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The non-legal midrashim are also referred to as aggadah or haggadah, a loosely-defined term describing any non-halakhic discourse in classical rabbinic literature.

Aggadic exegesis involves a much greater freedom of exposition than its legal counterpart, often including highly speculative and legendary material.

In Christian tradition, Saint Paul frequently engaged in midrashic argument in his letters by justifying his views with the words "as it is written," followed by a verse of Jewish scripture (Romans , Romans , 1 Corinthians , and so forth).Traditionally, 13 textual tools are attributed to the early sage Rabbi Ishmael, which are used in the interpretation of Halakha (Jewish law).However, aggadic (non-legal) midrash is not limited to these.Indeed, a wide range of speculation and interpretive freedom is evident in the midrashic tradition.In many cases, a midrashic passage is expanded manifold: Handfuls of lines in the biblical narrative may become long philosophical discussions, with the opinions of various rabbis juxtaposed to one another.

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