Suffice it to say that
the Hebrew word midrash might be best translated as 'research,'
a translation that incorporates the word's root meaning of
'search out, inquire,' and perhaps as well suggests that the
results of that research are almost by definition recherché,
that is, not obvious, out-of-the-way, sometimes far-fetched. J.L.
Kugel, "Two Intoductions to Midrash." In,
G.H. Hartman and S. Budick, editors, Midrash and Literature.
New Haven, CT., 1996