Composed in Talmudic Israel/Babylon (500 CE). Bereshit Rabbah (The Great Genesis) is a midrash comprising a collection of rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis. It contains many simple explanations of words and sentences, often in Aramaic and varied haggadic expositions popular in the public lectures of the synagogues and schools. The tradition that Rabbi Hoshaiah is the author of Genesis Rabbah may be taken to mean that he began the work as numerous additions have been made over the subsequent years before it was redacted (4th-5th Century CE). The editor strung together various longer or shorter explanations and haggadic interpretations of the successive passages, sometimes anonymously, sometimes citing the author.
~ What does this midrash see in the human being? What space in the story does it wish to fill or explain?
What pattern does this midrash find?
How does this impact the creation of the Human Being? What else does this midrash say about the nature of Adam?
What is the last piece of this midrash? What does R. Shime'on ben Lakish's point add to the midrash?
~ What are the anxieties expressed in this midrash about the text? How are they resolved?
~ What does this midrash express about the creation story, and how it impacts/should impact human beings?
~ What is the main question of the text? Is it resolved? If so, how?
~ What is the solution of the rabbis regarding what kind of tree it was? Is this surprising to you? What are we conditioned to think due to Christian iconography? Why?
~ What is this midrash addressing? Why is it important? What are other 'tens' that you know from the Jewish tradition?
~ What is the main question of this midrash?
~ How is the word "house" being used?
~ What is the relationship between Adam and Chava, here?
~ How do you feel about this midrash?
~ Would the rabbis held the same midrash in our day and age?
~ How does this midrash understand the relationship between man and woman? Between husband and wife?
~ Why do we have no midrash about how good the wife of Rabbi Haninah bar Chaninai was?