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The following is the Jewish Virtual Library definition for "Derash". How does it relate to homiletics which is the study of creating and delivering sermons? Is it trying to say that Derash became the exegetic method for creating sermons? I’m confused as to how the two terms are related.

DERASH (or Derush) (Heb. דְּרָשׁ or דְּרוּשׁ from דָּרַשׁ, "to interpret"), a method of exposition of scriptural verses. In the Midrash the distinction between derash and the alternative method called *peshat is not clearly defined and in parallel passages the terms are sometimes interchangeable (cf. Gen. R. 10:7 with Tanh., Ḥukkat 1). Only in the Middle Ages, probably under the influence of Rashi's Bible commentary, did derash come to be used for homiletical exposition in contrast to peshat, the literal interpretation. Derashah (Heb. דְּרָשָׁה) is the equivalent of the word "sermon" today. Originally it was confined to a sermon on a theme which was based on a homiletical interpretation of Scripture.

  • I disagree with that article. Derash has very little to do with sermons. – Heshy Jun 5 at 11:06
  • I was reading Zamir Cohen’s “The Coming Revolution,” and it also used the term “homiletics” for Derash. I don’t know. – user27343 Jun 5 at 11:13
  • The fact that two Hebrew words stem from the same root, says little about their dependence. While some Drashot deal with the Drash level of interpretation it is not limited to it. One can be saying a Drashah on Halachic, Historical or cultural issues in Judaism. – Al Berko Jun 5 at 11:33
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    ...and I would add to @AlBerko's point that the same is true for two English words. I've heard the term "homiletics" but never connected it to "homily", because at least in this usage they're completely different. – Heshy Jun 5 at 11:53
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Acc. to Even Shushan dictionary, דרש, meaning metaphorical interpretation, is Biblical ("וְאֵת שְׂעִיר הַחַטָּאת דָּרֹשׁ דָּרַשׁ מֹשֶׁה") and the Sages used it extensively.

The word דרשה was also used by the Rishonim (e.g. Rashi), but meaning "the action/result of a particular interpretation", for example, "אל תקרא חרות אלא חירות, שאין לך בן חורין אלא מי שעוסק בתלמוד" would be called a Drashah.

The use of דרשה as a planned lecture/sermon started in the contemporary Hebrew only, like in "דרשת השבת הגדול". It is not limited to Drash in any way, one can be saying a Drashah on Halachic, Historical or cultural issues in Judaism.

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    "The use of דרשה as a planned lecture/sermon started in the contemporary Hebrew only," Is that sourced to Even Shushan dictionary as well? I'm not sure how to parse your post. – Double AA Jun 5 at 12:40

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