Derived from the verb V06p141003.jpg (ḳal V06p141004.jpg), "to report," "to explain," "to narrate." The verb V06p141005.jpg sometimes introduces halakic explanations, but the noun V06p141006.jpg 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:S. S. J.
- Levy's and Jastrow's Dictionaries, s.v.;
- Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., ii. 339, note 26.