Saturday, April 29, 2006

Midrash Hagadol, Bereishit 1:17

מדרש הגדול, בראשית א, יז (ירושלים: מוסד הרב קוק, תש"ז); ז"ל

תנו רבנן כיצד מזלות קבועין ברקיע, ר' שמעון ור' אלעזר אומרין הרקיע עשוי כעטרה ומזלות מהלכין וגלגל עומד. ר' שמעון בן לוי אומר כהדין אנטיליא. ורבנן אמרי כהדין אדארגון. חכמי גוים אומרין הרקיע עשוי כגלגל ומזלות קבועין והגלגל מהלך, עגלה בצפון ואינה זזה ממקומה. ונצחו חכמי אומות העולם לחכמי ישראל. עכ"ל

The rabbis taught: How are the stars fixed in the sky? Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Elazar say that the sky is like a crown; the stars move [on it], while it itself is stationary. Rabbi Shimon ben Levi says, it is like a water-bucket. The rabbis say, it is like an adargon (?). The gentile sages say, the sky is shaped like a sphere; the stars are stationary and the sphere moves: Ursa Major is in the north, and never moves from its place [because the sphere to which it is affixed rotates about its location]. And the gentile sages defeated the sages of Israel [Chazal].

[Translation by DES.]

(Reference from R. Menachem Mendel Kasher, Kav Hata’arich Hayisraeli 2:8, p. 23.)


Anonymous said...

This is one of many proofs that R. Shimon of Talmud had nothing to do with Zohar. Here, he is of opinion that earth is flat, while in Zohar spherical Earth is clearly expressed.

DES said...

I don't think this shows he had "nothing to do" with the Zohar. He might have authored only part of it. Or he may have compiled it from various different sources, not all of which he agreed with.