1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Haggada

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HAGGADA, or ’Agada (literally “narrative”), includes the more homiletic elements of rabbinic teaching. It is not logically distinguishable from the halakha (q.v.), for the latter or forensic element makes up with the haggada the Midrash (q.v.), but, being more popular than the halakha, is often itself styled the Midrash. It may be described as the poetical and ethical element as contrasted with the legal element in the Talmud (q.v.), but the two elements are always closely connected. From one point of view the haggada, amplifying and developing the contents of Hebrew scripture in response to a popular religious need, may be termed a rabbinical commentary on the Old Testament, containing traditional stories and legends, sometimes amusing, sometimes trivial, and often beautiful. The haggada abounds in parables. The haggadic passages of the Talmud were collected in the Eye of Jacob, a very popular compilation completed by Jakob ibn Ḥabib in the 16th century.