[Avodah] non-existent midrashim
afolger at aishdas.org
Tue Jan 8 03:57:59 PST 2013
I wonder whether there is some confusion because we expect a work that has
the name midrash to be from Tannaim and Amoraim.
However, that is not true. Midrash were written for over a millenium, and
that means it spans the time from the Tannaim until the Rishonim. Just
because a work has the name Midrash and cites maamarei Chazal does not mean
that it is an Amoraic or immediately post-Amoraic work. (think Mekhilta vs.
Midrash Shemuelby Rabbi Shmuel d'Ouzida of Venice, as an extreme example)
Thus, it is entirely permissible for someone living six, seven or eight
hundred years ago, to offer his analysis, including what we collect as
phantom maamarei Chazal, and call it a (mi)drash.
In other word, there is no reason a priori, lacking an explicit source for
shelo shinu et malbusham, to assume that it must come from an early source.
The early source we have found so far subsitutes shelo dibru lashon hara'
and shehayu gedurim be'arayot for shelo shinu et malbusham, so the latter
may be a modified observation or chiddush based on the original midrashic
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