The Mishnah and Midrash in English

University of Minnesota

Dr. Tzvee Zahavy, Professor

Jewish Studies 3115: Mishnah and Midrash in Translation

Spring, 1994, Course Syllabus

Rabbinic writings in their original contexts and as living texts for the present. Interpretations of the Bible by early rabbis that address moral, theological, and literary problems. Modern methods for the study of rabbinic literature. Jewish laws as a mirror of human culture.


Jacob Neusner, The Mishnah: an introduction and reader = MIR


Jacob Neusner, The Mishnah: an introduction = MAI

_____, The Midrash: an introduction = MID

_____, Invitation to Midrash = ITM

_____, Invitation to the Talmud = ITT


What is the Mishnah? MIR, 1-18; MAI, 1-39

The Religion and Society of Mishnah. MIR, 69-150; MAI, 40-120

Mishnah's view of women. Mishnah's anthropology. MIR, 151-220; MAI, 121-199

Mishnah's Philosophical Statements. MIR, 19-68

The Dual Torah and the Mishnah. MAI, 200-230

Mishnah and Scripture. ITM, 19-56

What is Midrash? ITM, 1-18; MID, 1-30

Tannaite Midrashim. MID, 31-140

Early Rabbah Midrashim. MID, 141-172

Later Rabbah Midrashim. MID, 173-220

Midrashic modes of interpretation: reading out. ITM, 57-98

Midrashic modes of interpretation: reading in. ITM, 99-187 (selections)

The stories of Midrash. ITM, 187-234

Discourse and propositions of Midrash. ITM, 235-262

Contemporary issues and Midrash. ITM, 263-280

Mishnah, Midrash, Talmud. ITT, all


Attendance, participation, readings, exegetical exercises

take home mid-term and final essay exams

Grade options: ABCDF; S/N, S=C or better; no incompletes.