Definitions for Midrashmiˈdrɑʃ; ˌmi drɑˈʃim; ˌmi drɑˈʃɔt
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A Rabbinic commentary on a text from the Hebrew Scripture.
The Rabbinic technique or tradition of such exegesis.
Origin: From מדרש, in turn from Aramaic דרש.
a talmudic exposition of the Hebrew law, or of some part of it
Origin: [Heb., explanation.]
Midrash is a Hebrew term for the body of homiletic stories told by Jewish rabbinic sages to explain passages in the Tanakh. Midrash is a method of interpreting biblical stories that goes beyond simple distillation of religious, legal, or moral teachings. It fills in gaps left in the biblical narrative regarding events and personalities that are only hinted at. The purpose of midrash was to resolve problems in the interpretation of difficult passages of the text of the Hebrew Bible, using Rabbinic principles of hermeneutics and philology to align them with the religious and ethical values of religious teachers. This method of interpretation was eventually expanded "to provide scriptural pretexts to justify oral tradition".
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
the earliest Hebrew exposition of the Old Testament; included the Halacha, or development of the legal system on Pentateuchal lines, and the Hagada, a commentary on the whole Scripture, with ethical, social, and religious applications. The name Midrash came to refer exclusively to the latter, in which much fanciful interpretation was mixed with sound practical sense.
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