Midrash


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Midrash

(mĭd`räsh) [Heb.,=to examine, to investigate], verse by verse interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures, consisting of homily and exegesis, by Jewish teachers since about 400 B.C. Distinction is made between Midrash halakahhalakah
or halacha
[Heb.,=law], in Judaism, the body of law regulating all aspects of life, including religious ritual, familial and personal status, civil relations, criminal law, and relations with non-Jews.
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, dealing with the legal portions of Scripture, and Midrash haggada, dealing with biblical lore. Midrashic exposition of both kinds appears throughout the TalmudTalmud
[Aramaic from Heb.,=learning], in Judaism, vast compilation of the Oral Law with rabbinical elucidations, elaborations, and commentaries, in contradistinction to the Scriptures or Written Laws. The Talmud is the accepted authority for Orthodox Jews everywhere.
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. Individual midrashic commentaries were composed by rabbis after the 2d cent. A.D. up to the Middle Ages, and they were mostly of an aggadic nature, following the order of the scriptural text. Important among them are the Midrash Rabbah, a collection of commentaries on the Torah and the Five Scrolls (the Song of Songs, Esther, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes), and the Pesikta Midrashim, concerning the festivals. This body of rabbinic literature contains the earliest speculative thought in the Jewish tradition.

Bibliography

See H. L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (1931, repr. 1969); L. Ginzberg, Legends of the Bible (1956); N. N. Glatzer, Hammer on the Rock (1962).

References in periodicals archive ?
Midrash sometimes sacrifices immediate narrative or legal context for the sake of structural context.
This second aspect of midrash describes the form of many of the texts of the Kabbalah, beginning with the Zohar.
3) pieces of information that serve to link the source text to the purpose of the midrash (such links usually take the form of distortions of the source text).
Some clarity, in fact, may have rescued Alfred Dreyfus: Man, Milieu, Mentality and Midrash from its illegibility.
Very early on in the rabbinic period," says Stern, "there's a kind of rivalry between different sources of authority in rabbinic tradition, and in order to bolster their own claims of authority, some rabbinic groups disparage midrash as flamboyant baseless interpretations of the Bible that don't have to be taken too seriously.
One of the interior design challenges was bringing natural light to the Beit Midrash study hall located on the lower level.
An example of an ethos that is critical of the kind of religious possessiveness that leads to intransience can be found in the abovementioned midrash.
In this way, Twain, who Wright argues likely had some knowledge of rabbinic midrash, forces modern readers to confront the myriad questions arising from the terse biblical rendition of the story.
6) As is often the case in rabbinic literature, this midrash quotes the beginning of the biblical verse and assumes familiarity with the remainder.
The use of parable in Hebrew tradition is most prevalent in midrash, the Jewish tradition of scriptural exegesis.
JUDAISM AND THE INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE: INTRODUCTION TO THE RABRINIC MIDRASH.
THE BURNING WORD: A CHRISTIAN ENCOUNTER WITH JEWISH MIDRASH By Judith M.