Halakha (principles of Jewish law) and Aggada
(commentaries on issues of theology, philosophy, ethics, and psychology) are often treated separately, with the contemporary emphasis on the former.
Heschel develops this theme further with the idea that halakha in Judaism provides form or structure to life, while aggada represents the nitzotz, one's straining towards the ineffable, with the associated attempt to integrate the inchoate meaning it conveys into the structure of one's life.
What Heschel is aiming at, clearly, is not merely a mechanical balance, a quantifiable calculus, between halakha and aggada, but instead a full-fledged dialectic between these two aspects or realms of religious experience.
Her article, "Does the Tosefla Precede the Mishnah: Halakhah, Aggada
, & Narrative Coherence," appeared in the Spring 2001 issue.
Begin with the highly anthropomorphic picture of the Bible and Aggada.
It is especially difficult for Halakha, less so for Aggada.
Bialik wrote the following in his seminal essay "Halacha and Aggada," attributing the idea to Ahad Ha'am:
In-depth study of this aggada can reveal a great deal about rabbinic attitudes towards Nature, culture, and the human role in Creation.
A close parallel between the halakha and the aggada
According to Novak, Jewish theology, or Aggada
, serves to inform the Jew in applying the Jewish tradition in a normative, prescriptive dimension.