- ḤAGIGAH (Heb. חֲגִיגָה); the last tractate – according to the customary arrangement – of the order Mo'ed in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. It is also called Reʾiyyah (so in the Zuckermandel edition of the Tosefta). The Mishnah contains three chapters. Chapters 1:1–2:4 deal with the laws of peace-offerings which were offered during the festivals (hence the name of the tractate) and with kindred subjects such as the duty of pilgrimage (re'iyyah, "appearance," hence the alternative name of the tractate), and the laws of sacrifices during the festival in general. From 2:5 until the end of the tractate it deals with the laws of ritual purity and impurity connected with sacred objects and the Temple. The mishnayot 1:8–2:1 are entirely different from the rest of the tractate and have a character of their own. nachman krochmal suggested that the original tractate Ḥagigah may have commenced with these two mishnayot (cf. Epstein, Tannaim, 46–47), which are a kind of introduction to the different categories of halakhah (which include laws of Ḥagigah) whose purpose is to emphasize the relationship of the Midrash to the halakhah and the tendency to depart from the previous method of deriving halakhot from direct exposition of Scripture (see midreshei halakhah ). Chapter 1:7 is an addition from the Tosefta (Epstein, Tannaim, 48). Mishnah Ḥagigah preserves many traditions deriving from the Temple period and most of the scholars mentioned in it belong to that period. The Tosefta similarly contains three chapters and deals with similar themes, and the same applies to the two Talmuds. The Tosefta contains a series of aggadic traditions (2: 1–7) – including the famous story of the four "who entered pardes" – which expand upon the ma'aseh bereshit and Merkabah themes already mentioned in the Mishnah (2:1). These themes are further expanded and elaborated in the Babylonian (Ḥag. 11b–16a) and Jerusalem Talmuds (TJ Ḥag. 2:1, 77a–77d). This material, which forms a continuous and self-contained "mystical midrash" (cf. Weiss, Literary, 260–261), provided the foundation for much of the later literature of the merkabah mysticism , and the four "who entered paradise" (TJ, Ḥag. 2:1; Ḥag. 13b–15a) and even the medieval Kabbalah. Ḥagigah is currently available in various translations and editions. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ḥ. Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah 2 (1958), 387–90; Epstein, Tanna'im, 46–52; (1952), 75; E.E. Urbach, in: Beḥinot, 3 (1952), 75. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Weiss, On the Literary Creation of the Amoraim (Hebrew; 1962), 260–261. (Stephen G. Wald (2nd ed.)
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.