The Tanhuma Yelamdenu literature belongs to the genre of homiletic Midrashim. They consist of homilies for all passages of the Torah reading cycle as it was practiced in the Land of Israel in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. In this reading cycle the Torah was read in three or three and a half years. For the particular readings on festivals and special Sabbaths corresponding homilies were added.
Key features of the Tanhuma are the opening with a halakhic question, frequently preceding the regular openings. Compared to earlier exegetical midrash such as Genesis Rabba, Tanhuma uses less Aramaic and more Hebrew and differs in the length and style of the explanations.
Tanhuma Yelamdenu Midrashim are found in different works and versions. The best known are the printed edition and the edition published by Solomon Buber. In addition, some of the Rabba Midrashim belong to this genre, as well as other texts found in the Cairo Geniza or cited in medieval anthologies.
Because of the late nature of the Tanhuma Yelamdenu, their richness and complexity, these works were neglected and have never been published critically. Therefore we have chosen these texts to be the first to be dealt with in Tikkoun Sofrim.
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