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Footnote 35 on page 395 of William Braude's English translation of Pesikta d'Rav Kahana says, "See MhG Gen., p. 880, where an anonymous teaching characterizes all prophecies predicting redemption as no more than a pack of lies."

First of all, there is no p. 880 in Midrash HaGadol on Bereshis, as there are only 772 pages in that book, as can be seen from here.

Secondly, can anyone who has access to Midrash HaGadol check to see if it actually states this?

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya geminius1! And thanks for this interesting question. – Joel K Nov 13 '18 at 7:54
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    Does the translation you use list at the beginning or end of the book which edition of Midrash Hagadol it's quoting from? – b a Nov 13 '18 at 18:43
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    @DannySchoemann why do we need Midrash Rabbah? – רבות מחשבות Nov 13 '18 at 19:32
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Below is the text of Midrash Hagadol Page 880 (תתפ) in the Mossad Harav Kook/Margulies Edition. This is the edition that Braude says that he references in the text of his translation of Pesikta Derav Kahana (see Page 664 of that book). (The OP was referencing the Shcechter Edition, which is another well-known edition, but not the one that the author refers to.)

Based on the content on the page below (Rebbi's presentation of a discussion between G-d and Yeshayah about Hashem not bringing the Geulah), we are left with two conclusions:

  1. Braude is making a strong overstatement, and is interpreting this passage in a very novel way. This would be underscored by the fact that this comment is not anonymous, but rather attributed to Rebbi.
  2. This is not the correct page that should have been referenced, and perhaps elsewhere in Midrash Hagadol it may say such a thing... (If I were guessing, I would look at Ya'akov's attempt to reveal the end of days.)

Midrash HaGadol 880

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    Note also that the quote in the question speaks about an "anonyous teaching", while this piece is clearly quoted from Rebbi. I'm leaning more towards something like your second point; that Braude is referencing something else, or is using a different edition of the Midrash Hagadol (giving him the benefit of the doubt that he isn't just making something up entirely). – Salmononius2 Nov 13 '18 at 19:52
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    @Salmononius2 Good point about the anonyimity - I had noticed that but forgot to note it. He shouldn't be using a different edition, being that he clearly says that he used this one, as I linked above. – רבות מחשבות Nov 13 '18 at 20:02
  • I’d clarify that OP references the Solomon Schechter ed.; this is the Mordechai Margolies ed. (Also, worthwhile to post a fuller picture that includes MM’s interesting הערה). – Oliver Nov 13 '18 at 20:19
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    @Oliver the OP can reference whatever he/she wants. The author of the quote which mentions the sefer references the Margulies edition, so I followed it. I will add clarifying notes for both, though. – רבות מחשבות Nov 13 '18 at 20:31
  • @Oliver not sure what MM's heara was - feel free to add it in (I no longer have the sefer open on my browser) – רבות מחשבות Nov 13 '18 at 20:37

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