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Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer

Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer

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Composed in Talmudic Israel/Babylon  (c.630  - c.1030 CE). Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer (Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer) is an aggadic-midrashic work on the Torah containing exegesis and retellings of biblical stories. The composition enjoyed widespread circulation and recognition throughout Jewish history, and continues to do so in the present. Traditionally, it has been understood to be a tannaitic composition which originated with the tanna Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, - a disciple of Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakai and teacher of Rabbi Akiva - and his disciples. However, modern scholarship has shown the book in fact a a medieval work from the 8th Century. The work is divided into 54 chapters, which may be divided into seven groups.

Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer comprises exegesis, legends and folklore, as well as astronomical discussions related to the story of the Creation. The author dwells longest on the description of the second day of Creation, in which the Ma'aseh ha-Merkavah (Ezek. i.) is described in various forms.


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