2) They contain homilies and teachings and retell biblical stories, adding many details and apparently incorporating folktales and lore, often resembling Jewish Aggadah
See Bregman, Serah bat Asher: Biblical Origins, Ancient Aggadah
and Contemporary Folklore, The Bilgray Lectureship, booklet published and distributed by the University of Arizona, 1997 [reprinted in New Harvest (St.
The other category is aggadah
, translated as "legends," which are narrative tales, such as the one about Abraham and the idols imaginative attempts to understand biblical stories.
Among her topics are reception theory and literary afterlives, literary criticism and the interrelationships of texts, naming the animals, Halakhah and Aggadah
as the two faces of midrash, postmodern midrash, where retelling and translation intersect, translation as cure, and the language of filter.
Cappell is quick to point out what would likely be the major criticism of his project: that while the two literary modes (rabbinic thought and Jewish American literature) share certain characteristics, they differ in a crucial way: all rabbinic aggadah
and storytelling must return to scripture as the dominant force, while Jewish American fiction writers seem to respond to every possible theme and use every possible form.
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.
To put the matter in rabbinical terms, we may have been drawn to midrash aggadah
rather than midrash halakhah: that is, to reflect interpretively on the nonlegal biblical texts and to fight shy of the language of commandment and its allied language of promise.
His scholarship was wide-ranging, but focused primarily on Jewish writings of the first three centuries of the Common Era, particularly the genre known as aggadah
, the non-legal writings of the first generations of Jewish sages.
halakha and aggadah
(law and lore); notions of God as both transcendent (wholly other) and immanent (present in the world); Jewish existence in both the Land of Israel and the diaspora, to take a few examples.
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
However, Rashi justifies the derash not on the basis of linguistics, but on an aggadah
in TB Shabbat 88a (with parallels in Avodah Zarah 2b, Mekhilta Ba-Hodesh 3, etc.