Midrash ha-Ḥefez (midrash of desire / business) is a Hebrew text of 1430 about a wisdom contest between King Solomon and The Queen of Sheba. It is noted as part of a long literary tradition about these figures, and for its inclusion of a number of Hebrew riddles:
- There is an enclosure with ten doors: when one is open nine are shut; when nine are open, one is shut. — The womb, the bodily orifices, and the umbilical cord.
- Living, moves not, yet when its head is cut off it moves. — A ship in the sea (made from a tree).
- What was that which is produced from the ground, yet produces it, while its food is the fruit of the ground? — A wick.
Midrash ha-Hefez is also the title of a book by physician Rabbi Yahya bin Suleiman el-Israili (Zachariah bin Solomon ha-Rofeh), ca. 1430. The work contains homilies and haftarot on the Pentateuch, Book of Esther, and Book of Lamentations, written in a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic. A commentary exists under the name "al-Durra al-Muntakhaba".
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