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From Aramaic אַגָּדְתָא (ʾaggāḏ'ṯā, tale, lore), from Hebrew הֲגָדָה (haggāḏā).



Aggadah (plural Aggadahs or Aggadah or Aggadot or Aggadoth)

  1. A homiletic and non-legalistic exegetical text in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, particularly as recorded in the Talmud and Midrash. A parable that demonstrates a point of the Law in the Talmud. [from 17th c.]
    • 1725, Edward Chandler, Anthony Collins, “Of the Allegorick or other Methods of citing Scripture, used by the Writers of the New Testament.”, in A defence of Christianity from the prophecies of the Old Testament: wherein are considered all the objections against this kind of proof : advanced in a late discourse of the grounds and reasons of the Christian religion[1], London: James Knapton, page 344:
      They termed them also..Agada in the Chaldee, or..Hagada in the Hebrew form, which are rendered in Philo, by the Greek ...
  2. (obsolete) Text which is recited at Seder during the first and second nights of Passover, focused on the freeing of Israel from Egyptian bondage as described in the Book of Exodus. (See also the more modern Haggadah)
    • 1881, Americus Featherman, “Orthodox Jews of the East and Talmud Jews of Poland”, in Social history of the races of mankind[2], volume 5, London: Trübner & Co., page 158:
      The story of the delivery of Israel from Egyptian bondage is read in Hebrew by the chief of the house from a book called the agada, which is interwoven with hymns of praise and thanksgiving, and it also contains some legendary chapters entirely figurative in their sense and composition.

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