Page 20 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 40

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
exam p les are meant to be suggestive and not exhaustive . T h e best
modern edition o f a m idrash is that o f Leviticus Rabba by Mor-
decai Margulies {Midrash Wayyikra Rabba, Je ru sa lem , 1953-1960),
with the Pesikta de Rav Kahana ed ited by B e rn ard Mandelbaum
(New York, 1962) a close runner-up , at least fo r the text and
variant read ings . Th e se two are as close to models as we have. T h e
text o f Bereshit Rabba shou ld be redone based on m anuscripts and
genizah fragm en ts which have su rfaced since the publication o f
the Theodor-A lbeck edition (third printing: Je ru sa lem , 1965).
Enough prelim inary work on the Pesikta Rabbati has been done by
Arno ld G o ldberg and his students in F rank fort and by Norm an
Cohen in New York to clarify the manuscript tradition ; it is time
for a new edition. Marc B regm an ’s em erg ing Hebrew University
doctoral study o f the T anhum a should eventually provide a new
understand ing o f this most important m idrash whose texts and
versions have considerably perp lexed scholars. Hopefu lly , other
dissertations underway or recently completed, many o f them at
Israeli universities, will result in new editions. Publication o f the
late Yemenite Midrash Hagadol under the ausp ices o f the Mosad
HaRav Kook is complete, and their Yalkut Shimoni now covers
Genesis and Exodu s; Ephraim U rbach ’s recent edition o f theSefer
PitronTorah (Jerusa lem , 1978), a previously unknown late Persian
collection o f m idrashim and interpretations, is an exciting ad d i­
tion to this literature.
T h e o ther tools inc lude concordance s, b ib liograph ie s and
translations. Fortunately, concordances now exist fo r the Mekilta
de Rabbi Ishmael (on Exodu s) , the Sifra (on Leviticus) and the Sifre
(on Numbers and Deuteronomy); unfortunately , only the last is
based on the easily available editions o f Horowitz and Finkelstein.
No concordances exist as yet to the other m idrash collections
previously mentioned, nor to the rest o f the compilations in­
cluded in the Midrash Rabba. No full bibliography to an ind i­
vidual m idrash exists; a listing o f scholarly articles and references
a rran ged accord ing to chapter and section o f these works, similar
to those published for O ld Te stam en t and New Te stam en t is still a
dream .
Jo h n Townsend has recently p roduced good limited bibliog­
raph ies: “ Rabbinic Sou rce s” and “Minor M idrash im .” T h e first
gives the basic sources, editions, tools and translation s; the second
lists the many published m inor m idrashim in Hebrew a lph a ­
betical order . Merrill P. Miller’s bibliographical essay “T a rgum ,