Viewed within the story's related contexts, Kafka's air-dog Aggadah
presents an intra-ludic commentary, laterally delivered (and concealed perhaps to its creator) on the alimentary parameters of oneiric creativity as well as, if we reverse the tracks of memory, the vestigial presence of cinematic experience which, to quote the dog, "can never be erased and influence[s] much of one's later conduct."
But to emphasize aggadah
in preference to halakhah is, as Bruns has shown, to enforce an unnatural division: the Torah [and I would say the Bible as a whole] is everywhere a binding text.
(99.) The Good Samaritan is found in Luke 10:29-37, where in an aggadah
(story) Jesus is posed with the question "who is my neighbor?" He answers that it is the one who undertakes to help another along the road.
The author devoted a lengthy essay to it, composed of ingredients borrowed, naturally, from the Talmud, the Midrash and the Aggadah
, from the many works of Jewish ethics (musar) known in his time, but still more plentifully from the Kabbalistic literature with which he is familiar and which he privileges.
(156.) This method is similar to basing a decision on aggadah
, which is commonly used when there are a lack of legal sources.
Such actual contradictions (in other words, those attributable to the sixth cause) are, he argues, to be found only in midrash or aggadah
. He thus continues the Geonic tradition according to which "no questions should be asked about difficulties in the Aggadah
." See Moses Maimonides, Moreh Netrukhim, trans.
The Talmud is principally concerned with halacha (Jewish law), but it also provides a detailed record of the beliefs of the Jewish people, their philosophy, traditions, culture, and folklore, i.e., the aggadah
Other religious interpretations considered the extermination of the Jews divine punishment for having allowed themselves to become assimilated and for having strayed from the Torah, or a necessary sacrifice to enable the people of Israel, whose lifestyle was still very archaic, to enter the modern age; others reinterpreted the Aggadah
, the story about the exile of the Jews from Egypt, allegorically.
Maimonides s writings reveal his preoccupation with approaching rationally a religion that was based largely on law and tradition: the study of Torah and its interpretation as formalized in the Talmud, the tradition of law, or halakah, and nonlegal matters, which form the aggadah
. The Commentary on the Mishneh, started in 1158 when Maimonides was only twenty-two years old, is a rabbinic commentary on parts of the Talmud.
Kagan, 'Divergent Tendencies and their Literary Moulding in the Aggadah
', Scripta Hierosolymitana 22 (1971), 151-70.
He spent the last 10 years of his life in Berlin, recreating with insight and poetic appreciation portions of the Aggadah
, Jewish writings dealing with legends and folklore.
The old definition didn't include imaginative literature as we know it now, or what we might term, if the term were still useful, belles-lettres (though there is plenty of Aggadah
in the commentaries, which is to say playful and folkloric and storytelling matter).