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(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.


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 ?
9) Rabbinic expositions of the world to come tend to be midrashic or folkloristic.
Nelson expertly shows how such an argument would simply not have been available to Milton had it not been for the rediscovery of the Midrashic tradition.
Yet this midrashic interpretation suggests that this basic desire is what led to the first murder.
Similarly, the analytical, self-reflective nature of the sermon arises from Midrashic tradition, a tradition that is a particular "gift of the Jews" (Cahill 1998).
Citing a plethora of Midrashic and Talmudic sources, the subject matter covered here includes the veritable gamut of Torah related concepts such as the power of prayer, performing chesed, the establishment of a Torah true home, respecting our parents and teachers, designating time for regular Torah study, sensitizing ourselves to the needs of others and the critical importance of remaining ever vigilant concerning our conduct and speech, among hundreds of other timeless concepts.
We need a more midrashic notion of literary composition as essentially commentary upon a tradition, or multiple traditions.
During Midrash, which is the discussion of the meaning of the Torah in a Jewish service, Avodah uses movement as a Midrashic tool.
Powell's "'From an Urn Already Crumbled to Dust': Kafka's Use of Parable and the Midrashic Mashal," published in Summer, 2006.
In arguing for a strong connection between modern American poems and traditional Jewish sources, Shreiber evokes a range of biblical and midrashic materials, suggesting that even if the poets may not have had such materials in mind--or known of them, for that matter--these materials constitute "an intertextual cultural matrix" (151) that critics might call upon in their analyses.
The four day teaching workshop focusing on "Contemporary Issues in Sexuality -- Texts and Techniques to Transform the Classroom Community" will be lead by TCI's expert educators, who are fluent in biblical Hebrew and trained in Jewish biblical commentary, including the traditional Jewish study methods -- Hevruta, Midrashic interpretation, and Parshanut.
Most texts addressing this heresy appear in midrashic exegesis of scripture, but some pertain to "unorthodox" liturgical formulations that were seen as implying that God was only responsible for the good in the world while some other being deserved credit for suffering.
Kunst could have developed this Christian link to Midrash more explicitly in order to shed more light on how Midrashic speculation became literalized into Christian thought.