Learning Biblical Hebrew
2/19/11 at 04:34 PM 0 Comments

The Aggadah

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In Judaism, there are many stories of the Jewish people which are called Aggadah("narrative").The Aggadah include stories, legends and History from the beginning of Judaism. It is a rabbinic literature of Judaism and part of Judaism's Oral law. Most of the Aggadah is recorded in the Talmud and the Midrash.

The Aggadah does not discuss Halacha or laws dealing with a specific subject. The main purpose of the Aggadah is to provide spiritual tolls to walk in God's ways and do as God commanded.

The Aggadah is very colorful: it includes singing, allegories, proverbs, satires, puns and assignation of numeric values to Hebrew letters.

According to Jewish tradition, the Talmud and the Aggada have been written by the same people.

The Aggadah is not mentioned in the Bible. However, the Aggadh mentioned many times stories and prophecies from the Bible. For example, according to the Old Testament King Solomon built the first Temple as mentioned in 1 Kings 6:1-

" וַיְהִי בִשְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה לְצֵאת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ-מִצְרַיִם בַּשָּׁנָה הָרְבִיעִית בְּחֹדֶשׁ זִו, הוּא הַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, לִמְלֹךְ שְׁלֹמֹה, עַל-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיִּבֶן הַבַּיִת, לַיהוָה."

"And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."

The same story appears In the Testament of Solomon, which is also a part of the Aggadah, but with different details: In the Aggadah, the king calls Ashmedai(the king of demons) to aid in the construction of the Temple. Ashmadai appears and predicts Solomon's kingdom will one day be divided. As we can see; the Aggadah is expanding the stories of Bible and not replace it.

Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation

Hebrew  Transcription   Translation

מָשָׁל       māšāl             Allegory

חֹדֶשׁ      chōdeš           Month

סִפּוּר      sippûr             Story   

אַגָּדָה      'aggādāh        Legend

הֲלָכָה       hălākāh       Jewish law

מִדְרָשׁ       midrāš        Midrash

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