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https://www.scribd.com/document/506081968/Death-of-Moses-Midrash

There is apparently no translation of this text already in English. The document is a bit long (about 10 pages), so to anyone who would be so kind and translate it here, I would greatly appreciate it.

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    Do you have any specific reason for wanting it translated? It'd be a great deal more compelling if you did
    – Yosef
    May 4 at 1:27
  • @Yosef I think it may be related to a Latin text called the "Ascension of Moses."
    – Phillip
    May 4 at 1:56
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Here's the first version (some of the punctuation is based on Eisenstein's edition) (some question marks in-between for words I wasn't sure how to translate):

“This is none other than the house of God”, our sages said: “On that day that the death of Moshe Rabbeinu drew near, the Holy One Blessed Is He raised him up to the heavens and showed him the giving of his reward and what will be in the future. The attribute of mercy stood before Moshe Rabbienu and told him: “I will tell you of good tidings and you shall be happy because of them, turn your face towards the Throne of Mercy and see” and he turned his face towards the Throne of Mercy and saw the Holy One Blessed Is He building the Temple out of pretty stones and jewels, and between every stone the splendor of the Shechinah, which is greater than the jewels, and Mashiach ben David standing in it, and Aharon his brother standing on his feet and his tunic upon him.

Aharon spoke with Moshe: “The time has come. Do not touch me, because I fear for you from the Shechinah, because no man can enter here without tasting death and having given his soul to the angel of death.” Upon hearing the words of Aharon, he fell on his face before the Holy One Blessed Is He and said to Him: “Master of the Universe, give me permission to speak with your Mashiach before I die.” Said the Holy One Blessed Is He to him1: “Go and teach him my Great Name, so that the heat of the Shechinah will not burn him.”

When Mashiach ben David and Aharon his brother saw him, they understood that Hashem had taught him His great Name, and Mashiach and Aharon stood before him and said to him: “May he who enters be blessed in the name of the LORD.” Moshe asked Mashiach ben David, and he told him: “The Holy One Blessed Is He will build the Temple in the Land of Yisrael, and I will also see Him build the Temple in His hand in heaven.” Said Mashiach to Moshe: “Moshe! Yaakov your forefather saw the House that He will build on earth and saw the House that with His hand in heaven, and understood will every fiber of his being, that the House that the Holy One Blessed Is He will build with His hand in heaven and with pretty stones and jewels and with the splendor of the Shechinah is the House that will stand for Yisrael for eternity until the end of all of the generations. And so he spoke during the night that he sat upon the rock, and saw Yerushalayim build on earth and saw Yerushalayim built in heaven, and he saw [he(?)] stood(?) For Yaakov our Forefather, and the Holy One Blessed Is He spoke to Yaakov: “Yaakov my son! In this time I stand over you, until your sons shall stand before Me, as it says: “And the LORD was standing beside him”, and about Yisrael it says: “and they took their places at the foot of the mountain”, “you stand today”, and when Yaakov saw one Yerushalayim on earth and one Yerushalayim in heaven and said “This that is upon earth is but nothing”, as it says: “This is none other than the House”, this is not the House that will stand for my descendants for generations upon generations, but rather that House of God that He builds with His hands, and if you say that the Holy One Blessed Is He build for Himself the Temple in heaven with His hands, so He will build the one on earth with His hands, as it says: “The sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands established”.”

When Moshe Rabbienu heard these things from the strength(?) of Mashiach ben David he became incredibly happy and he turned his face towards the Holy One Blessed Is He and said to him: “Master of the Universe, when will this Yerushalayim, that is build, descend down?” Said to him the Holy One Blessed Is He: “The time – I haven’t told it to any created being – not to the first ones nor to the last ones, and to you I shall tell?!” He said to him: “Master of the Universe, give me a hint from the events.” Said to him the Holy One Blessed Is He: “I shall disperse Yisrael first with a thresher(?) At the gates of the land and they shall disperse to the four corners of the world among all of the nations and shall come to pass upon them the words “Even if your outcasts etc”, and I shall apply My hand a second time and bring those that went with Yonah son of Amitai to the Land of the Patrosites and those that were in the Land of Shinar and in Chamat and in Elam and in Cush etc as it says “my Lord will apply His hand again etc”. At that time, Moshe descended from heaven, happy, and the angel of death descended after him and he did not give his spirit and soul to the angel until Hashem showed him His face and he gave his soul to the Holy One Blessed Is He wholeheartedly and willfully for “this is none other than the house etc”."

And here's the second version:

It is written: “Many women have done well, But you surpass them all” (Mishlei 31:21) about whom did Shlomo say this passage? He did not say this but alone about Moshe Rabbeinu, that the Holy One Blessed Is He weighed all of the righteous people against him and Moshe outweighed all of them. What did the Holy One Blessed Is He out of His great love for Moshe? He brought all of the creations of Genesis and put them on what scale and Moshe on the other scale, and Moshe outweighed all of them.

To what were Adam and Moshe similar? To two great doctors, one who was bitten by a snake and didn’t know how to heal himself and died, and one who healed everyone who had been bitten by a snake, who is greater? Not the one who healed everyone? Such was Adam, as it is said about him: “The serpent duped me [and] I ate”, and he died because of the snake, but Moshe made a copper snake, and everyone who was bitten by a snake would look at it and would be healed, as it is said: “And if anyone who is bitten etc(?) looks at it, he shall recover”, therefore Moshe was greater than Adam.

To what were Noach and Moshe similar? To two men who brought gifts to a king. The first one entered, and the king took from his hand and sniffed it, and it was not acceptable to him. Entered the second and when the king took from his hand, he told him: “Know that I shall eat by you twice every day, in the evening and in the morning.” Such was Noach, when he would make a sacrifice before the Holy One Blessed Is He, it is written: “The LORD smelled the pleasing odor etc”. But Moshe, when he made a sacrifice, the Holy One Blessed Is He said: “Know that I shall eat by you twice every day”, as it is said: “You shall offer the one lamb in the morning, and you shall offer the other lamb at twilight”, therefore Moshe was greater than Noach.

To what were Avraham and Moshe similar? To a matron who had two sons: One took tools and mortgaged them to another, and one went and paid off the mortgage. Which of these is more beloved? Not the one that freed them? Such was Avraham, for one single thing he mortgaged off Yisrael and caused them to dwell in Egypt, as it is said: “And He said to Abraham: “Know etc” but Moshe went and freed them, as it is said: “He sent His servant Moses, and Aaron, whom He had chosen”.

To what were Yitzchak and Moshe similar? To a candle and a lamp, the candle burned out from the evening and the lamp remained lit until the morning. Which is greater? Not the lamp? Such was Yitzchak that because he looked at the Shechinah, his eyes were blinded, but Moshe ascended to heaven and looked upon the figure of the Holy One Blessed Is He, as it is said: “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face”, and what is written “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated”, therefore Moshe was greater than Yitzchak.

To what were Yaakov and Moshe similar? To two men who descended into cages(?). One grabbed a lion and fought it and defeated it, and the lion injured him, and the other descended into a cage that was full of lion. When they saw him, they went and decorated him with wreaths and fell at his feet. Which is greater? Not the one that they fell at his feet? Such was Yaakov, an angel descended and did battle with him, and though he defeated him, the angel injured him, as it is said: “The sun rose upon him…limping on his hip”, but Moshe rose to heaven and the angels saw and fled from his face, as it is said: “You went up to the heights, having taken captives”, therefore Moshe was greater than Yaakov.

To what were Yosef and Moshe similar? To an abstainer and a drunkard. The abstainer had a barrel of wine in his house for safekeeping, and the drunkard had a barrel of wine in his house. Came Yom Kippur and both fasted from the wine. Which of them is greater? Not the drunkard? Such was Yosef, who would abstain from the wife of his master, as it is said: “How then could I do this most wicked thing etc”, but Moshe had his wife with him and he did not lie with her, therefore Moshe was greater than Yosef.

And not only that, but the Holy One Blessed Is He weighed him with all of the creations of Genesis that He made in the first six days of Genesis and Moshe outweighed [them], how was this so? In the first day the Holy One Blessed Is He created light, as it is said: “God called the light Day” and about Moshe it is written: “And He called to Moshe”, so the Torah was compared to light, as it is said “For the commandment is a lamp, The teaching is a light”, Moshe rose to heaven and took it captive, as it is said: “You went up to the heights, having taken captives”, which is greater, that which was taken captive or its captor? Therefore, Moshe was greater than the light.

On the second day, the Holy One Blessed Is He created the expanse, and wrote about it: “God called the expanse Sky”, and about Moshe it is written: “And He called to Moshe”. Therefore, both are equal, which is comparable to two people, one had permission to walk in the his friend’s garden and the other did not have permission, so the expanse did not have permission to walk on earth, but Moshe rose to the expanse, therefore Moshe was greater than the expanse.

On the third day, the Holy One Blessed Is He created the water, as it is said: “and the gathering of waters He called Seas”, and about Moshe it is written: “And He called to Moshe”. Therefore, both are equal, which is comparable to two lords who were walking along one path, one hid his legions from his friend and the other passed by. Such was Moshe, when the sea saw him it fled, as it is said: “The Sea saw and fled”, therefore Moshe was greater than the sea.

On the fourth day, the Holy One Blessed Is He created the lights, as it is said: “And God created the two lights etc” and wrote of them that “to all He gave names”, and about Moshe it is written: “And He called to Moshe”. Therefore, both are equal. This is comparable to a king who wed off his daughter. Came the servant to light up the face of the bride, and the groom did not let him, so Moshe told the Holy One Blessed Is He: “It is not my will that the sun and moon shall shine, but that You shall”, as it is said: “The LORD went before them by day”, therefore Moshe was greater than the lights.

On the fifth day, the Holy One Blessed Is He created the animals and birds, and Moshe brought them and slaughtered them for Yisrael, as it is said: “the flocks and herds he slaughtered for them”. Who is greater, the butcher or the slaughtered?

Moshe began blessing every tribe by itself, but when he saw that time was short, he included all of them together in one blessing and said to them: “Yisrael, I walked with you for a great distance upon the Torah and the commandments, now forgive me.” They said to him: “Our master, Moshe Rabbeinu, forgive us. We have greatly angered you and brought great hardship and labor upon you, forgive us.” He said to them: “You are forgiven.” A heavenly voice rang out and said: “You have no life in this world but half an hour.” He said to them: “Please, I beg of you, when you enter the land remember me and my bones.” And they said: “Woe to the son of Amram who run before us like a horse and his bones fell in the wilderness!” At that time Yisrael cried bitterly, and they said to him: “Moshe Rabbeinu, if you leave us, what will become of us?” He replied: “My children, for all of those past days, the Holy One Blessed Is He was with you, and even now He was with you. Perhaps you shall say: “All those great miracles that were done for you, were done by me for me, they were not done but for the Holy One Blessed Is He’s mercy, as it says: “The LORD Is good to all etc”, all that He has done was done for His honor, if you will trust in Him fully, He shall do all you wish.” At that time Yisrael opened their mouths and said: “God is our refuge and stronghold etc”. Until now, a quarter of an hour had passed for him. A heavenly voice rang out and said to him: “Moshe, why do you cause yourself grief, you have but a quarter of an hour in this world!” Immediately Moshe stood and blessed all of Yisrael, and set before them the blessings by themselves and the curses by themselves, [and] once Moshe saw through Ruach Hakodesh the value of the world being a good reward and the great miracles that the Holy One Blessed Is He was to do for them in the future, he said to them: “O happy Israel! Who is like you” and he said goodbye and stood on his feet, and his voice cried out, and he cried bitterly, and he said to Yisrael: “In peace [b’shalom, a greeting tied to death, as opposed with l’shalom, to peace], I shall see in the resurrection of the dead, I shall see you in the coming future.” And he left with a great cry, and they too cried out bitterly and lamented greatly and bitterly until their cries rose and ascended to the heavens.

What did Moshe do? He tore his robe and pulled out his beard and rolled his head in the dirt, and he took his tunic and covered his head like a mourner and he entered his tent in a great and bitter lament, and he cried and clapped his hands [in bitterness] and said: “Woe is me, that such a cry has befallen me, woe are my feet that did not step in the Land of Yisrael, woe are my hands that did not pick of its fruit, woe is my throat that did not eat from the fruits of the Land of Milk and Honey.”

And no man should think that Moshe was [merely] saddened from not eating fruits, because all of it hinted to keeping the commandments that were kept there more than in other lands, for it was more beloved than all of the other lands, as it says: “which the LORD your God forever looks after etc”, and it was created first as it says: “He had not yet made earth and fields” – these are the wildernesses, “Or the world’s first clumps of clay” – this is the Land of Yisrael which is called the Land of the Holy One Blessed Is He, as it says: “Rejoicing in His inhabited world”, and why was it called Tevel [world]? For it is flavored with everything [me’tubal], that each country has something that the other does not, but the Land of Yisrael is not lacking in anything, as it says: “where you will lack nothing”. Another option for why it was called Tevel, after the seasoning that is in it, which is the Torah, as it says: “more desirable than gold, than much fine gold”, and so said our sages in Genesis Rabbah: “The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is”, said Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi: “Chavilah – that’s the Land of Yisrael. And why was it called Chavilah? Because it has longs for the Holy One Blessed Is He, as it says: “Have longing for God; I will yet praise Him”. “Where the gold is” – that’s the Torah, as it says: “The gold of that land is good”, Rabbi Yochanan said: “From here we see that there is no Torah like the Torah of the Land of Yisrael, and there is no wisdom like the wisdom of the Land of Yisrael. “Crystal is there, and lapis lazuli” – you think this is referring to the crystal of apothecaries? Let another verse clarify it for you, and the lapis lazuli, just as lapis lazuli is a pretty stone, as it is written: “stones of lapis lazuli”, so too crystal is a pretty stone. “Crystal is there” – the study of Torah, aggadot, calculations of seasons and gematriyot, for this Moshe Rabbienu wanted to see it, and he would say: “Let me, I pray, cross over and see the good land” – that’s the Land of Yisrael, “that good hill country, and the Lebanon.” – that’s the Temple which was called Lebanon because it whitened [helbin] the sins of Yisrael, as it says: “be your sins like crimson etc”. And our sages also said (Sotah 14): “For what reason did Moshe so dearly want to enter the Land, did he need to eat from its fruits or be full from its goods? No, so Moshe would say: “There are many commandments we were commanded that can only be kept in the Land, I shall enter the Land so that I may be able to keep all of them myself.”

The Holy One Blessed Is He said: “Moshe, do you simply wish to earn the reward for [keeping] them? I shall make it as though you kept all of them! One might have thought that he will receive reward like the later ones and not like the earlier ones, so the verse states: “And he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,” meaning like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were mighty in Torah and in mitzvot. “Because he bared his soul unto death,” meaning he gave himself over to death on behalf of the Jewish people, as it is stated: “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray You, out of Your book that You have written”. “And was numbered with the transgressors,” meaning that he was counted among those who died in the desert, for, just like them, he did not enter Eretz Yisrael. “Yet he bore the sin of many,” as he atoned for the incident of the Golden Calf. “And made intercession [yafgia] for the transgressors,” as he requested mercy for the sinners of Israel so that they should engage in repentance. And the word pegia means nothing other than prayer, as it is stated: “Therefore pray not you for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession [tifga] to Me; for I will not hear you”.” Until now, this costed him a moment and a half, what did Moshe do? He picked up the scroll and wrote upon it the True Name and handed it to Yehoshua, and did not fill the writing until the hour of his death came. At that hour the Holy One Blessed Is He said to Gavriel: “Bring Me the soul of Moshe.” Answered Gavriel before Him: “Master of the Universe, he who is comparable to 600,000, how can I act rudely before him?” Immediately He said to Michael: “Go and bring Me the soul of Moshe.” Immediately Michael cried. He said to Ganael: “Bring Me the soul of Moshe.” He said before Him: “Master of the Universe, I was his master and he was my student, I cannot take his soul.”

Came Samael and stood before the Holy One Blessed Is He and said: “Master of the Universe, is Moshe, the master of Yisrael greater than Adam, who you created in your world, in your image and form, is he greater than Avraham your beloved who was thrown into the oven to sanctify your Name, is he greater than Yitzchak who was bound up on the altar and from Yaakov your firstborn son and from his twelve sons, your saplings, and none escaped my hands, give me permission and I shall take his soul.” Said the Holy One Blessed Is He: “All of them were not in the image of this one.” He said to him: “Out of where can you take his soul? If from his face, the face that was against My face, as it is said: “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face”, how would you be able to go near it? If you say “from his hands”, the hands that received the tablets, how can you go near them? If you say “from his legs”, they already came up to my mist, how would you be able to go near them? You have no permission for any of his limbs!” He said: “Master of the Universe, even so, give me permission to take his soul.” He said to him: “You have permission.” Immediately Samael left in great cheer from before the Holy One Blessed Is He, and buckled his sword and dressed in cruelty and wrapped himself in his anger and walked up to Moshe in his fury, but once he saw that he was writing the True Name and sparks of fire came out of his mouth and the light of his words shining like the sun and he resembled an angel of the Lord of Hosts, Samael trembled, and said in his heart: “It seems the angels spoke true when they said they couldn’t take his soul”, immediately Samael’s eyes were blinded from the radiance of Moshe’s eyes, and when Samael saw the radiance of Moshe’s eyes he fell on his face in awe and fear and he was overcome with a trembling like a woman in the throes of labor and he found that he could not say anything to his face until Moshe Rabbeinu said to him: “Samael, Samael, There is no safety—said the LORD—for the wicked, what are you doing, why are you standing before me?” He said to him: “Your time to leave this world has come; give me your soul.” He said to him: “Who sent you to me?” He said to him: “He Who created the world and the souls.” He said to him: “I will not give you my soul.” He said to him: “But, after all, the souls of all mortals are within my reach!” He said to him: “In me I have strength greater than that of all of the mortals!”

He said to him: “What is your strength?” He said to him: “I am the son of Amram who left the intestine of my mother circumcised (and so our sages said in Sotah and when she saw him that he was a goodly [tov] child…They said he was good because he was born when he was already circumcised. And the Rabbis say: At the time when Moses was born, the entire house was filled with light, as it is written here: “And when she saw him that he was a goodly [tov] child,” and it is written there: “And God saw the light, that it was good [tov]”) and in that same day I spoke with my father and mother, and when I was three months old I prophesied and I said: “I am destined to receive the Torah from the fiery flames (and this is what our sages hinted at when they said And she opened it and saw it [vatirehu], even the child” (Exodus 2:6). The Gemara comments: The verse states: “And she saw it”; it should have stated: And she saw. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: In addition to Moses, she saw the Divine Presence with him. And this was at the end of three months, as is also written: “and she hid him for three moons”) and when I was eighty years old I made miracles and fantastic feats in Egypt and I took out from there 600,000, and I split the sea into twelves strips and I sweetened the water of Marah [bitter] and I crafted the two stone tablets and I rose to heaven and I saw the Shechinah and I spoke with it face to face and I received the Torah out of the fiery flames from the left and right of the Holy One Blessed Is He, and I wrote according to His mouth the 613 commandments, and I taught them to Yisrael, who is there in the whole world who could do as I did, wicked entity, go because I shall not give you my soul!” This cost Moshe a moment, [and] a heavenly voice rang out and said to him: “Moshe, why do you cause yourself grief, for you have only a moment of life left.” Immediately Samael returned to speak before the Almighty, in that moment the LORD became angry at him and said to him: “Go and bring me the soul of Moshe!” Replied Samael and said: “Master of the Universe, if you say to me “go to gehinnom and turn the bottom right-side-up”, I shall do it in a moment and will not delay to do as You command, but before the son of Amram I cannot stand!” Said to him the Holy One Blessed Is He: “Why not?” He said to Him: “Because he resembles a seraph of Your chariot and sparks came out of his mouth when he spoke to me and the radiance of his face resembled the radiance of the Shechinah; please, don’t send me to him, for I cannot stand before him.” At this, the Holy One Blessed Is He became angry with him and said to him: “From the fires of gehinnom you were created and to fire you are destined to return, at first you exited from before me with great cheer and when you saw his greatness and might, you tell me that you are unable to stand before him, it is clear to Me that you are destined to return before him with a great request.”

Immediately Samael went and stood before Moshe and said to him: “Moshe, such is what the Holy One Blessed Is He told me: “Go and bring to Me the soul of Moshe”.” What did Samael do? He drew his sword from its sheath and stood above Moshe, immediately he stood in great awe and became angry with him, and he picked up the staff of God, upon which was carved the True Name and hit Samael and admonished him with all of his might, a great admonishment, until he fled from before his face. Until now, this cost him half a moment. A heavenly voice rang out and said: “Moshe, why do you cause yourself grief, for the time of your death has arrived.” Immediately Moshe stood in prayer before the Holy One Blessed Is He and before Him: “Master of the Universe, remember the day You appeared upon me in the bush, remember the day that I ascended before You atop Mount Sinai and I received Your Torah and gave it Your people Yisrael, please, I beg of You, merciful God, do not hand me over to the angel of death. At that moment a heavenly voice rang out and said to him: “I have already received your prayer, and I myself shall take care of your burial.” Immediately Moshe stood and sanctified himself like the seraphim of glory, and the Holy One Blessed Is He descended from the upper heavens to receive the soul of Moshe. When he saw the Holy One Blessed Is He, he fell upon his face and said: “Master of the Universe, with Your attribute of mercy You created Your world, and with Your attribute of mercy You manage it, please manage me with Your attribute of mercy. A heavenly voice rang out and said: “Moshe, do not fear, because your righteousness shall march before you, the honor of the LORD will collect you.”

Three angels descended at that time with the Holy One Blessed Is He, Michael, Gavriel and Ganael [in other versions: Zagziel or Zagzagel or Zaganzagiel]. Gavriel prepared Moshe’s bed, Michael spread a sheet of purple and Ganael place a pillow of fine wool beneath his head. The Holy One Blessed Is He stood above his head and Ganael at his feet, and Gavriel from one side and Michael on the other side. Said the Holy One Blessed Is He to him: “Connect your two legs together.” And he did so. And again, He said to him: “Place your two hands on your chest.” And he did. And again, He said to him: “Lower your eyelids over your eyes.” And he did.

At that moment, the Holy One Blessed Is He called to Moshe’s soul and said to it: “My daughter, one hundred and twenty years I have set aside for you in the body of Moshe, come out and do not be tardy, for your end has come.” She immediately replied to the Holy One Blessed Is He: “I know that You are the God of Spirits and Souls, and in Your hands are the spirits of the living and the dead, and You created me and You molded me and You put me into Moshe’s body for one hundred and twenty years, and who is there that has a body as pure as Moshe’s, I do not want to leave it!” Again, He said to her: “Do not be tardy, for your end has come, and I shall now raise you up to the upper heavens and seat you with honor beneath the Throne of Honor.” When Moshe saw that his soul was finding it difficult to leave, he said to her: “Say that the angel of death will be in control.” She said to him: “The Holy One Blessed Is He won’t do so, because you saved my spirit from death.” – “Say “I am about to be sent to gehinnom”.” She said to him: “my feet from stumbling” – he said to her: “And where are you destined to go to?” She said to him: “I shall walk before the LORD in the lands of the living”. Upon hearing this from her, he gave her permission and said to her: “Be at rest, once again, O my soul etc”. Once the Holy One Blessed Is He saw this, He kissed him and withdrew his soul with the kiss of the mouth as it is said: “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there, in the land of Moab, at the command of the LORD”.

At that hour the Holy One Blessed Is He cried and said: “”Who will take my part against evil men etc”? When there will be sinners, who will asked for mercy for them?” And the serving angels cried and said: “And the wisdom, from where will it be found?” And the skies cried and said: “A pious man has been lost from the earth”, and the earth cried and said: “And the most just of man is not”, and all the creations of Genesis cried and said: “The righteous man has been lost and no one has taken notice”, and Yehoshua hugged Moshe and screamed and cried: “Save us LORD, because a pious man has been finished.” And all of Yisrael cried and said: “He executed the LORD’s judgments”, and the Holy One Blessed Is He praised him and said: “Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses”, And the Holy One Blessed Is He said to him: “You said about Me “there is no other”, as it is written: “It has been clearly demonstrated to you that the LORD alone is God; there is none beside Him”, so too I wrote in My Torah: “Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses” (the death of Moshe is an atoning altar for all of Yisrael, as our sages said Rabbi Yitzchak said etc).


1 "...to Matat" (Metatron) in Eisenstein's version (i.e., Hashem told Metatron to teach Moshe His Name, and then Moshe goes to Aharon and Mashiach).

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  • @Phillip I added the second version to my answer.
    – Harel13
    May 5 at 12:28
  • regarding your question marks - I compared the first midrash to its parallel in Bereishit Rabbati on this verse: 1. בתורה in the original Hebrew should be בתוכה, in it. 2. Perhaps there is an issue in the Hebrew, and it should be "and he showed him it standing", but I'm not sure. 3. Might be נוכח, not מכח, although the meaning is pretty clear from the context. 4. Should be some sort of dispersal device, not sure which. May 5 at 16:16
  • @רבותמחשבות Thanks, that makes a lot of sense! Also good to know that the midrash is from Beresheet Rabbati. It said Rabbah, but I couldn't find it in Rabbah. I originally put it down to existing in a different manuscript.
    – Harel13
    May 5 at 17:11
  • 1
    You should consider cleaning up and publishing this translation separately in some form - it's really long and must have taken a lot of work! May 5 at 18:07
  • @רבותמחשבות Yeah, took a few hours of on-off work. I liked the midrash itself. It's really powerful. But I'm not an expert translator. Maybe Sefaria will want it?
    – Harel13
    May 5 at 18:08
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What he is telling you is that there is a widespread medrash concerning the death of Moshe (i.e. occurs across multiple medrashim) in which Moshe complains that he should not have to die, wrestles with the malach ha'maves and in the end persuades his soul to surrender to its fate.

Since this medrash is so widespread it appears (and appears in the medrash rabbah) it appears to be reputable and also from a very early source.

The medrash is poetic and raises some interesting theological questions.

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