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By W. David Nelson / Jewish Publication Society / 2006
The Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai is a collection of classical midrashic interpretation of the biblical Book of Exodus. Lost for centuries, the text was reconstructed and recovered in the 19th and 20th centuries by both German and Israeli scholars from a variety of source materials, including medieval manuscripts of the text and midrashic anthologies. As one of the first collections of rabbinic biblical interpretation, the Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai is an indispensable source for understanding the history, beliefs, and practices of the earliest rabbis. A critical introduction provides the reader with a firm grounding in the historical setting of the text, as well as its source material, reconstruction, subject matter, and significance for understanding the history of Judaism.
W. David Nelson received an M. A. in bible and cognate studies and Ph. D. in rabbinic literature and thought from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is the Rosalyn and Manny Rosenthal Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and the director of the Program in Jewish Studies at Texas Christian University and Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas.