Excitement in the ArtScroll office is running high with the publication of the inaugural volume of a major new Torah project: the translation and elucidation of Midrash Rabbah.
The Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah is a 16-volume project covering all of Midrash Rabbah, on the entire Chumash and the Five Megillos. The inaugural volume (volume 2 of the entire series) covers Sefer Bereishis/Genesis, from Parashas Lech Lecha through Parashas Toldos.
Midrash Rabbah is the best known and most widely studied of all the Midrashic works. Rabbi Nosson Scherman, General Editor of ArtScroll/Mesorah, explains in his introduction: “Midrash Rabbah is our richest lode of Aggadic comment and exposition on the Torah and the Five Megillos. The Talmud and the Midrash are both parts of the Oral Law. The primary emphasis of the Talmud is to expound upon and define the legal parameters of the Torah and the mitzvos. The Midrash delves into the spiritual essence of the revealed Torah, adds detail and information to the Torah’s narrative, and provides the ethical tradition that was passed down orally from generation to generation until it was committed to writing. Midrash Rabbah is one of the primary sources of ethical discourse, Chassidic and mussar teaching, and homiletic literature.”
The Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah features the Hebrew text, newly typeset, on pages facing the English translation and commentary. It includes many classic Hebrew commentaries, including Rashi, Matnos Kehunah, Eitz Yosef, and Maharzu, plus the out-of-print classic Eshed HaNechalim.
The English translation and commentary, created by an international team of Torah scholars, follows ArtScroll/Mesorah’s acclaimed phrase-by-phrase translation and elucidation of the Midrash text, for optimum understanding of the Midrash. Explanatory footnotes help clarify difficult concepts and passages.
A special feature is the “Insights” section, which complements and broadens the words of Midrash. As a primary source of Jewish ethical and spiritual teachings since Talmudic times, the Midrash has been mined for its treasures particularly by the masters of Mussar and Chassidic thought. In “Insights” we see the Midrash through the eyes of major medieval and contemporary giants of Torah thought, from Ramban and Rabbeinu Bachya to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Sefas Emes, and Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, and scores of others.
The Kleinman Edition Medrash Rabbah is certain to take its proud place on every Jewish bookshelf, as it brings new clarity to the words of the Midrash to Jewish hearts and minds.
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