Premium Essay

The Midrash

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By jessicageweke
Words 719
Pages 3
The Midrash is known to be an ancient commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures. I am not familiar with the concept of the Midrash other than it provides the people with a outsiders commentary on the scriptures rather than the idea and teachings itself within the Hebrew scriptures. Not only that, the Midrash points out and clarifies many things that you may have thought about or that the scriptures itself hint toward. In a huge way, the Midrash is almost a book of clarification for many. Its initial purpose was to help resolve problems and confusion with the biblical stories that goes beyond just what’s written on paper. It seems as though the Midrash has a significant meaning in the culture and the philosopher, R. Gamaliel, took part in writing an interesting and different take on the original text. The process of creating the Midrash was preformed with help from the rabbis. The commentary within the Midrash is basically all the interpretations the people came across and then the rabbis “filled in the gaps” through the assistance of the Torah. This books overall goal is to aid and provide us with answers to many questions we may have come across when reading the Hebrew scriptures. It has been said by many that the Torah does provide the Jewish culture with laws and rules however they are very broad. One of the Midrash’s purposes is to go into further detail on the rules and provide us with further clarification. After reading the Midrash Rabbah on the book of Genesis it really provided me with a sense of how the Midrash portrays a function for the culture. When reading section nine, it gave me a sense of ironies present in the Midrash how they kept stating things such as “I make peace, and create evil” or “I form the light, and create darkness.” Those statements caught me off guard and make you look more deeply into the text. It’s clear the philosopher…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Hebrew Literature

...subdivided into chapters. In making his selection of halakhoth, Rabbi used the earlier compilations, which are quoted as "words of Rabbi `Agiba" or of R. Me`ir, but rejected much which was afterwards collected under the title of Tosefta (addition) and Baraita (outside the Mishnah). Traditional teaching was, however, not confined to halakhah. As observed above, it was the duty of the teachers to show the connexion of practical rules with the written Law, the more so since the Sadducees rejected the authority of the oral law as such. Hence arises Midrash, exposition, from darash to "investigate" a scriptural passage. Of this halakhic Midrash we possess that on Exodus, called Mekhilta, that on Leviticus, called Sifra, and that on Numbers and Deuteronomy, called Sifre. All of these were drawn up in the period of the Amoraim, the order of teachers who succeeded the Tannaim, from the close of the Mishnah to about A.D. 500. The term Midrash, however, more commonly implies agada, i.e. the homiletical exposition of the text, with illustrations designed to make it more attractive to the readers or hearer. Picturesque teaching of this kind was always popular, and specimens of it are familiar in the Gospel discourses. It began, as a method, with the Sopherim (though there are traces in the Old Testament itself), and was most developed among the Tannaim and Amoraim, rivalling even the study of halakhah. As the existing halakhoth were collected and edited in the Mishnah, so the much......

Words: 9933 - Pages: 40

Free Essay

Israel and the Nature of Covenant in the Near East

...Ishmael taught: And like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces., just as a hammer is divided into many sparks, so every single word that went forth from the Holy One, blessed be He, split up into seventy languages (Quoting Ps. 68:11) Shemot Rabbah 5:9 The Torah says, "And all the people saw the voices." Note that it does not say "the voice," but "the voices"; wherefore Rabbi Yochanan said that God's voice, as it was uttered, split into seventy voices, in seventy languages, so that all the nations should understand. (Shemot Rabbah 5:9 quoting Exodus 20:18) Midrash Chazit- On the occasion of the Giving of Torah, the Children of Israel not only heard the Lord's voice, but actually saw the sound waves as they emerged from the Lord's mouth. They visualized them as fiery substance. Each commandment that left the Lord's mouth traveled around the entire camp and then came back to every Jew individually. Midrash Tanchumah 26c- The Ten Commandments were promulgated with a single sound, yet it says, "All the people perceived the voices" (Exodus 20:18); this shows that when the voice went forth it was divided into seven voices and then went into seventy tongues, and every people received the law in their own language.[3] What is a Covenant? Eugene H. Merrill noted in his article Covenant and the Kingdom: M. Kline, in a publication entitled The Structure of Biblical Authority, has argued, on the basis of his own previous studies of biblical and ancient Near......

Words: 3609 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Characteristics of Judaism

...provide guidance in every aspect of everyday life. * many sacred writings in Judaism, all teach Judaism's adherents how to live ethical and moral lives. * writings are a major source of the laws regulate Jewish life. * Jewish sacred writings are read and studied on an ongoing basis by believers. * Jewish holy book is the Tanakh, containing the Torah and the prophetic books. * Torah most holy book of Judaism Torah mean teaching, God's revealed instructions to Jewish People. * It important to note that while "Torah" is generally used to refer to the Five Books of Moses or Pentateuch, it is sometimes used to refer to the basic texts of Judaism in general. * In this sense, "Torah" includes Torah itself, as well Midrash, Mishnah, Talmud, which are Oral Torah.  * many sacred ceremonies and rituals in Judaism * Circumcision (Bris) male Jewish children are circumcised on the eighth day after their birth as a sign of a covenant between Abraham and God. * Bar Mitzvah; age of 13, Jewish law considers boys to reached adulthood. special service is held in boy's honor, he is permitted to read from Torah first time. * comparable ceremony for girls Bat Mitzvah varies religious significance depending on sect of Judaism. * The Sabbath, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the Passover, Shavuot, are other important ceremonies * most important source of ethical guidance for Jews is Torah encompasses the Written and Oral Torah. * Jewish......

Words: 968 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Saving Grace

...British iconoclasm. Beginning at the Reformation, the exhibition tells the story of art under attack, of smashed statues and defaced paintings. Originally, of course, iconoclasm was a religious phenomenon. Abraham's father, Terah, was an idol-maker from Ur. One day Terah left the young Abraham in charge of his shop, whereupon he smashed all the idols with a stick. "It was terrible," Abraham explained to his father. "The small idols got hungry and they started fighting for food and finally the large idol got angry and broke them into pieces." Terah didn't believe him. "Idols don't get hungry, they don't get angry, they don't speak – they're just idols." Abraham smiled, knowingly. "Then why do you worship them?" he replied. This famous Jewish midrash is not in the Bible, but explains something of the deep biblical hostility to idolatry. Here are the emotional origins of monotheism. And, taking things one step further, perhaps the emotional origins of contemporary atheism too. Both involve desecration. But modern art found a way of domesticating Abraham's powerful idol-smashing instincts by allowing itself to be continually driven by the iconoclastic urge. Or rather, to be driven by iconoclasm simply for its own sake. It is arguable that the ur-instincts of contemporary art began as a reaction against those western traditions of beauty that were seen to have done so little to ward off the horrors of two world wars. That is, they had a seriousness of moral purpose. But smashing......

Words: 639 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Midrash

...Midrash is the act and process of interpretation of the Bible, but there is no one midrash. To fully understand this concept we must look at the purpose of midrashic methodology and how it works. In doing this we will be looking at Midrash Rabbah for the Book of Genesis or Bereshit. Midrash Rabbah contains two interpretations of the account of creation, which will allow us to better analyze midrashic methodology. Unlike the Talmud or Zohar, midrash does not refer to a single text but a type of text. In Back to the Sources, Barry Holtz defines midrash as, first, “(deriving from the Hebrew root ‘to search out’) is the process of interpreting. The object of interpretation is the Bible or, on occasion, other sacred texts; second, Midrash refers to the corpus of work that has collected these interpretations.” (Holtz, p.178) Midrash interprets in both halachic and aggadic aspects. As we learned in the Efron text, The Jews, halacha refers to text discussing civil and religious law. Although really all law was seen as religious, there wasn’t a specific separation between what we look at today as civil and religious respectively. Aggadah on the other hand is a nonlegal text of rabbinical Judaism that is more theological or ethics based. What does this mean for midrash? A midrash will look at biblical text and interpret its meaning in both legal and nonlegal ways. Midrash is able to account for the gaps in biblical text by giving an interpretation of what may have been meant,......

Words: 1090 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

God Exist

...slavery, on the way to their homeland. Moses put his disciple Joshua in charge of the troops who were to fight against the Amalekites. Then Moses, together with his brother Aaron and nephew Hur went up to a hill, to pray for G-d's help in the battle. The battle lasted a whole day until the Amalekites were finally defeated and routed. G-d ordered Moses to record the treacherous attack of the Amalekites for everlasting memory.” Let us put this into perspective. The nations of the world were in awe and dread of the God of the Hebrews who had wrought mighty miracles on their behalf. No one dared challenge this fledgling nation who so valiantly earned the protection of the All Mighty. The significance of Amalek’s deed is described in the Midrash Tanchuma, Ki Teitzei 9. The Amalekite’s scorn and disdain chilled the inspired feelings that reigned in the world during this period, effectively quashing truth. Nowadays as well, contempt and disrespect sway popular opinion. The insolence trickles down from denial of G-d to disrespect of our parents, teachers and elders which has corrupted our society. Rashi, the famed commentary whose comprehensive writings illuminate the bible, prophets, and the Talmud brings the following parable. (Exodus, chapter 17, verse 8) A man embarked on a journey, carrying his son on his shoulders. The boy desired an object and requested it, “Father take that thing and bring it to me” whereupon his father complied. A second and then a third time......

Words: 3518 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Biograhpy of Prophet Ezekiel

...with the proselyte Rahab (Talmud Meg. 14b; Midrash Sifre, Num. 78). Some even say that he was the son of Jeremiah, who was also called "Buzi" because he was despised by the Jews. He was already active as a prophet while in Palestine, and he retained this gift when he was exiled with Jehoiachin and the nobles of the country to Babylon (Josephus, Ant. x. 6, § 3: "while he was still a boy"; comp. Rashi on Sanh. 92b, above). Although in the beginning of the book he very describes the appearance of the throne of God, this is not due to the fact that he had seen more than Isaiah, but because the latter was more accustomed to such visions; for the relation of the two prophets is that of a courtier to a peasant, the latter of whom would always describe a royal court more floridly than the former, to whom such things would be familiar (Ḥag. 13b). Ezekiel, like all the other prophets, has beheld only a blurred reflection of the divine majesty, just as a poor mirror reflects objects only imperfectly (Midrash Lev. Rabbah i. 14, toward the end). God allowed Ezekiel to behold the throne in order to demonstrate to him that Israel had no reason to be proud of the Temple; for God, who is praised day and night by the hosts of the angels, does not need human offerings and worship(Midrash Lev. Rabbah ii. 8; Tanna debe Eliyahu R.vi.). According to midrash Canticles Rabbah, it was Ezekiel whom......

Words: 3499 - Pages: 14

Free Essay

Midrash

...Through midrash we reveal Torah’s meanings. Midrash allows us to posit answers to our questions, to explore hidden motivations for mysterious moments in Torah, to offer explanation. Sometimes through midrash we temper Torah, rendering it more comprehensible to a contemporary audience or more in-tune with contemporary values. Midrash allows us to celebrate the loopholes and inconsistencies in Torah. They are not (only) accidents or signs of where the text was stitched together from disparate elements, but rather the hooks placed there by God precisely for the purpose of giving us something to work with. The body of Jewish midrash not only expands the universe of possible stories in our tradition, but also explores and teaches how we should live. But whether halakhic or aggadic, midrash is transformative work. Midrash is a form of rabbinic literature. There are two types of midrash: midrash aggada and midrash halakha. Midrash aggada can best be described as a form of storytelling that explores ethics and values in biblical texts. ("Aggada" literally means "story" or "telling" in Hebrew.) It can take any biblical word or verse and interpret it to answer a question or explain something in the text. For instance, a midrash may attempt to explain why Adam didn’t stop Eve from eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. One of the best-known midrashim (plural of midrash) deals with Abraham’s childhood in early Mesopotamia, where he is said to have smashed the idols in......

Words: 341 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Moral and Responsible Behavior Between Judges and Ruth

...bricks and mortar as a method Pharaoh uses to embitter the lives of the Israelites (Ex. 1:14). In another parallel, the people of Shinar use their newfound technology to build a city (Gen. 11:4), while Pharaoh uses his slave labor to build great store cities (Ex. 1:11).2 The linguistic and thematic similarities between the two narratives suggest that Pharaoh's aims and those of the tower builders were one and the same, and they are viewed this way in the midrashic literature. What were the people who built the Tower of Babel trying to achieve? In their own words, the people who settled Shinar sought to make a name for themselves and to avoid dispersion (Gen. 11:4). Focusing on the proposed height of the tower, "with its top in the sky," a midrash identifies one of the purposes of the Tower of Babel as being to challenge God's sovereignty. TB Sanhedrin 109a states that the builders of the tower fell into three groups: one wishing to ascend and settle there, one wishing to ascend and commit idolatry there, and one wishing to ascend and make war. Those who sought to settle were dispersed by God, those who sought to make war were transformed into apes, spirits, demons, and winged demons, and those who sought to worship idols had their language confounded. Vol. 41, No. 3, 2013 202 SHEILA TULLER KEITER The commentators presume that each of these punishments is specifically tailored to the nature of the offense. Rashi notes that spirits have neither body nor form, and......

Words: 2053 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Book of Matthews Research

...The Book Of Matthews Terrell Campbell Theology 210 Professor Lombardo April 29, 2015 The gospel according to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. The book of Matthew basically tells how the Messiah, Jesus Christ, rejected by Israel, finally sends the disciples to preach his gospel to the world. It does not so much indicate a literary genre but characterizes the contents of the book: good news about Jesus Christ. The book of Matthew may be considered a Midrash theological interpretation on the gospel of Mark. Matthew, whose name means “gift of the Lord,” was a tax collector who left his work to follow Jesus (Matthew 9:9–13). In Mark and Luke he is called by his other name, Levi. Although the author did not record his name within the text itself, the first book found in the New Testament has historically been credited to the writing of Matthew, a tax collector and one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Some New Testament scholars doubt the authorship of Matthew. The Gospel of Matthew, like all the other New Testament gospels, was originally anonymous and only attributed to Matthew, the disciple of Jesus, later in the second century. The author relied on Mark's Gospel for everything he knew about the life and mission of Jesus. There are two lines of evidence that proves the authorship of Matthew, the superscription of the ancient manuscripts and the patristic witness. According......

Words: 883 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Judiasm Presentation

...carried out. It is believed that Moses subsequently transmitted that Oral Law to his successor, Joshua, who transmitted it to his successor, in a chain that is still being carried on. Gemara (g.-MAR-.) (also Gemora) (Aramaic for “to study"), c. 200-600 CE – The part of the Talmud that contains rabbinical commentaries and analysis of its predecessor, the Mishnah. ..Talmud (TAHL-mud) The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 C.E.), the first written compilation of Judaism’s Oral Law, and the Gemara (c. 500 C.E.). It is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history. In Jewish life the terms Gemara and Talmud are often used interchangeably. ..Midrash (MID-räsh) The word Midrash is based on a Hebrew word meaning “interpretation.” Midrash consists of legends and stories, both educational and entertaining, which complement rabbinic theology and allows the rabbis to explain and expand on the Torah. ..Prayer Book (Siddur, sid-OOR) Most siddurim (plural) contain the prayers, arranged in a specific order, that are used for religious services. These prayers express the beliefs, hopes and yearnings of the Jewish people for a world ruled by justice and compassion. Slide 3 - Judaism believes the Land of Israel was part of the agreement made between God and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. That is why since the time of Abraham, there has been a continual Jewish presence in the Land of Israel. Jews are not a race.......

Words: 4555 - Pages: 19

Free Essay

Critical Thinking

...of exactly what is critical thinking. She is unbiased because she uses definitions from many different sources as examples to explain critical thinking. There are no assumptions made; instead, the article is very factual. One example that she uses states, “ Mentions of critical thinking in job postings have doubled since 2009, according to an analysis by career-search site Indeed.com “. As a writer for the very credible wsj.com, I believe Melissa Korn is a very credible source. The next source that I have referred to is an article titled “A Society with Poor Critical Thinking Skills: The Case for 'Argument' in Education” by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, posted by huffingtonpost.com. He is the Executive Director of the Valley Beit Midrash, the Founder & President of Uri L'Tzedek, the Founder and CEO of The Shamayim V'Aretz Institute and the author of “Jewish Ethics & Social Justice: A Guide for the 21st Century”. Newsweek named Rav Shmuly one of the top 50 rabbis in America. The tone of the article is very concerning and mildly urgent. He uses unbiased statements to talk about how teaching styles affect critical thinking. No obvious assumptions were made by Rav Shmuly, and he was sure to note all of the many references that were cited throughout the article. One excerpt from the article talks about the difference between frontal and argument models of teaching. He states, “In the frontal model, teachers provide the questions and answers. In the argument model, the......

Words: 749 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

What Is Midrash?

...What is Midrash? This is quite an intractable issue. It doesn’t only contain very wide and very old texts, but also multitudinous philosophers. Even though Midrash is not a good scientific source for studying Bible today, it powerfully helps us understand the spirit of authors from later the Old Treatment, the developing of Judaism, and the constitution of the New Treatment’s mission. Midrash was an exegetical method used in early Jewish religion. The word usually is used for any written or oral commentary on a biblical text. It is an interpretive act, seeking the answers to religious questions (both practical and theological) by plumbing ?? the meaning of the words of the Torah. (Efron page?) As early as the 1st c. CE rabbinic principles of hermeneutics and philology were used to bring the interpretation of difficult passages in the literal text of scripture into line with the religious and ethical values of the teachers. (Holtz 177-178) One can say that the Midrash on the verse Genesis 1:1 says that “...and some Midrashim interpretation of the verse would go here.”The original purpose of Midrash was to resolve problems in the Hebrew text of the Bible. (Malon) Thus, Midrash exposes the values and worldview of the rabbinic interpreter and audience rather than the original intention of the author of the biblical text. Midrash falls into two categories: Midrash aggada and Midrash halakha. The root of the Hebrew term is used to refer to Jewish law, halakhah, means "go" or......

Words: 863 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Jewish Holy Days

...Purim is a joyous Jewish holiday that celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from their enemies in the biblical Book of Esther. Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which usually falls sometime in February or March. Purim is such a popular holiday that the ancient rabbis declared that it alone would continue to be celebrated after the Messiah comes (Midrash Mishlei 9). All other holidays will not be celebrated in the messianic days. The Purim Holiday received its name because Haman was angered by Mordechai when he would not kneel down to Haman. Haman then sets out to destroy the Jewish people. A pur or lottery is then placed in front of Haman to choose which day and month this would occur. When Mordecai discovered Haman’s plan to destroy the Jewish people he persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people. Knowing she would be put to death for being in the king’s presence without being summoned Esther fasted for three day to prepare herself. This was a dangerous thing for Esther to do, because anyone who came into the king's presence without being summoned could be put to death, and she had not been summoned. Esther fasted for three days to prepare herself. The king welcomed Esther and she told him of Haman's plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved, and Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai. Reading the Megillah on Purim Reading the Purim Story from......

Words: 660 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Can All Our Problems Be Solved by the Bible?

...Ed Peter P. Bucag TREDTRI Midrash (The Coming of Lilith) The story is a point of view changer. It changed what I feel about women and it gave me an idea on how should I treat women. The story is a great story for it can change lives and it bears a message that has strong essence. It made me and my friend, who happens to be a girl, realized that a feminist, like Judith Plaskow, can touch hearts and change lives by fighting for what is worth fighting for and standing up on behalf of every woman in the world to be recognized as a human being, not just a mere satisfaction for men. After reading and analyzing the story by heart, I believe that my lived faith is changed. It changed in a good way because I am given opportunity to start a new life in which I must not be too arrogant and not be a sadist towards women. A new life in which I must show respect and care to not just women, but to my other fellow human beings as well for we are all made equal by God the Father and no man or woman shall be on a higher ground than the others for he or she is not created that way. Now that I have a new and a better faith to live, I believe that it could save me from doing wrong deeds and that I could live a peaceful life in which I will not cause anyone trouble and not do anyone harm. The possible downside to my new faith is that others might abuse my kindness towards them, but no matter what could happen if I become too kind to anyone, I will not be afraid of......

Words: 453 - Pages: 2