The Halakhah and the Aggadah: Theological Perspectives - Studies in Judaism (Hardback)Jacob Neusner
Hardback Published: 01/02/2001
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In theory and in practice, the Aggadah and the Halakhah work out the logic of a single generative conviction. It is that one - and only one - God is engaged in creating the world and sustaining a perfect world-order based on justice, and Israel shares in the task. But how, in fact, do the Halakhah and the Aggadah join together to make such a coherent statement and what distinctive tasks do each undertake? To find the answer, this study asks, what theological statement does the Aggadah make upon an urgent systemic question of Rabbinic Judaism, and what corresponding theological statement does the Halakhah frame in addressing that same urgent issue? After offering a general theoretical statement of how the two categories of writing define themselves, the book sets forth three exercises of comparison and contrast. The upshot is this: Rabbinic Judaism defines the practical norms in belief and behavior of the community that undertakes responsibility in that labor. For doctrine, the Aggadah explores the dialectic of that generative conviction and the logic inherent in it. For deed, the Halakhah focuses upon the consequent relationships, within the contemplated social order, generated by that same dialect.
Publisher: University Press of America