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From Hebrew מִדְרָשׁ(midrásh, Midrash), in turn from Aramaic דרש‎.



Midrash (plural Midrashim or Midrashot or Midrashoth)

  1. A Rabbinic commentary on a text from the Hebrew Scripture.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 19:
      In other stories of the midrashim, Adam, in penance for his fall, abstains from sexuality for 130 years, but he is not able to control his nocturnal emissions; in his dream state female spirits, the succubae, come and have intercourse with him, and with Adam's seed they give birth to demons.
  2. The Rabbinic technique or tradition of such exegesis.
    • 2007, Karen Armstrong, The Bible: The Biography, Atlantic 2008, page 82:
      Midrash was not a purely intellectual pursuit and study was never an end in itself: it had to inspire practical action in the world.

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