peshat

Pronunciations

Definitions

  • n. "The literal, obvious meaning scholars give to a Jewish text. It can also refer to the simple interpretation of any issue or question." (JPS)

  • n. Justification.

  • n. "An explanation of the logic behind or the source of a passage, event, work, etc." (Weiser)

Example Sentences

  • "I once had a shiduch in an art museum, and I made up pshat in all the paintings to try to make an impression." (Weiser)

  • "I thought they're friends; what's the pshat they're fighting." (Weiser)

  • "[T]he key to understanding the difference between pshat and drash lies in a principle explained by the Ibn Ezra[.]" (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew

Etymology

  • פְּשָׁט (the first element of the acronym פרד״ס pardes, which refers to the four approaches to biblical exegesis)

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

      Regions

      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand

      Dictionaries

      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).

      Alternative Spellings

      p'shat, pshat

Notes

  • Often used in contrast to "drash."

    See also remez and sod.

Edit     Something missing from this entry? Inaccurate? Feel free to suggest an edit.