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HAGGADAH ( or ):

Derived from the verb (ḳal ), "to report," "to explain," "to narrate." The verb sometimes introduces halakic explanations, but the noun is used only in contradistinction to "halakah," and means a tale, a narrative, an explanation, a homily, including also the gnomic laws of the Rabbis, as well as stories and legends bearing upon the lives of Biblical and post-Biblical Jewish saints. Such topics as astronomy and astrology, medicine and magic, theosophy and mysticism, and similar subjects, falling mostly under the heading of folk-lore, pass as a rule also under the name of "haggadah." It thus stands for the whole content of the non-legal part of the old rabbinical literature. When applied to the Scriptures in order to indicate interpretation, illustration, or expansion in a moralizing or edifying manner, it is used in the form "Midrash Haggadah" (see Midrash Haggadah).

Bibliography:
  • Levy's and Jastrow's Dictionaries, s.v.;
  • Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., ii. 339, note 26.
S. S. J.
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