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Baraita on the Erection of the Tabernacle

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Baraita on the Erection of the Tabernacle is a Baraita cited several times by Hai Gaon, by Nathan ben Jehiel in the Aruk, as well as in Rashi, Yalḳut, and Maimonides. Rashi calls it a "Mishnah". It treats in fourteen sections (in the Munich MS., sections i. and ii. constitute one section) of the boards (see. i.), woolen carpets (ii.), and carpets made of goat-hair (iii.), the curtain (iv.), the courtyard (v.), the Ark of the Covenant (vi.-vii.), the table (viii.), the candlestick (ix., x.), the altar of incense (xi.), the goblets (xii.), the Levitical services (xiii.), and the wandering in the wilderness (xiv.).

Origins of the Baraita

The authorities mentioned in this Baraita are: Rebbi (Judah ha-Nasi I), R. Jose, R. Nehemiah, R. Judah, Jose b. Judah, Judah b. Laḳish, R. Eliezer, Abba Saul, R. Meïr, Joshua b. Ḳorḥa, Isi (= Isai) b. Judah, R. Nathan, Simon b. Yoḥai, and a pupil of R. Ishmael not otherwise designated.

Rabbinical Eras

With the exception of Isi b. Judah and Judah b. Laḳish, no authority is here mentioned whose name does not occur in the Mishnah; and these two are as old as Rebbi, the author of the Mishnah. From this fact, and from the fact that many teachings of the Baraita on the Erection of the Tabernacle are cited in the Talmud with the formula "de-tania" or "tanu rabbanan" (see proofs in Flesch, p. 7), it may be assumed that this Baraita was available to the Amoraim in a fixed form. It is questionable, however, whether the redactor of the Mekilta and the redactor of the Sifre drew upon this Baraita. Mekilta Beshallaḥ, introduction (30b, ed. I.H. Weiss), seems to have preserved the aggadah on the seven clouds in the wilderness in an older form than that given by the present Baraita in section xiv. It is true that this very section may not pertain to the real Baraita; yet it is quite possible that Sifre, Num. 59, originated from section x. of the Baraita.

Lewy inclines to the supposition that the Baraita was originally a constituent of the Mekilta of R. Simon. But an argument against such a hypothesis is the fundamental difference in the two writings; the Baraita containing almost no Midrash, while the Mekilta is composed chiefly of halakic Midrash. The same reason may serve to refute Brüll's view (Jahrbücher, v. 134 et seq., and Central-Anzeiger für Jüdische Literatur, p. 32), according to which the Baraita is an addition to the Mekilta.

Elements of the Baraita

The text of the Baraita is in general free from interpolations (the words of Isi ben Akkabyah in section x. do not occur in the Munich MS.; they found their way later into the Baraita from Men. 29a). Nevertheless, the last two sections seem to be later additions from another Baraita (they occur already in Rashi), which is indicated by the haggadic character of the two sections, and by the fact that the author of We-Hizhir, who copied the Baraita in full, omitted them—probably because he did not know of them. There is much in favor of the view of Grünhut and, before him, of Ḥayyim M. Horowitz, in Tosefta 'Attiḳata, i. 7, that both sections were constituents of the Baraita of the Forty-nine Rules. It is especially noteworthy that the numbers "four" and "seven" are the ones on which the sections hinge.

Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography

  • Abraham b. Elijah of Wilna, Rab Pe'olim, p. 39;
  • S. Buber, Yeri'at Shelomoh, p. 15;
  • H. Flesch, Die Baraitha von der Herstellung der Stiftshütte nach der Münchener Handschrift, . . . Uebersetzt und . . . Erläutert, 1899;
  • Grünhut, Sefer ha-Liḳḳuṭim, pp. 11-13, 12b-16a;
  • A. Jellinek, B. H. iii., xxix.-xxx.;
  • Lewy, Ein Wort über die Mekilta des R. Simon, Program of the Breslau Seminary, 1889, p. 3;
  • Zunz, G. V. 2d ed., p. 90. Editions: Venice, 1602; Hamburg, 1782; Offenbach, 1802; Wilna, 1802, by Abraham b. Elijah;
  • A. Jellinek, in B. H. iii. 144-154;
  • Flesch, 1899, from the famous Talmud Manuscript of Munich.

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