—— Tannaitic ——
—— Amoraic (Gemara) ——
—— Later ——
—— Exodus ——
Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael
Mekhilta of Rabbi Shimon
Mekhilta of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai
—— Leviticus ——
Sifra (Torat Kohanim)
—— Numbers and Deuteronomy ——
Sifrei Zutta on Numbers
(Mekhilta le-Sefer Devarim)
—— Tannaitic ——
Seder Olam Rabbah
Alphabet of Rabbi Akiva
Baraita of the Forty-nine Rules
Baraita on the Thirty-two Rules
Baraita on the Erection of the Tabernacle
—— 400–600 ——
Pesikta de-Rav Kahana
Seder Olam Zutta
—— 650–900 ——
Avot of Rabbi Natan
Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer
Tanna Devei Eliyahu
Alphabet of Sirach
Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah
Baraita of Samuel
—— 900–1000 ——
Shir ha-Shirim Zutta
—— 1000–1200 ——
—— Later ——
Machir ben Abba Mari
Targum to the Five Megillot
Targum Sheni to Esther
Targum to Chronicles
The Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon (Hebrew: מכילתא דרבי שמעון
בר יוחאי) is a
Halakic midrash on Exodus from the school of
Rabbi Akiva, the "Rabbi Shimon" in question being Shimon bar Yochai.
No midrash of this name is mentioned in
Talmudic literature, but
medieval authors refer to one which they call either "Mekilta de-R.
Simeon b. Yoḥai," or "Mekilta Aḥrita de-R. Shimon," or simply
"Mekilta Aḥeret" = "another mekilta."
1 References by later writers
2 Current status
Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography
4 External links
References by later writers
From this Mekhilta passages are cited, especially by
Pentateuchal commentary on
Gen. xlix. 31; Ex. xiv. 19, xxi. 3,
Lev. xxiii. 24; and by R.
Todros ha-Levi in his works Sefer
ha-Razim and Oẓar ha-Kabod (MSS. in the Königliche Hofund
Staatsbibliothek, Munich; comp.
M. H. Landauer in Orient, Lit. 1845,
vi. 182 et seq.).
Until the early 1900s, aside from these quotations and some given by
certain authors of the 16th century, as
Elijah Mizraḥi in his
commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch, R. Shem-Ṭob b.
Abraham in his Migdal 'Oz to Maimonides' Yad, and R. Meïr ibn Gabbai
in his Tola'at Ya'aḳob (p. 63b, Cracow, 1570), the only other
extract of any length from the Mekilta de-R. Shimon which was known
was the one published by R.
Isaac Elijah Landau from a manuscript of
R. Abraham Halami, as an appendix to his edition of the Mekilta
There were, therefore, various erroneous opinions regarding this lost
Zunz (G. V. p. 419, note a) considered it as a cabalistic
work ascribed to R. Simeon b. Yoḥai.
M. H. Landauer (l.c.)
identified it with the Mekilta de-R. Yishmael, while
J. Perles (in
Monatsschrift, 1858, pp. 145 et seq.) held that the medieval
authors applied the name "Mekilta de-R. Shim'on" merely to his maxims
which were included in the Mekilta de-R. Yishmael, since separate
sentences could be called "mekilta".
M. Friedmann was the first to
maintain, in his introduction to the Mekilta of R. Ismael (pp. 54
et seq., Vienna, 1870), that, in addition to R. Ishmael's work, there
was a halakic midrash to Exodus by R. Simeon, which was called the
"Mekilta de-R. Shim'on," and that this Mekilta formed part of the
Sifre mentioned in the
Sanh. 86a; Ber. 47b;
This assumption of Friedmann's was subsequently confirmed by the
publication of a geonic responsum (A. Harkavy, Teshubot ha-Ge'onim,
p. 107, No. 229, Berlin, 1888), where a baraita from the Sifre
de-Be Rab to Exodus is quoted, which is the same passage as that cited
Naḥmanides from the Mekilta de-R. Shimon b. Yoḥai, in his
commentary on Ex. xxii. 12. This extract designates the work of R.
Ishmael as the "Mekilta of Palestine," in contradistinction to R.
Simeon b. Yoḥai's midrash. It is clear, therefore, that the Mekilta
of R. Simeon was implied in the title
Sifre de-Be Rab (comp. David Zvi
Hoffman, Einleitung in die Halachischen Midraschim, p. 46); and
it is mentioned in the
Midrash Tehillim (ed. S. Buber, Wilna, 1891),
p. 252 (comp. Buber's note there), under the
Hebrew name Middot
R. Shim'on b. Yoḥai.
It is possible also that Simeon himself intended to refer to his
midrash in his saying: "Learn my middot" (
Giṭ. 67a). The Judean
sources, the Yerushalmi and the haggadic midrashim, introduce baraitot
from this Mekilta with the phrase, "Teni R. Shim'on" = "R. Simeon has
taught" (comp. Friedmann, introduction to his edition of the Mekilta,
pp. 55 et seq.; Hoffmann, l.c. p. 48). The phrase "Tena
de-Be R. Shim'on" is extremely rare, however, in Babli, where this
midrash ranks as one of the "
Sifre de-Be Rab" (Hoffmann, l.c.
p. 50). Many sentences of R. Simeon are quoted there in the name
of his son Eleazar, so that Hoffmann has very plausibly concluded
(l.c. p. 51) that Eleazar edited his father's midrash.
The Mekilta de-R. Shim'on had disappeared, but some extracts from it
were preserved in the collection known as
Midrash ha-Gadol, as Israel
Lewy first pointed out (Ein Wort über die Mechilta des R. Simon).
These fragments were collected by
David Zvi Hoffman
David Zvi Hoffman and published
under the title Mechilta des R. Simon b. Jochai in the
Ha-Peles (vols. i. to iv., passim).
This Mekilta compiled from the
Midrash ha-Gadol preserves abundant
material from the earliest Scriptural commentaries, quoting, for
instance, a sentence from the Doreshe Reshumot on Ex. xxi. 12
(Ha-Peles, iii. 258) which is found nowhere else. It contains also
much from post-
Talmudic literature (comp. Hoffmann, l.c. p. 387,
note 19), for the collector and redactor of the
Midrash ha-Gadol had a
peculiar way of dressing sentences of such medieval authorities as
Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Aruk, and
Maimonides in midrashic garb and presenting
them as ancient maxims (comp. S. Schechter, Introduction to Midrash
ha-Gadol, p. 13, Cambridge, 1902).
A critical version, using newly discovered fragments of texts, was
later published by Yaakov Nahum Epstein and his student Ezra Zion
Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography
M. Friedmann, introduction to his edition of the Mekilta,
pp. 51-73, Vienna, 1870;
David Zvi Hoffman, Einleitung in die Halachischen Midraschim,
pp. 45-51, Berlin, 1887;
Israel Lewy, Ein Wort über die Mechilta des R. Simon, Breslau, 1889.
Jewish Encyclopedia article for Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon, by Isidore
Singer and Jacob Zallel Lauterbach.
Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon by Epstein
David Hoffman, Einleitung in hal. Midraschim, freecopy
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906).
"article name needed". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk &
Israel Lewy, "EinWort ü. Mechilta..." defect scan,