Midrash ha-gadol

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Midrash ha-gadol ("the great Midrash", abbreviated MHG ) is the name for a medieval collection of Midrashim for the five books of the Torah . The final editing did not take place before the end of the 13th century, possibly around 1350. The work is now attributed to David bar Amram al-Adani from Aden .

It contains both halachic and aggadic midrashim, excerpts from older collections of midrashes as well as rabbinical works from Rashi , ibn Esra , Alfasi , Maimonides and others. It is of great value in terms of textual and intellectual history, as otherwise lost texts such as Rabbi Shimon ben Jochai's Mechilta could be reconstructed from it. The editor arranges the material according to the annual reading cycle and opens each section of the week with a proömium in rhyming verse. In addition, the midrash ha-gadol is valuable for studying the texts of Maimonides, as it contains numerous sources on which Maimonides relied, but which are otherwise unknown. Contrary to earlier assumptions, the editor knew and used Mechilta and Sifre, among others .

In Yemen , which many manuscripts also indicate as the place of origin, the midrash ha-gadol achieved a particularly prominent position and thereby displaced other midrashim that were previously in use there. The text reached Europe in manuscript form in 1878, was sold to the Royal Library in Berlin and used for the first time by Solomon Schechter in his edition by Avot de-Rabbi Nathan in 1887.

Text output

  • Solomon Schechter : Midrash hag-gadol forming a collection of ancient Rabbinic homilies to the Pentateuch. Cambridge 1902 (first edition, incomplete)
  • David Hoffmann : Midrash ha-Gadol on the Book of Exodus. Itzkowski, Berlin 1913
  • Naḥūm Elijjāhū Rabinowitz: Midrāš hag-gādōl 'al ḥamišša ḥumšē tōrā, being a compilation of Halakic and Haggadic passages to the Pentateuch taken from ancient and medieval Rabbinic sources: Midrash Haggadol Leviticus. New York 1932
  • Solomon Fisch: Midrash haggadol on the Pentateuch, Numbers. London 1940
  • Critical Jerusalem Edition:
    • Mordekhai Margaliyot: Midrash Haggadol. Genesis. 2 vols. Jerusalem 1947, reprinted 1967
    • Mordekhai Margaliyot: Midrash Haggadol. Exodus. Jerusalem 1956, reprinted 1967
    • Adin Steinsaltz: Midrash HaGadol. Sefer Wajjiqra. Jerusalem 1975
    • Zvi Meir Rabinowitz: Midrash Haggadol. Numbers. Jerusalem 1957, reprinted 1967
    • Solomon fish: Midrash Haggadol. Deuteronomy. Jerusalem 1972