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Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael (JPS Classic Reissues)

Translated by David Stern; Forward by Jacob Z. Lauterbach

Publication Year: 2010

Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael is a classic collection of midrash. It contains commentary on a large part of the Book of Exodus (chapters 12 to 23) and represents the two main modes of interpretation: the halakhah (legal doctrine), and the aggadah (moral and religious teachings). The work also contains allusions to historical events and ancient legends not found elsewhere. A new introduction by noted scholar David Stern highlights the work, now published in a convenient two-volume set. It retains the original text from the JPS 1933 edition, reset in a modern, readable typeface, with Hebrew and English on facing pages and the original indexes. This classic work is widely recognized as a model of meticulous and thorough scholarship. Its translation is accurate, straightforward, and usable by scholars, students, and lay readers. Out of print for many years, it will be heralded as an important reissue that should belong to every rabbi, rabbinical school, and Jewish Studies professor, and will be an important addition to synagogue libraries and public libraries with Judaica collections

Published by: Jewish Publication Society

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

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INTRODUCTION TO THE 2004 EDITION

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pp. ix-xx

The Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael is the classic anthology of early rabbinic interpretations of the Book of Exodus and one of our earliest sources for midrash, as the activity of biblical commentary that was practiced by the Rabbis is known. The sages whose opinions are recorded in the Mekhilta are all Tannaim—that is, early...

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INTRODUCTION TO ORIGINAL EDITION

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pp. xxi-lviii

With the very giving of the Torah to Israel there must have begun the activity of studying and interpreting it. For every code of law, if it is to regulate the life of a people, must be fully understood and correctly interpreted before the people can obey it and be guided by its precepts. This was even more...

SIGLA USED IN APPARATUS CRITICUS

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pp. lix-lx

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TRACTATE PISḤA

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pp. 1-114

And the Lord Spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the Land of Egypt Saying. From this I might understand that the divine word was addressed to both Moses and Aaron. When, however, it says: “And it came to pass on the day when the Lord spoke unto Moses in the land of Egypt” (Ex. 6.28), it shows that the...

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TRACTATE BESHALLAḤ

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pp. 115-168

And It Came to Pass When Pharaoh Had Let the People Go. “Letting go,” Shiluah, means escorting, as it is said: “And Abraham went with them to bring them on the way” (Gen. 18.16); “And Isaac sent them away” (ibid., 26.30). The mouth that had said: “And moreover I will not let Israel go” (Ex. 5.2), that same mouth said: “I will let you go” (ibid., 8.24). What was the reward...

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TRACTATE SHIRATA

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pp. 169-221

Then Sang Moses. Sometimes the word “then” (az) refers to the past and sometimes to what is to come in the future. “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 4.26); “Then she said: ‘A bridegroom of blood’ ” (Ex. 4.26); “Then sang Moses” (here); “Then David said” (I Chron. 15.2); “Then spoke Solomon” (I Kings 8.12)—these refer to the past. And there...

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TRACTATE VAYASSA‘

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pp. 222-253

And Moses Led Israel Onward from the Red Sea. R. Joshua says: This journey Israel made at the command of Moses. All other journeys they made only at the command of God, as it is said: “At the commandment of the Lord they encamped, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed” (Num. 9.23). This journey, however, they made merely at the command of Moses. In this sense... Moses led Israel onward.” R. Eliezer says: They made this journey also at the command of the...

Title Page, Copyright Page

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CONTENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.3 KB)
pp. v-viii

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INTRODUCTION TO THE 2004 EDITION

pdf iconDownload PDF (83.7 KB)
pp. ix-xx

The Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael is the classic anthology of early rabbinic interpretations of the Book of Exodus and one of our earliest sources for midrash, as the activity of biblical commentary that was practiced by the Rabbis is known. The sages whose opinions are recorded in the Mekhilta are all Tannaim...

read more

INTRODUCTION TO ORIGINAL EDITION

pdf iconDownload PDF (204.5 KB)
pp. xxi-lviii

With the very giving of the Torah to Israel there must have begun the activity of studying and interpreting it. For every code of law, if it is to regulate the life of a people, must be fully understood and correctly interpreted before the people can obey it and be guided by its precepts. This was even more necessary in the case of the Torah given to Israel and believed by them...

SIGLA USED IN APPARATUS CRITICUS

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pp. lix-lx

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TRACTATE AMALEK

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pp. 254-289

Then Came Amalek. R. Joshua and R. Eleazar Hisma say: This verse is to be taken in an allegorical sense and explained in connection with the passage in Job where it is said: “Can the rush shoot up without mire? Can the reed-grass grow without water” ( Job 8.11). Is it possible for the rush to grow...

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TRACTATE BAḤODESH

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pp. 290-354

In the Third Month after the Children of Israel Were Gone Forth Out of the Land of Egypt. This tells that months are counted from the one in which the exodus from Egypt took place. I know only about months. How about years? It says: “In the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt” (Num. 1.1). Thus far I know only about that period. How about other...

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TRACTATE NEZIKIN

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pp. 355-457

And These Are the Ordinances. R. Ishmael says: These are added to the preceding ones. Just as those preceding were given from Sinai, so also those following were given from Sinai. R. Akiba says: And These Are the Ordinances, etc. Why is this said? Since it says: “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them” (Lev. 1.2), I know only that he was to tell them once...

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TRACTATE KASPA

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pp. 458-492

If Thou Lend Money to Any of My People. R. Ishmael says: Every “if” in the Torah refers to a voluntary act except this and two others. “And if thou bring a meal-offering of first-fruits” (Lev. 2.14) refers to an obligatory act. You interpret it to be obligatory. Perhaps this is not so, but it is merely voluntary? Scripture...

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TRACTATE SHABBATA

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pp. 493-503

Verily, Ye Shall Keep My Sabbaths. Why is this said? Because it says: “Thou shalt not do any manner of work” (Ex. 20.10), from which I know only about activities that can be regarded as labor. But how about activities that can be regarded as merely detracting from the restfulness of the Sabbath?1 Scripture says...

INDICES

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pp. 504-543

INDEX I

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pp. 505-529

INDEX II

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pp. 530-539

INDEX III

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pp. 540-543


E-ISBN-13: 9780827610033
Print-ISBN-13: 9780827606784

Publication Year: 2010