Ezra of Gerone, Commentary on the Talmudic' Aggadot, Ms.
Tishby (ed)., Commentary on the Talmudic Aggadot, (Jerusalem, 1945), 17.
The Meiri not only rejects the Gemara's refutation (he considers the Baraita a merely popular Aggadab), but also establishes a general principle: the essence of faith should not be based on "the plain sense of Scripture and Aggadah," but, rather, on that inquiry and deliberation that emerge from Scriptures and, perhaps, the Aggadot. This is, in fact, a fundamental principle of medieval Jewish philosophy, serving as well as a guide to textual exegesis: how to relate to the text, what to take from it and what not.
We must therefore explain (following the Rashbah in his commentary on the Aggadot Haskas) that this prayer is, as it were, God's request of the people Israel to make it possible for Him, the Holy One, to subdue His anger.
And indeed, this may be confirmed by the fact that the representatives of the Alexandrian-Palestinian group generally use two types of formulas when introducing aggadot
. On the one hand, they employ expressions such as |there is a Jewish tradition' and |the Jews transmit', using words such as
This assumption allows for all kinds of new understandings of the evolution of halakhah and aggadah in general and of halakhot and aggadot
The Mishnah (5) is threefold: Talmud, Halakhot, and Aggadot
. The intermediaries [for the transmission of the Torah] are threefold: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses.
The Jerusalem Talmud describes him as "one of the fathers of the world" (ySheqalim 3:1, 47b), and credits him with systematizing the principles upon which the tradition of Rabbinic biblical interpretation, the Midrash halakhot and aggadot
, are built (ySheq 3:1, 48c).
Thus there are those who emphasize the deep strain of humanism and idealism in the thought of Ray Hirsch, his focus on the Bible as opposed to the Talmud, his refusal to accept rabbinic aggadot
as authoritative, and his universalist and diaspora-centered vision of the mission of Israel, while there are others who would point to his vision of a separatist Orthodox community, his fierce attack upon all forms of modern historical Jewish scholarship, his deep talmudic learning as reflected in his Commentary on the Pentateuch, and his opposition to all changes in synagogue ritual, set forth in his surviving responsa.
As a consequence, we find that halakhot are being used in the same way as aggadot
From Zev Vilnay, Aggadot
Eretz Yisrael, 4th edition (no.
Yet it is not always possible or desirable to make a hard distinction between the halakhic aspect of midrash and aggadot
Whoever learns the Torah, Prophets and Writings, Mishna and midrash, halakhot and aggadot
and serves the sages--God Himself guards him.
that are inextricably related to the biblical narrative.
We are all familiar with the oft-quoted group of aggadot
illustrating the paradoxical statement: "Whatever a veteran student of the law is destined to innovate has already been said to Moses at Sinai."(13) The very same understanding is expressed in later generations, as in Rabbi Hayyim of Volozhin's view of the act of learning Torah as the opening of God's mouth and having Him, as it were, learn His Torah according to the ongoing interpretations devised by its students.(14)