from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Mechilta or Mekhilta ( aram. מכילתא) is a halachic midrash for the 2nd Book of Moses ( Hebrew Sefer Shemot ).


Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha is given as the editor . The mechilta is one of the main works of the halachic midrash. In reality, however, it contains more aggadic than halachic components.

The word Mechilta ( "standard of interpretation") comes from Aramaic and means something like the Hebrew Midda (מדה "measure", "norm").

The Mechilta begins with the 12th chapter of the Exodus and extends to the end of the main laws of the Exodus (23.19; addendum to 31.12–17; 34.1–3); it is divided into 9 sections with 79 chapters.

This Mekhilta de Rabbi Ishmael is also simply called the Mekhilta.

There is also the Mekhilta de Rabbi Shimon attributed to Shimon ben Jochai , who is also called Mekhilta Acheret ("other Mekhilta"). It was often quoted by Nachmanides and generally in the Middle Ages (up to the 16th century), but there was no closed book form of it and it was therefore considered lost (critical edition of Geniza fragments discovered later, published by EZ Melamed, Jerusalem 1955, based on preliminary work by JN Epstein).

Finally, there is a work called Mekhilta de Sanija ("Mekhilta from the thorn bush"), which is attributed to Rabbi Akiba .


  • First printing Constantinople 1515 (reprinted and improved Venice 1545)
  • Jacob Z. Lauterbach: Mekilta de Rabbi Ishmael: A Critical Edition on the Basis of the MSS and Early Editions with an English Translation, Introduction and Notes . Philadelphia 1933 ff.



  • Karl-Gottfried Eckart: Investigations into the traditional history of the Mechiltha . Berlin 1959, (Berlin, Kirchl. Hochsch., Diss., 1958).
  • Wayne Sibley Towner: The rabbinic "enumeration of scriptural examples". A Study of a Rabbinic Pattern of Discourse with Special Reference to Mekhilta d'R. Ishmael . Brill, Leiden 1973, ISBN 90-04-03744-6 , ( Studia Post-Biblica 22).
  • Günter Stemberger : Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash . 8th revised edition. Beck, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-406-36695-3 , pp. 249-254 ( Beck studies ).

Web links

See also