Midrashim Sentence Examples
As the existing halakhoth were collected and edited in the Mishnah, so the much larger agadic material was gathered together and arranged in the Midrashim.
They were called Rabboth (great Midrashim) to distinguish them from preceding smaller collections.
Even in the time of the later Amoraim there is no mention of a written Palestinian Targum, though the official Babylonian Targum is repeatedly referred to in the Babylonian Talmud, in the Midrashim, and at times also by Palestinian Amoraim.
Later Jewish and Christian speculation followed on the lines of the angelology of the earlier apocalypses; and angels play an important part in Gnostic systems and in the Jewish Midrashim and the Kabbala.
Both contain Halaka and Haggada, although the Mishna itself is essentially Halaka, and the Midrashim are more especially Haggadic; and consequently further information bearing upon Midrash must be sought in the art.Advertisement
This literature is especially valuable because it illustrates contemporary Halaka and Haggada, and it illuminates the circle of thought with which Jesus and his followers were familiar; it thus fills the gap between the Old Testament and the authoritative Rabbinical Midrashim which, though often in a form several centuries later, not rarely preserve older material.'
Like many less ancient discourses, the Midrashim are apt to suffer when read in cold print, and they are sometimes judged from a standpoint which would be prejudicial to the Old Testament itself.
The earlier stages in the growth of the extant Rabbinical Midrashim cannot be traced with any certainty.
But the sermons or discourses of the homiletic Midrashim are classified according to the reading of the Pentateuch in the Synagogue, either the three year cycle, or else according to the sections of the Pentateuch and Prophetical books assigned to special and ordinary Sabbaths and festival days.
The homiletic Midrashim are characterized by (a) a proem, an introduction based upon some biblical text (not from the lesson itself), which led up to (b) the exposition of the lesson, the first verse of which is more fully discussed than the rest.Advertisement
In addition to the more prominent Midrashim mentioned above there are numerous self-contained works of greater or less interest.
Political troubles and the unhappy condition of the Jews probably furnish the explanation; hence also the abundance of Palestinian haggadic literature in the Midrashim, whose " words of blessing and consolation " appealed more to their feelings than did the legal writings.
But it is uncertain how far the doctrines of Judaism were influenced by Christianity, and it is even disputed whether the Talmud and Midrashim may be used to estimate Jewish thought 1 There are many details in the Talmud which cannot be dated; if some are obviously contemporary, others find parallels in Ancient Babylonia, for example in the code of Hammurabi.
Apart from the popular paraphrastic translations of the Old Testament (see Targum), the great mass of orthodox Rabbinical literature consists of (1) the independent Midrashim, and (2) the Mishna which, with its supplement the Gemara, constitutes the Talmud.
Aqiba had an important share in the early development of the Mishnah (Strack, pp. 19, 89); and, in the collecting of material, he was followed notably by the school of Ishmael (about 130-160 A.D.), which has left its mark upon the early halakic Midrashim (see Midrash, § 5, i-3).Advertisement