Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Old Wine in New Flasks: The Story of Late Neoclassical Midrash

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of European Journal of Jewish Studies

Scholarly consensus holds that early classical midrashim focused upon midrashically glossing the local verse. This is primarily true for the exegetical midrashim, but it is also true for the homiletical midrashim as well. In contrast, the later midrashim were principally concerned with expanding the biblical story. Many scholars have shown that we witness the narrative component taking pride of place over that once occupied by the exegetical component in midrashic literature.

In this paper, I wish to shed light upon another evolutionary direction in the history of the late midrash, a stage which I will refer to as 'late neoclassical midrash.' In this evolutionary branch, there was a structural return to the verse-focused exegetical style of classical midrash. A redactor of this midrashic type often used materials already shaped by the later narrative style, reshaping them back into the earlier classical form.

The paper will begin by reviewing a number of brief, neoclassical, midrashic compositions, namely, Midrash Exodus Rabbah I, and Midrash Esther Rabbah II, and continue by demonstrating this neoclassical phenomenon by analyzing aggadic-narrative material from the midrash Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer, assimilated by the neoclassical Esther Rabbah II.

Various literary and historical approaches for analysing this phenomenon will be suggested. Among these, I will suggest that these midrashim were created in a historical circumstance, in Spain, in which the stature of biblical commentary was ascendant. The desire to return to the classical midrashic form reflected a tendency to strengthen the bond between Hazal's derashot and the biblical text, an approach designed to strengthen the position of the midrashic tradition as biblical commentary.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    European Journal of Jewish Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation