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|Part of Speech||Verb|
The root דרש appears in 164 places in Tanakh and is used consistently with the meaning of to seek or ask. In almost one-third of these verses, it is God (ה', א-להים) who is being sought, either directly or through an intermediary.1 However, God cannot be physically seen or found, and this leads to different understandings of the manner and purpose of "seeking God."
Biblical verses can be adduced to support a number of possibilities:2
1. Inquire about the future or the unknown
3. Religiously believe in (worship of the heart)
Bereshit 25:22 – "וַתֵּלֶךְ לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת ה'"
Shemot 18:15 – "כִּי יָבֹא אֵלַי הָעָם לִדְרֹשׁ אֱ-לֹהִים" – see Moshe's Manifold Responsibilities
- To seek Torah guidance – Targum Onkelos, Rashi, Ibn Ezra.
- To learn how to worship Hashem – R. Saadia, Haketav VeHaKabbalah.
- To request prayer on their behalf – Ramban.4
- To inquire about the future – Ralbag, Abarbanel, R. D"Z Hoffmann.
- To inquire about the nation's encampment – Seforno.
- To pay their respects to Moshe – Akeidat Yitzchak.
- To request judgment:
Relationship to Synonyms