Welcome to the home page of Alex Samely.
This is where my Database of Midrashic Units in the Mishnah is published. The
Database translates and explains all explicit biblical interpretations found in
the Mishnah except for those in tractate Avot.
This database accompanies my book Rabbinic Interpretation of
Scripture in the Mishnah (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN
0-19-827031-3). In the book I give a detailed modern description of c. 140
rabbinic techniques of interpretation. It is a systematic account which uses
more than 100 Mishnaic passages for illustration.
The Database, on the other hand, is my full
commentary on every single passage of biblical interpretation found in the
Mishnah, in the order of occurrence. The principles of description and
terminology used in this Database are those introduced in the book Rabbinic
Interpretation of Scripture in the Mishnah.
Please contact Alex Samely if you have general
queries, or specific suggestions and comments concerning this project. For the
principles of description, and the general definition of each of the separate
techniques, please see my book, in particular chapter 1 and Appendix I.
My research on the midrashic units in the Mishnah and the creation of this
database was supported by a British Academy Small Grant in 1994-5, a British
Academy funded research leave in 1998-9 and a Manchester University Arts
research support grant in 2002. I am grateful to my colleague Ms Sophie
Garside, Senior Lector in Hebrew, for her help with creating entries, and to Mr
Dan Smith of the Arts Faculty Computing Support Unit for transforming my
HyperCard version into a web-based resource.
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