The extracts from the Midrash Rabbot and the Babylonian Talmud, given in this little volume, are not the work of one or two authors, or of one age. They belong rather to the speech and feeling of a whole nation than to its literature, properly so called. At first, impromptu utterances, or composed to be spoken in the course of sermons, popular addresses, the speeches of honored rabbis at marriage feasts or in the houses of mourners, or in the rabbinic assemblies of Palestine and Babylon, these and thousands of similar parables, fables, legends, and more or less poetic playings of fancy around the facts of life, or round the popular thought and knowledge of their time and place of origin, lived in the mouths of the Jewish people, like the folk-lore and folk-songs of other nations, and were orally transmitted from generation to generation for hundreds of years before being included in the compilations where we now find them, and in other works now no longer extant. Their survival, and their place in rabbinic literature, they owe to the fact that everything was brought into relation with the Bible or with the traditional laws of Israel; so that they became a part of the Midrash or study of Revelation.
Edwin Collins, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1495422089, ISBN 13: 9781495422089