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Judaism / Talmud /
Hebrew: hagadah

An English version edition of the Haggada.
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An English version edition of the Haggada.

In Judaism, the parts of the Talmud not dealing directly with laws for Jews in daily life, but instead explicating legal questions — as opposed to the Halacha.
Much of the Haggada was created as a response to the challenge that Christianity represented beginning with the 2nd century. The intended readership of the Haggada was very often the less educated Jews who needed guidance in life. One could say that Haggada represents a popularized version the Halacha.
The Haggada makes up 1/3 of the Babylonian Talmud, and 1/6 of the Palestinian one. Haggada texts are also collected in the Midrash.
The Hagadda contains:
  1. Interpretations of Bible stories.
  2. Ethical teachings, presented in different forms.
  3. Theological speculations and chronicles.
  4. Science of all sorts, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, magic etc.
  5. Later Jewish history.

5th century BCE: The Haggada begins to be written.
2nd century CE: The golden age of Haggada, which would last for about 200 years.

By Tore Kjeilen