Exegetical interpretation, often of verses in Tanach. The term also refers to books based on these interpretations, e.g., Midrash Rabba, Midrash Tanchuma, et al.

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2
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2answers
184 views

Dolphins in the Sea

I have heard that there is a Midrash which says that Dolphins swam on either side of the dry land when the sea was split for Moshe to warn the fish not to swim out onto dry land. Why are there ...
21
votes
6answers
942 views

Anyone who says these people sinned is mistaken. For real?

The Gemara (Talmud Bavli Shabbos 55b-56b) relates that several Biblical figures who, from the text itself, seemed to have sinned, in reality did not. These statements take the form of "כל האומר פלוני ...
8
votes
3answers
991 views

What does the angel Gavriel represent?

In trying to come up with an answer to this question, I became aware that the angel Gavriel plays a common role in several aggados and midrashim. Not only in the midrash with Moshe and the burning ...
11
votes
3answers
722 views

Moshe and the Red-Hot Coals

A midrash that myself and I'm sure many others have heard in grade school is that when Moshe was a baby, still crawling, his "grandfather" Pharaoh, incited by an incident in which Moshe took off ...
10
votes
2answers
177 views

When was Moshe conceived?

We know that Amram and Yocheved (Moshe and Miriam's parents) divorced so as not to give birth to baby boys and Miriam explained to them that they should get remarried because not only are they killing ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

Non-literal Midrashim

Sometimes I'll hear a Midrash and sometimes people might say, "Well, I don't know if it's meant to be taken literally." When do we know when Midrashim are speaking metaphorically or when they are ...
13
votes
1answer
165 views

At what age should we start teaching the distinction between Midrash and Text?

At a very early age children learn the history of the world and the Jews through the enthralling stories found in many varied sources. They learn that the world was created in six days; that ...
12
votes
5answers
361 views

Halachot learned from gematria

The gemara in nazir learns that an unspecified nezirut is 30 days long from the pasuk "kadosh yihyeh" with yihyeh having gematria 30. Can anyone think of other places where halachot are learned from ...
10
votes
3answers
233 views

How did Avrohom learn that nine doesn't work?

The Midrash says (Bereshis Rabbah 49:13 quoted in Rashi Genesis 18:32) that Abraham stopped asking HaShem to save Sodom in the merit of less than 10 people because Noah and his family who were 8 ...
7
votes
4answers
215 views

Ben Noach Stealing less then a Perutah

The Medrash Rabbah בראשית ל''א ס''ק ה says that what the people of the Dor Hamabul did in order not to have to be punished by their courts is to steal less that a Prutah (minimal Monetary Value) which ...
6
votes
3answers
231 views

Who are the tzaddikim in olam ha-ba?

The midrash tells of various things that will happen to the righteous in olam ha-ba, such as feasting on Leviathan. Who are these? Everybody except those who have no share in olam ha-ba per Pirke ...
6
votes
2answers
767 views

How were Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai “Sons of Giants”?

In Bamidbar 13:22, the Torah tells us that the spies saw Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the sons of Giants. Rashi tells us they were the descendants of Shamchazai and Azael, angels who fell from heaven ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Shmuel Yosef Agnon's Nobel Prize Speech Audio?

Does anyone know where I can find a recording of Shmuel Yosef Agnon's speech for winning the Nobel Prize?
10
votes
5answers
313 views

Why did Esther make two parties; why not just one?

What was the purpose of the two parties that Esther made for Haman and Achashverosh (Esther 5:4–8 and chapter 7), if one could have done the job? In other words, what happened that she needed a ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

“Vaz Chatasee”…

The Medresh says that Moshe said to Hashem "Vaz Chatasee" with the word Az I have sinned and with the word Az I will say Shirah to you. What does the Medresh means when it says Moshe said with the ...
3
votes
2answers
127 views

Pharoh's privacy at the Nile

How did Pharaoh prevent people from seeing him use the Bathroom at the Nile? We know he went early morning, but what prevented others from seeing him? A source for this information would be ...
4
votes
4answers
215 views

How did Hashem hide the light from the wicked? What do Chazal mean by this?

Rashi says in Breaishis Chapter 1, Verse 4: אף בזה אנו צריכים לדברי אגדה ראהו שאינו כדאי להשתמש בו רשעים והבדילו לצדיקים לעתיד לבא. "Even this requires words of Aggadah, He saw that it was not fit ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
5
votes
6answers
226 views

Why is the test (Nisayon) of Kivshan Haish not mentioned in the Torah?

One of the difficult tests Avraham Avinu faced was when Nimrod threw him into the (Kivshan Haish) fire. It is not mentioned in the Torah at all. Why?
3
votes
6answers
238 views

What else was in the Ark (Teiva)?

I heard that there is a Medrash that says that besides Noach, his wife, 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, animals, birds, and garbage there were others in the Teiva. What else was in the Teiva?
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What is the explanation of this Medrash about Moshe entering Eretz Yisroel?

The Medrash says that Moshe tells Hashem "it says in your Torah that if a slave says 'I love my master and children and I do not wish to go free' then he stays in his servitude, and I do both". Hashem ...
11
votes
2answers
356 views

Why do we say that Hashem chose us if He offered to the Torah to all the other nations first?

According to Midrash Sifri (Deuteronomy 343), Hashem first went around to all the nations and offered them the Torah before offering it to Bnei Yisroel. So why do we say in Kiddush and Birchas ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

What is the significance of fire, water, and desert?

Why does the Medrash on Bamidbar say that the Torah was given with three thing: Fire, Water,and Desert?
6
votes
5answers
239 views

God's Pair of Teffilin

How when moshe turns his head not to see God's face, he sees He's got on teffilin? I thought God had no physical form.