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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 3.28:
What are the main Homiletic Midrashim?

Answer:

Leviticus Rabbah (Vayikra Rabbah)

This consists of 36 homilies on Leviticus, and was redacted sometime between 400 and 500 CE.

Pesiqta de Rab Kahana (Verses of Rabbi Kahana)

For a long time this work was only known by separate quotations, although recent scholarship has reconstructed the content and structure by piecing together more recently discovered manuscripts and fragments from the Cairo Genizah. This book is a homiletic midrash for the readings on the festivals and Sabbaths. The material contained within it was probably written between 500 and 700 CE.

Pesiqta Rabbata

A collection of sermons for the festivals and Sabbaths. It may have been written sometime in the 6th or 7th century, but a more accurate dating still is impossible.

Tankhuma (Yelamdenu)

A homiletic midrash on the whole Torah. It probably was redacted around 400 CE.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) Rabbah

Consists of 27 self contained homilies that relate to Deuteronomy. Its core material was written before 400 CE, but later material was added until its redaction around 800 CE.

Shmot (Exodus) Rabbah

The first part is an exegetical midrash on Exodus, while the second part is a homiletic midrash. It was redacted sometime before the 12th century, although it contains much older material.

Bamidbar (Numbers) Rabbah

A haggadic and homiletic midrash on Numbers. Although its final form was reached around the 12th century, most of the material is probably from the 8th century.


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