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Bidding Information
Lot #    13383
Auction End Date    1/24/2006 2:03:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Midrash Mekhilta of R. Simeon ben Yohai
Title (Hebrew)    מכילתא דרבי שמעון בן יוחאי
Author    [First Ed.] David Hoffman, Editor
City    Frankfort am Main
Publisher    J. Kauffmann
Publication Date    1905
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. XVI, 180, 15 pp., 227:150 mm., wide margins, usual age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary half cloth and green cloth over boards.
   Midrash Mekhilta of R. Simeon ben Yohai, halakhic Midrash on Exodus consisting of a collection of beraitot, from the period of the tannaim. In the Middle Ages the Midrash was also known as Sifrei de-Vei Rav, Mekhiltin de-R. Akiva, and Mekhilta de-Sanya. The last title, as also the present, was based on its opening sentence. "R. Simeon b. Yohai says, Why did the Holy One blessed be He reveal Himself from the heavens on high and speak to Moses from the midst of the bush" (seneh, "bush" = sanya in Aramaic). The Mekhilta of R. Simeon b. Yohai is an exegetical Midrash which expounds Exodus chapter by chapter and verse by verse. It begins with Exodus 3:1, but because of the state of its preservation it is impossible to tell whether it continued expounding each chapter and verse consecutively, and where exactly it ended. It also contains aggadic expositions on the narrative passages of Exodus. Originally the Midrash was subdivided into sections and the sections into paragraphs or halakhot. Because of its state, however, even the details of its division are not wholly clear. The language of the Midrash is a pure rabbinic Hebrew but of a somewhat later type, with an admixture of Greek and Latin words. The Midrash was unknown in its present form to the rabbis of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds, the date of its redaction in Erez Israel is to be assigned to not earlier than the commencement of the fifth century C.E. From the geonic period onward, the Mekhilta of R. Simeon b. Yohai was frequently quoted by medieval scholars and was still known in the 16th century, but was not printed. From the 17th century it was thought to have been lost. When in the 19th century a small extract from the beginning of the Midrash was discovered in a manuscript, M. Friedmann (Ish Shalom), who first identified it, began to collect the extracts from the Mekhilta of R. Simeon b. Yohai quoted in medieval literature. After him, I. Lewy showed that many beraitot of the Midrash are to be found in Midrash ha-Gadol (of David b. Amram Adani). When further fragments, from the Cairo Genizah, were discovered and published, David Hoffmann issued an edition, together with an introduction and notes, of the Midrash (1905), compiled from Midrash ha-Gadol on Exodus and containing also several small Genizah fragments. Since the author of Midrash ha-Gadol did not indicate his sources, however, and also freely adapted and changed, abbreviated and expanded, subdivided and combined them, Hoffmann's edition is far from being a true reflection of the Mekhilta of R. Simeon b. Yohai. In the course of time more Genizah fragments were discovered. J. N. Epstein began to prepare a critical edition, with an introduction and notes, of the Midrash, based on fragments chiefly from the Genizah, and containing extracts from Midrash ha-Gadol. The work was completed after Epstein's death by E. Z. Melamed (1955), but the manuscripts contain, it seems, only slightly more than half of the original Midrash.

Added t.p.: Mechilta de-Rabbi Simon b.Jochai ... zu Exodus nach handschriftlichen und gedruckten Quellen reconstruirt und mit erklaerenden Anmerkungen und einer Einleitung versehen von Dr. D. Hoffmann...

Paragraph 2    על ספר שמות, מלוקטת מתוך מדרש הגדול כ"י... בבערלין... וזעיר... מתוך ספרים וכ"י אחרים, עם הערות ומראה מקומות ופתיחה... מאת דוד צבי האפפמאנן. נדפסת על הוצאות החברה המכונה "יידיש ליטערארישע געזעללשאפט" בפראנקפורט על נהר מאין...

החיבור לא נשתמר בידינו (פרט לקטעים בודדים). ההוצאה הנוכחית היא שיחזור על פי דפים שנמצאו בגניזה ובעיקר על פי המובאות ב"מדרש הגדול".

   EJ; CD-EPI 0148339
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Other:    Midrash
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica