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I have often heard "drashot" or homiletic interpretations of many verses in the torah. How do we know that the torah can be explained in a non-literal way beyond the non-literal explanations found in the talmud and its contemporary literature such as midrash. Meaning, if a certain drasha of a pasuk is not found in the gemarah or midrash can a person simply make it up on his own? If not what are the parameters for creating a non-literal interpretation?

  • Related/answer: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10868/… – Yishai Oct 27 '14 at 20:37
  • @Yishai I believe those are ways to expound the torah logically/halachically, not morally/homiletically – user6641 Oct 27 '14 at 21:06
  • See point (c) in Alex's answer there, quoted from a Ba'al Tosefos. – Yishai Oct 27 '14 at 21:08
  • Why would we need to be allowed to do so? – Tamir Evan Jan 14 '15 at 16:54
  • I am not aware of any rabbinic figure who has expressed a view that the biblical text only carries one level of meaning. It seems to have been the universal concencus that text carries multiple levels of meanings, thus justifying further post-talmudic exegesis. Furthermore, the raelm of drash can be used as a mere medium to convey information, even if one does not believe that it is the intent of the verse at all. – mevaqesh Aug 18 '15 at 21:29

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