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(303 words)

Author(s): Wewers, Gerd A.
Haggadah (Heb. for “story”) is the narrative form of Jewish rabbinic literature. It embraces all the forms ¶ and themes that do not count as Halakah, or legal texts. Small forms of Haggadah are the parable, the exemplary tale, the case, exegesis (insofar as it does not serve Halakic purposes), the legend, the sermon, and biographical, ethical, and historical notes. Larger forms are commentaries (Midrash) on the biblical books, which most clearly demonstrate the tendency of Haggadah to relate Israel’s salvation h…


(353 words)

Author(s): Wewers, Gerd A.
Halakah (Heb. for “going” or “way”) is a postbiblical norm or rule in rabbinic Judaism that applies the legal judgments of the Torah to existing situations. As far as rabbinic practice and the rabbinic understanding of tradition are concerned, Halakah effectively can count just as much as the Torah (i.e., as the revelation to Moses from Sinai). It is oral torah. It decides (often by specific cases) what is clean or unclean, innocent or guilty, permitted or forbidden. In an actual case the decision is binding, but later it forms a basis for d…