Genizali manuscript in the Batte Midrasliot, i.
:S f f scq., iii. 1 et .st'</.; and on the basis of a codex of De Rossi
in the edition mentioned in the text; comp. Berliner, I.e.
German section, pp. ;i-t et .sci/.; the introductions of Wert-
heitner in the various editions : Zunz, G. V. p. 284; Rah J'c-
'(iliin, pp. 6.') ft ,sc(/.; Buber in Ha-SliaJiar, iv.

14. Midmsh Tadshe (called also Baraita de-
Rabbi Pinellas b. Ya'ir) : This small midrash l)e
gins w ith an interpretation of Gen. i. 11 : " And God
said, Let tlie earth bring forth" (" Tadshe haarez ").
"Why," asked K. Phiuehas, "did God decree that
grass' and herbs aad fruits should grow upon the
tliird day, while light was not created tintil the
fourth? To show His intinite power, which is al-
mighty ; for even without the light He caused the
earth to bring forth [wliile now He creates all man-
ner of trees and plants through the operation of the
lightj." The name of the author occurs twice (ed.
Ejistein, pp. x.xi., xxxi.); and the miilrash closes
witii the words " 'ad kan me-dibre K. Pinehas ben
Ya'ir. " No other authors are named. This midrash
is peculiar in several respects, varying in many state-
ments from other midrashim; and, although written
in pure Hebrew, it contains numerous expressions
whicii are not found elsewhere, such as "lOiyn JPI,

nnD"l:^'^ jn. D-ync D^aDn (-"planets," !>. .\ix.).

The structure of the midrash is very loose.

The Midrash Tadshe is in the main symbolic in
tendency, and it plays much on groups of numbers.
Section 2 contains a symbolization of the Tabernacle;
and, according to Ejistcin, tlie central idea of the
midrash is the theory of three worlds — earth, man,
and the Tabernacle. Section 10 contains a mystic
explanation of the numbers mentioned in connection
with the olTerings of the princes (comp. Num. vii.
12 ct seq.). Combinations and parallelisms based on
the number ten are found in sections 5 and 15; on
seven, in 6, 11, and 20; on six, in 20; on five, in 7;
on four, in 20; on tliree, in 12, 18, etc. Desultory
expositions of Gen. ii. 17; iii. 3, 14 e.t Heq.\ Ex. vii.
12 et ■<<eq., 83 et Kcq. ; Lev. xiii. 2, xiv. 34; Lam. i. 1
et.feq.; Num. iv. 3. xxvii. 7; and Deut. xxxii. 12,
are contained in sections 7, 10, 17, 20, 21, and 22.
Especially noteworthy is section 8, on "the ages of
tlie pious," the Patriarclis. Ihe Matriarchs, and tlie
twelve sons of Jacob, giving also tiie dates of their
births. In this list the months are not designated as
Nisan, etc., but as "tlie first," "the .second," etc.
The dates for Zebiilun and Benjamin are larking in
the present text. l)Ut aie given in a citation by
Bahya and in the Yalkut, where, however, the
months are named and not numbered. The length
of life ascribed to tlie .sons of Jacob agrees witli that

given in the Seder '01am Zuta; but only the Book
of Jubilees gives the days and months of their
liirths, and even it does not state the length of their
lives (comp. Jubilees, xxviii. and xxxii., where,
however, some dates tlilTer from those given in the
midrash). On the otiier hand, section 6 of the Mid-
rash Tadshe is in entire agreement with the Book
of Jubilees (ii., iii., iv., vii., x., xii., xiv., xv., and

xxxiii.) in its statement that twenty-
Analogies two varieties of things were created
with the in the world — seven on the first day;
Book of one on the second ; four on the third ;
Jubilees, three on the fourth ; three on the fifth ;

and four on the sixth — and that these
twenty-two varieties correspond to the twenty -two
generations from Adam to Jacob (and to the twenty -
two letters of the alphabet).

Epstein has drawn attention to other striking
analogies between this midrash and the Book of
Jui)ilees, especially to the strange theory of Rabbi
Phiuehas b. Jair (p. xxxi.) that Adam was created
in the first week, and that Eve was formed in the
second week, from his rib ; this serving as the founda-
tion for the rule of purification given in Lev. xii. 2
et seq., with which Jubilees, iii. 8 is to be compared.
On these grounds, Epstein advances the hypothesis
that in this and many^ other passages the author of
the Midrash Tadshe used the Book of Jubilees,
which existed at that time in Hebrew and was
much larger in scope than at present, and was as-
cribed, "on account of its Essenic tendency," to
Rabbi Phiuehas b. Jair, who was famous for his
great piety. It is hardly probable, however, tiiat
the present Book of Jubilees is incomplete; and a
much more plausible view of Epstein's is that
which regards the, Midrash Tadshe as the work of
Rabbi Moses ha-Darshan. Either on account of its
beginning, or for some other reason, R. Phinehas b.
Jair was regarded as the author of this midrash, and
Num. R. xiii. 10 and xiv. 12, 18 contain several ex-
positions and maxims from it cited under the name
(jf that tanna. The midrash, from which Yalkut
excerpted several passages and whicli has been cited
by various authors, has been edited according to
manuscript .sources by Jellinek ("B. H."iii. 1G4-193)
and by Ep.stein (" Beitrage zur Jlidischen Alter-
thumskunde," Vienna, 1887).

The Midrash Tadshe must not be confused with
another baraita bearing the title "Baraita de-Rabbi
b. Jair," which deals with gradations of virtues, the
highest of which its po.ssessor to share in the
holy spirit (comp. Sotah, end, and parallels).

Bibliography: Zunz. G. V. p. 580; linh I'c\^li>iu pp. 114 ct
seq.; Jellinek, «. Jl. iii.. pp. xxxiii. et neq. ; vi., p. xxix.;
Epstein, I.e. pp. i.-xiv.: idem, Le Livre ilea Juliiles, J'lii-
lon et Je Mii1rn.'<e}i Tafl.-<elie. in II. E. J. xxl. 8() ef kcq., xxii.
1 et .sf(/.; Weiss, Dor, iv. 21t); Kautzsch, A ik ikryph en, ii. 37;
Bacher. Aq. Tail. ii. 497, 4i)9; (Jriinhut, Sefer ha-Likkntim,
ii. 2<m.

15. Midrash Temurah (called by Me'iri Mid-
rash Temurot) : A small midrash consisting of
thiee chapters. It develops the view tiiat God in
His wisdom and might lias created all things on earth
as contrasted i)airs which iiuitually supplement each
other. Life is known only as ojtposed to death, and
dcatli as opposed to life: and, in like manner, if all
were foolish or wise, or rich or poor, it would not be
known that they were foolish or wise, or rich or





poor. "Therefore God created man and woman,
beauty and deformit3% tire and water, iron and wood,
iiirlit and darkness, lieat and cold, footl and I'aniinc.
driniv and tliirst, walking ami lameness, sighl nud
blindness, hearing and deafness, sea antl land,
siieech and dumbness, activity and rc]n)se, ]iain and
pleasure, joy and sorrow, health and sickness." and
the like. In ch. iii. the antitheses given in Eccl. iii.
1 (t !<(''/. are enumerated and are paralleled with I's.
c\.\.\vi. Ch. i., which contains an interesting an-
thropological i)assage, and ch. ii. begin witii pseud-
epigraphical interpretations ascribed by the midi-ash
to Habbis Jshmael and Akiba; the latter appeal,
consequently, as joint authors of the midrash.

According to Jellinek, the ^lidrasti Temurah was
composed in the first half of the thirteenth century,
since it drew upon Ibn Ezra and upon Galen's dia-
logue on the soul, even though it is cited by Me'iri
and Al)raham Abulafia. It was first edited by
A/.ulai (Leghorn, 1786), being ap])ended to the sec-
ond part of his " Shem ha-Gedolim ": and it has been
reprinted by Jellinek ("B. II." i. 10(i-114).

r.UU.IOGRAPHV : ZuilZ, (J. V. p. US; Udh Pr'nUui, pp. 1~';! ft
se'i.; J.'lliiiek, Ii. IL i., pp. xx. ct siq.

16. Midrash. Wa-Yekullu : A nddrash named
after Gvu. ii. 1 (••Wa-Yekullu ha-Shamayim "). It
contained both halakic and haggadic material, and
(h)ubt!ess covered several books of the Pentateuch;
but it now exists only in citations by various authors
after the middle of tlie twelfth century. ln"IIa-
Pokeali," §§ 192, 209, 320, and 324. passages from it
are quoted as belonging to (icn. .\i.\. 24, to the
jiericoiH'S Behukkotai and Beha^aloteka and to
Dent. ii. 31. Judging from the first and fourth of
these citations, the Midrash Wa-Yekullu was a
homiletic one, since Tanhuma on Gen. .\i.\. and on
Deut. ii. 31, as well as Deut. P. on the latter pas-
sage, likewise contains homilies. The midrash must
have derived much material from the Tanhuma-
Yelammedenu, since some of the few fragments that
have been preserved agree more or less accurately
with passages from the Tanhuma or with e.xcerpts
in Yalkut from Yelammedenu. The midrash seems
also to have been called "Wayekullu Pabbah."
The citations from it are collected in Grimhut's
"Sefer ha-Likkutim," ii. 16b ct seq.

BiBLiOfiRAPHV: Ziinz, G. V. p. 281 ; idem. G. S. iii. 253; Ka/<
Pc'alim. pp. 'V2 ct seq.; GrCinhut, Scfrr ha-Likkiitiin, Intro-
duction, pp. i;$ ct neq.

17. Midrash Wayissa'u : This small midrasli,
"the lieroic legend of the .sons of Jacob," is based on
Gen. XXXV. 5 and xxxvi. 6, and recounts the story
of the Avars of Jacob and his sons against the kings
of the Amoritesand against Esau and his army. The
beginning of its version of the former story is as
follows: "Our teachers said that although they did
not pursue after them this time, yet seven years later
all tlic kings of the Amorites gatliered themselves
together against the sons of Jacob. " That the legends
contained in the Wayissa'u are very old may be in-
ferred from the Book of Jubilees, xxxiv., xxxvii. ct
seq., and from the Testament of Judah (Kautzsch,
" Apokryphen," ii. 97 ct scq., 102 ct mj., 471 ct acq.):
the midrash betrays its relationship to these old
pseudepigraphical writings in many details. The
war against tlie Amorites is treated at greater

lenglli in the "Sefer ha-Yashar," pericope "Beshal-
iah." The miilrasii itself is contained in Yalk.,
Gen. 133, and is mentioned by Nal.imanides on Gen.
xxxiv. 13, as "Sefer ,Milhamot Bene Yaakob."

The text has been edited according to the Yalkiit
by Jellinek C" Ii. II." iii. 1-")), and by Chones (in his
edition of " Pab Pe'alim," pp. ir)3 ct scq.), and by
Charles in liis edition of the Book of Jubilees, Ap-
pendix 11., Oxford, 1895.

imtLiocjRAi'iiv : Ziinz, G. V. p. U.") ; Rat) I'c'aliin, |)p. ."U ct
.v<i/.; Jflliiick, ]{. Jl- ill., PI'- IX- <t ■"■(■'/•

18. Midrash Wayosha' : A midrash based on
E\. xiv. 30-xv. IS. It is an exposition in tlie style
of the later liaggadah and seems to have been in-
tended for tlie "Shirah" Sai»l)aili or for the seventh
(lav of the Passover. Entire sections are taken
verbatim from tlie Tanhiuna, such as the passage
on Ex. XV. 3 from Tan., Bo, and on xv. o from
Hukkat, beginning. ^Vilh the story in the exposi-
tion of Ex. xiv. 30, (■onceniing Satan, wlio appeared
before Abraliam and Isaac as they went to the sac-
ritice. niay be compared the addition in Tan., Wa-
yera, ed. Stettin, No. 21; Yalk., Ex. i^ii 9S-99. end;
and "Sefer ha-Yashar," end of i)eric()pe " Wayera."
The midrash on Ex. xv. 2, 7 also contains extracts
from the Chronicle of Closes, tlie i)assage on Usa,
tlie genius of Egypt, agreeing word for word with
the excerpt in Vall.i., g24I. Here the tirst edition
has merely " ]\Iitlrash," while other editions give the
Midrash Abkir as the source, although it is doubtful
whether this haggadah ever occuired in that work.

The sections begin for the most i)art with the
words "ameru hakamim," though Pabbi Joshua ben
Levi and Pabbi Samuel b. Nahmani are occasionally
given as the authors. In the exposition of xv. 18 on
the .sorrows and the redemi)tion in llie .Messianic time,
the terrible figure of King isdescribed, and
it is said that he will slay the ^Messiah of the race of
Joseph, but will himself beslain by the Messiaii who
is the son of David (comp. Side. 52ii); God will then
gather together the scattered remnant of Israel and
hold the final judgment; and the wonderful lieauty
of a new world full of joy and happiness is revealed.

The Midrash Wayosha' was first published at
Constantinople in 1519 (Melz, 1849, and elsewhere),
and has been reprinted by Jellinek (" B. II." i. 35-37).

BiBi.iOGRAFiiv : Zunz. (r. r. p. ~'S2: Tldti /VVf/i/n, p. .15; ,(el-
lint'lv, /}. 11. i , p. xvii.; Beniacob, Oznr lia-Sitariiii, p. ~''J0.

The more recent collections of small midrashim
mentioned in this article and in Minu.^sii IlA(u;.\p.\n
are the following: A. Jellinek, " B. H." i>arts i.-iv.,
Leipsic, 1853-57; parts v.-vi., Vienna, 1873-78;
Hayyim M. Horowitz, "Agadat Agadot," etc., Ber-
lin, 1881; idoii, "Bet 'Eiied ha-Agadot: Bibliothcca
Ilaggadica," 2 parts, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1881;
idem, " Kebod Huppah," if). 1888; idem, "Tosefta
Attikta: Uralte Tosefta's," i.-v.. ih. 1889-90; S. A.
Wertheimer, "Batte Midrashot," i.-iv., Jeru.salem,
1893-97; idem, "Leket :\ndrashim," ib. 1903; L.
Grfmhut, "Sefer lia-Likkutim, Sammlung Aelterer
Midraschim," etc., i.-vi., ih. 1898-1903; comp. also
Abraham AVilna, "Pab Pe'alim," ed. Cliones, pp.
133 ct scq.: II. L. Strack, in Herzog-IIauck, "Real-
Encyc." *.r. "Midrascii."

In these collections, especially in JeHinek's "Bet
ha Midrash," there are many small midrashim, either




edited there for the first time or reprinted, as well
as a number of works under other names, a discus-
sion of wliich belongs rather to an article on mystic
literature. The following treatises, liowever, may
be mentioned heie, the titles being given for the
most part according to Jellinek :

(1) Agadat Mashiah (Haggadah of the Messiah;
ih. iii. 14,\. et seq.). (2) Baraita Ma'ase Bereshit (in
Chones' addenda to Abraham Wilua's " Kab Pe-
'alim," pp. 47 et seq.) ; also Seder Kabbah de-Bereshit
(in Wertheimer, I.e. i. 1-31). (3) Gau 'Eden we-
Gehinnom (Paradise and Hell; ib. v. 42 et seq.).
(4) Ma'aseh R. Yehoshua' b. Levi (History of K.
Joshua b. Levi ; ib. ii. 48 et seq.). (5) Midrash Kouen
(in "B. II." ii. 23-39); Be-Hokmah Yasad (Divine
Wisdom ; ib. v. 63-69) ; Masseket Gehinnom (Tract-
ate of Gehenna; ib. i. 147-149). (6) Milhamot ha-
Mashiah (War of the Messiah; ib. vi. 117 et seq.).
(7) Misterot R. Shim'on b. Yohai (Mysteries of R.
Simeon b. Yohai; ib. iii. IS et seq.). (8) Otiyot de-
Rabbi Akiba (Alphabetical Midrash of R. Akiba;
first and second recensions in "B. H." iii. 12-64;
comp. ib. V. 31-33; vi., p. .\1. ; Wertheimer, I.e. ii.
23 et seq. ; and see Akiba ben Joseph, Alphabet
OF); Hekalot Rabbati (Great Hekalot; in "B. H."
iii. 83-108); Masseket Hekalot (Tractate Hekalot;
ib. ii. 40-47; comp. also ib. i. 58 et seq., iii, 161 et
seq., vi. 109 et seq.); and "Baraita Ma'ase Merka-
bah" (in Wertheimer, I.e. ii. 1.5-25). (9) Otiyot
Mashiah (Signs of the Messiah; ib. ii. 58-63). (10)
Pirke Eliyahu (Sections Concerning the Messiah ;
ib. iii. 68 et seq. ). (11) Seder Gan 'Eden (Description
of Paradise; ib. ii. 52 et seq.; second recension, ib.
iii. 131-140; additions, ih. 194-198). (12) Sefer Eli-
yahu (Apocalypse of Elijah ; ib. iii. 65 et seq.). (13)
Sefer Zerubbabel (Book of Zerubbabcl; ib. ii. 54-57;
comp. also Wertheimer, I.e. ii. 25 et seq., 29 et seq.).

E. c. J. T.

MIDWIFE.— Biblical Data : Mid wives are re-
ferred loin the Bible as having been employed among
the Hebrews at an early period; thus Rachel and
Tamar were assisted by midwives (Gen. wxv. 17,
x.x.xviii. 28). They were called in, however, only
in rare cases. For instance, the delivery of Rachel
is expressly stated to have been a difficult one, and
Tamar was delivered of twins. But in general
midwives were dispensed with. Thus in Egypt,
where the Hebrews multiplied rapidly (Ex. i. 7, 12),
the names of only two midwives are recorded,
Siiiphrah and Puah; and it is stated that the He-
l)rew women, inilike the Eg^'ptians, "are delivered
ere tlie midwives come in unto them " (ib. i. 15, 19).
Soniclimcs tlie necessary service was rendered by
friends or relatives (I Sam. iv. 20).

The general Hebrew term for " midwife " is TTth''^
(plural, nn^'D): but tin; word nVPI (E^- i- 19), also.
is interpreted l)y Rashi to denote midwives, like
the Aramaic ND'TI. The word D'J2K {ib. i. 16),
which is tlie dual form of ps (=:"two stones"),
lias given rise to some dillicully. The Targumim
and the later coMimentators, as Rashi and David
Kimhi, inteipret it as '"the delivery-stool," while
Ibn Janah, Joseph Kind.ii, and Pariion, followed by
some modern conunentators, as Eichhorn and Kno-
bel, rendei it "the womb." Gesenius (" Th."), re-

jecting the idea that delivery -stools existed in Egypt
at such an early period (comp. Pioss, "Das Weib,"
2d ed., pp. 197, 232), translates "the stone bath."

Although it is not stated what were the functions
of a midwife after the delivery, yet the services
enumerated in Ezek. xvi. 4 were most probably

rendered by her.

J. M. Sei,.

In Rabbinical Literature: The midwife is

generally designated by riTI, XriTI (a term api^lied
also to the lying-in woman) and by nD3n(='"tlie
wise woman"; comp. the French "sage-femme "),
but from Lev. R. xxvii. 7 it seems that the term
Kn^3n?3 is also applied to the midwife (comp. Gen.
R. Ix. 3). Besides tying the mnbilical cord (Shal>.
128b), she performed two other duties, as may be
inferred from the Talmudic passage Sotah lUi.
It is here implied that "Shiphrah" and "Puah"
(see Midwife, Biblical Data) were not the real
names of the midwives, but only indicated their
functions; the former meaning "the one who trims
the child," and the latter, "the one who talks to the

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