The introduction frames the basic problem of the study of the legal story in rabbinic literature, arguing that this genre complicates and undermines the distinction between halakhah and aggadah which has been central to the study of rabbinic texts for over a millennium. Tracing the history of the study of rabbinic stories from the early middle ages through the present day, this chapter argues for a new approach to rabbinic legal stories which considers these texts in both their literary and legal contexts. The chapter then goes on the outline the basic structure of the book and its chapters.
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