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aggadah

Source:
Oxford Biblical Studies Online What is This? This Glossary provides brief definitions of terms related to the Bible and biblical studies.

    aggadah

    (or “haggadah,”possibly from Heb huggad,“things said” or “what is told”) the nonlegal portions of the Talmud and Midrash (see halakhah). Aggadah is concerned with explicating the meaning of Scripture in the moral sense, and with elaborating on the stories in the Bible. As such it is more akin to preaching than to legal analysis, and many aggadic collections are homiletical in character. The legal sections, halakhah, are concerned with understanding the obligations placed on the believer by the biblical text; aggadah, by contrast, contains ethical teaching as well as illustrative narrative, prayers, legends, and folklore.

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