Can anyone explain to me the difference between Midrash and Medrash? Is one of them known to be more correct (i.e. most likely older)?

  • It is purely a linguistic phenomenon.
    – Seth J
    Jul 11 '12 at 1:05

To the best of my knowledge, it's just different way of saying the same thing: "expounding" on a verse. The Hebrew word would always be vowelized "midrash." But at some point in history (most likely involving Yiddish), the word has often come to be pronounced "medrish" or "medrash." We all speak of a "Beis Medrish" or "Medrish Rabba Chapter 5", I'm not sure how that occurred colloquially, but technically the Hebrew word is always "midrash." Your choice of how to pronounce it will likely depend on context, what language you're speaking, and whether your audience will appreciate the colloquialism or proper form.

  • 3
    Whatever that process was, it's also what turned "ribbi" (the older form, still preserved by Sephardim) into "rebbe."
    – Alex
    Nov 17 '10 at 21:55
  • R'Alex, do you have a specific reason/source for saying that it was the same process? Maybe two different processes happened to have identical effects (chirik became "e") in these specific words.
    – msh210
    Nov 19 '10 at 8:01

Technically, midrash is Hebrew and medrash is Yiddish. Hebrew is older.

  • 1
    The content of this answer is already in the preexisting answer, with one exception: the earlier answers says medrash is "most likely" from Yiddish, whereas this answer says it is. So the only added value of this answer is in its claim of certainty as to the origins of medrash via Yiddish: but in that case, you should be able to supply some information as to how you know for certain. Source, please?
    – msh210
    Mar 29 '12 at 22:30
  • Second @msh210.
    – Seth J
    Jul 11 '12 at 1:04

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