31) Yair Lorberbaum, linage of God: Halakhah and Aggadah
(in Hebrew) (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv: Schocken Press, 2004).
are biblical narratives, "hundreds upon hundreds of legends and fables, most of which serve to illustrate in some way the Scriptural text" (Goldstein 1980:9).
In the author's view, Jewish theology draws on both halacha (the prose of Judaism) as well as the aggadah
(the poetry of Judaism).
We simply could not remain in the area of aggadah
, that is, abstract thinking or imagination.
Hanhart claims that Mark's open tomb story is properly seen as a Passover Haggadah written for his own people, a "midrashic aggadah
expressing his indomitable faith and hope in God in a time of great crisis" (p.
Even so, the idea that Enoch lived in Eden and learned astronomy from the angels did find its way into the Midrash Aggadah
, where Enoch is understood to have been transformed into the angel Metatron.
When rabbinic law builds a formal structure of obligations from the Biblical mitzvot, it sharply differentiates aggadah
, narrative lore, from halakha, prescriptive practice.
It has blossomed into so many varieties: aggadah
and halacha; cabbala and rationalism; philosophy and theology.
Shinan, The Embroidered Targum: The Aggadah
in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan of the Pentateuch (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1992) [in Hebrew]; The Biblical Story as Reflected in its Aramaic Translations (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1993) [in Hebrew].
In an otherwise unrelated aggadah
, the sages state that when the Torah was first translated into the Greek Septuagint, "darkness descended upon the world" for three days.
If much philosophical ethics these days seeks to evade the question of the theory validating this discipline, while Jewish tradition, emphasizing halakhah, law, over aggadah
, non-legal lore, is fundamentally praxis-oriented, should contemporary Jewish ethics be weighted toward one or the other interests?
This view of human involvement in the legal process is found in a quaint aggadah
in Gittin 6b: