Prayer rescue and redemption in the Mekilta

Gerald J. Blidstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


It is generally acknowledged that activist Jewish opposition to Rome waned after the futile Bar Kokhba revolt. This judgement has been based on the historical record, in which such opposition is absent. In this paper I show that this shift in policy has left literary traces, particularly in the Tannaitic midrash, Mekilta. Such traces show the rabbis disparaging physical violence in their reading of the exodus from Egypt, and then urging prayer as the most appropriate and potent tactic in the struggle for freedom. In all this, the release from Egyptian bondage symbolizes the ultimate deliverance from Roman power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-87
Number of pages20
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • Egyptians
  • Mekilta
  • Prayer
  • Rabbis
  • Redemption
  • Romans
  • Slavery
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Prayer rescue and redemption in the Mekilta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this