I noticed the tag for the first time yesterday but can't figure out what it means and there's no description on the tag wiki. The only word I know that's close to that is "drash" but I assume this is a different (related?) word?


2 Answers 2


Re-stating and extending what I said in the chat msh210 linked to in a comment here:

  • We have , whose wiki says "interpretation of the Torah by close reading, not derivation", but whose current de facto meaning, I think, is more like a general "interpretation of Tanach."

  • We have , which should, I think, refer to questions involving the body of literature known as "The Midrash" and referred to in the second sense here.

I suggest three possibilities:

  1. Merge and synonimize with , and have them both refer to all Tanach interpretation.

  2. Have refer to all instances of Tanach interpretation (as I believe it does now), and reserve for questions about the methodology of Tanach interpretation (as it partially does now, although currently not exclusively and probably not exhaustively). This may lead to re-tagging of a bunch of questions currently under the former tag.

  3. Have refer specifically to peshat/"close reading" questions as its wiki currently states, and have refer to questions that involve more extended derivation (and perhaps a third tag for methodology). I suspect that this would require a great deal of re-tagging of questions currently under the former tag.

My inclination is toward something along the lines of (2).

Separate, but related, is the question of whether these tags should refer to all of Tanach or just the Chumash.

  • Is any of this the same as exegesis? Oct 27, 2011 at 17:56
  • When posting a question about either actual interpretation or methods of same, I don't think I would have found my way to any of those tags on my own. (Ok, demonstraby I didn't. :-) ) Oct 27, 2011 at 17:56
  • @MonicaCellio Let's make some synonyms! What tag names would you first think of for such topics?
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Oct 27, 2011 at 18:22
  • 1
    For strict, close reading, "pshat" would be my first try, in combination with a tag for that parsha, sefer, etc. For methodology, my first guess would be to start typing "interpretation" or "method" and see where it gets me. In my recent questions I typed "talmud" because (1) I actually was talking about talmud there but (2) even if I weren't I tend to think of this as "talmudic reasoning" even if it's later. Does any of that help? I'm not saying these should be the tags or synonyms -- just that that's where my thinking, confronted with a blank line for tags, leads me. Oct 27, 2011 at 18:52

I think the and tags are too ambiguous without good tag wikis, and both have been used for too many things to make them useful, as have the and tags. (We also have an tag and a tag.) I suggest we have:

  • A tag for questions about d'rasha as a method. Included would be things like 10910 and 10873. Proposed tag: drush-method (to distinguish from other possible uses).
  • A tag for questions about d'rashos (halachic or aggadic, including those in midrashim). Included would be things like 8788 and 2290.
  • A tag for questions about stories found in aggadic midrashim. Included would be things like 10917. Proposed tag: midrash or agada-stories-legends (both exist, not sure how they differ).
  • A tag for questions about how to read/understand p'sukim. Included would be things like 8291 and 10069. Proposed tag: parshanut-torah-comment (exists).
  • No general tag for questions about topics covered in Tanach, like 10945 and 10915. These can have sefer-specific tags like or parasha-specific tags like , but there are way too many of them for a general (or even ) tag to be useful. Proposal: delete the tanach and pentateuch-chumash tags.
  • Is the second item a viable category? It seems pretty general -- if not in intent, then in the way it will end up being used. Other than that, I agree with this approach. Oct 28, 2011 at 2:18
  • @MonicaCellio, good point: it may be too broad or ill-defined. Feel free, of course, to tighten it up.
    – msh210 Mod
    Oct 28, 2011 at 3:06
  • I edited this to add some proposed tags for these categories. This is the approach I favor, but it's a community decision and I hope others will weigh in. Jul 11, 2012 at 14:34

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