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Bereshit Bara Elohim By Bereshit Rabba, Parashah 1, Reconsidered

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Chapter Summary

The Jewish creation theology as it is reflected in the Midrash Bereshit Rabba (BerR), is by no means a new subject. The first parashah of BerR, entirely devoted to Genesis 1:1, is a particularly rich kaleidoscope of creation material. This chapter focuses on the structure of the parashah. It analyzes the parashah as a literary unit, deliberately put together by an editor, who, in the peculiar way in which it has been fashioned, wants to convey a message. The chapter follows the numbering and sequence of the parashah's sub-units employed by Theodor-Albeck who used the manuscript British Museum Add. 27169 as their basic text. BerR 1:1 is first sub-unit that opens the Midrash BerR is a petihah, linking the Seder verse Genesis 1:1 with the petihah verse Prov 8:30, a verse from the Ketuvim.

Keywords: Bereshit Rabba (BerR); Genesis 1:1; Midrash; parashah; petihah; Theodor-Albeck



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