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By Jewish Publication Society / 2002–2006/
The JPS Classic Midrash Collection brings together three ancient anthologies of Midrash. The two Mekhilta titles deal exclusively with the book of Exodus, acting as commentaries that exegetically illuminate both the legal (Halakhic) and moral (Aggadic) aspects of the text. The Pesikta de-Rab Kahana presents a collection of discourses for special Sabbaths and festival days. It operates as an almanac of sorts, filled with all manner of spiritual and intellectual material in many midrashic forms. These range from puns and verse juxtapositions to stories and dramas, and from there to high theology.
Composed during the 3rd and 5th centuries, the JPS Classic Midrash Collection opens a door to the practices and beliefs of the Jews living in the early centuries of the Common Era and considers the common Judeo-Christian holy scripture from uncommon angles. Much of this midrashic material has at points become lost for centuries, then miraculously recovered only to have their print editions lapse out of print. With the JPS Classic Midrash Collection these vital masterpieces of midrashic literature, appropriate for the scholar and novice alike, are given new – and technologically advanced – existence.
The Jewish Publication Society of America was founded in Philadelphia in 1888 to provide the children of Jewish immigrants to America with books about their heritage in the language of the New World. As the oldest publisher of Jewish titles in the English language, the mission of JPS is to enhance Jewish culture by promoting the dissemination of religious and secular works of exceptional quality, in the United States and abroad, to all individuals and institutions interested in past and contemporary Jewish life.
Over the years JPS has issued a body of works for all tastes and needs. Its many titles include biographies, histories, art books, holiday anthologies, books for young readers, religious and philosophical studies, and translations of scholarly and popular classics. It is perhaps known best for its famous JPS Tanakh, the translation of the Hebrew Bible in English from the original Hebrew. You can find more information about JPS by visiting their website.