HALAKHA, or HALACHA (literally "rule of conduct"), the rabbinical development of the Mosaic law; with the haggada it makes up the Talmud and Midrash.
As the haggada is the poetic, so the halakha is the legal element of the Talmud (q.v.), and arose out of the faction between the Sadducees, who disputed the traditions, and the Pharisees, who strove to prove their derivation from scripture.
Both contain Halaka and Haggada, although the Mishna itself is essentially Halaka, and the Midrashim are more especially Haggadic; and consequently further information bearing upon Midrash must be sought in the art.
This literature is especially valuable because it illustrates contemporary Halaka and Haggada, and it illuminates the circle of thought with which Jesus and his followers were familiar; it thus fills the gap between the Old Testament and the authoritative Rabbinical Midrashim which, though often in a form several centuries later, not rarely preserve older material.'
Often the biblical text cannot be said to supply more than a hint or a suggestion, and the particular application in Halaka or Haggada must be taken on its merits, and the teaching does not necessarily fall because the exegesis is illegitimate.