Could someone explain me the differences or nuances between a shiur, d’var Torah, drash (and drashah) as they all seem to refer to ‘a teaching’.

P.s. is there something in their roots which defines the differences between them?


I think the terms are all used to connote a lecture given over by someone, not necessarily distinguishing between them. The only place where we do see specific meanings to those words is in the Talmud.

For common meanings of the words:

Shiur- a lesson given over by a Rav or learned person. In a yeshiva, this is the term to connote the lesson or class given over by the Rav of the class.

D'var Torah- a lesson or Torah-based lecture or conversation about Torah; not necessarily one subject.

Drash- similar to d'var Torah.

| improve this answer | |

I'm really confused about what you're asking for:

  1. A Shiur translates as a lesson (unless you mean a measure). It can be in math, physics or Tanach.
  2. Dvar Torah is a short Vort/speech (a short lesson derived from the Torah) a person (usually not a Rabbi) presents on an occasion.
  3. Drasha is a lesson given by a rabbi on a certain subject/issue usually in a shul.
  4. Drash is all different, it is a metaphoric explanation of a verse.
| improve this answer | |
  • I will give you an example: take the word parashat which comes from the root פרש which could be read as פֵּרֵשׁ which means: to explain, to clarify ; to interpret. Or if we take another form פֹּרַשׁ it means: to be explained, to be clarified, to be interpreted. This gives some insight in how one should understand the word parashat and besides it shows us clearly why this word has the meaning of 'a teaching'. Yet in our language there are more words used to describe 'a teaching' from the Tenach & I noticed some Rabbi's posting a shiur, dvar torah, drash which to me seemed all to be teachings – Levi Sep 12 '18 at 19:30
  • so I wanted to know if I could destinguish between such words based on their roots, or if someone could explain me the difference between a teaching called a shiur, a teaching called a dvar Torah etc... because all are teachings but clearly there are some differences between them. – Levi Sep 12 '18 at 19:33
  • No, unfortunately, you can't. Hebrew has gone through many transformations and it is impossible to get a clear understanding of a word by its root only. For example, פרשה means chapter where הפרש means difference and פרש or הפרשה means excretion. Believe me. – Al Berko Sep 12 '18 at 21:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .