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Midrashic Units in the Mishnah

Welcome to the home page of Alex Samely.

Rabbinic Interpretation of Scripture in the Mishnah bookcover 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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