By Samuel M. Segal
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Extra resources for Elijah: A Study in Jewish Folklore
God withholds the rain; so did Elijah. God brings down the fire; so did Elijah. As the verse says, Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering. 21 Midrash Deuteronomy Rabbah, ch. 10, sec. 3; ed. Wilna. See also: Midrash Semuel, ch. 29, sec. 2; ed. Buber. Genesis Rabbah, ch. 77, sec. 1; ed. Wilna. A SIMPLE K A L WEHOMER How do we know that the metal coffin containing the body of Joseph came to the surface of the water when Moses prayed? W e know this from the fact that the axe made of iron came to the surface by the prayer of Elisha, who was but the pupil of Elijah, who in turn was the pupil of Moses.
Let it be known that I am one of the grand-children of Rachel/' Genesis Rabbah, ch. 71, sec. 12; ed. Warsaw, 1867. See also: Seder Eliyahu Zuta, ch. 15, p. 199; ed. Friedmann. Midrash Hagadol Wayeze, column 473; ed. Schechter. MENASSEH AND GILEAD ARE UNTO H I M 1 The verse Gilead is unto me refers to Elijah who was an inhabitant of Gilead. The verse Menasseh is unto me refers to the Messiah, who is to come from the children of Menasseh. According to another interpretation, given in the name of R.
W e have spoken of the cumbersome imagination of the sages. W e have called attention to their extreme ineptness in describing phenomena of nature. W e must accord them their due, however, when it comes to finding apt parallels, striking analogies, revealing parables by which our human nature is made clearer to our perception. Con sider, for instance, the Midrash in which the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are compared to the dead branches which support the vine, or the story in Pesikta Rabbati where the sages explain the apparent harshness of the prophets by the analogy of the advisor who coun seled his king to put his son into prison and let him die by starvation rather than by the prescribed method of fire.
Elijah: A Study in Jewish Folklore by Samuel M. Segal