From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mazel tov!
Icon judaism.svg
Kosher articles

A midrash is a prominent form Jewish biblical exegesis primarily found in the Talmud written in the Middle Ages. They are both narrative and commentary. While technically anyone can write a midrash, most references to midrashim are going to be referring to ones in the pre-existing rabbinic literature. Orthodox Jews, as in those who strictly follow Rabbinic Judaism, consider these midrashim to have the authority of scripture.

Notable Midrashim[edit]

The Three Oaths[edit]

A midrash found in the Talmud, the Three Oaths is primarily notable as the scripture behind Haredi Jews' opposition to Zionism. It is based on three verses from the Song of Solomon, namely 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4:

Song of Solomon 2:7
I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

In Ketubot 110b and 111a, the Rabbis interpreted these three similar verses as three oaths: God made the Jews swear that they would not try to take the Land of Israel by force or rebel against the nations they're living in, and God made the rest of the nations swear not to oppress the Jews too much. The Gemara reads:

Why/What are these Three Oaths? One, that Israel should not go up to the land in a wall {i.e. en masse, Rashi interprets: forcefully}. Two, the Holy One adjured Israel not to rebel against the nations of the world. Three, the Holy One adjured the nations that they would not oppress Israel too much.

These oaths are generally regarded as still in effect by Haredi Jews.