"halakhah" (from the root halakh "to
go"), the legal side of Judaism (as distinct from
aggadah, the name given to the non-legal material,
particularly of the rabbinic literature) embraces
personal, social, national, and observances of Judaism.
In the Bible the good life is frequently spoken of as a way in which men are "to go" e.g. "and will show them the way wherein they are to go and the work they must do." (Ex 18:20).
Originally the term halakhah (pl. halakhot) had the meaning of law or decision in a given instance, as in the frequent expression "this is a law given to Moses on Sinai" (Halakhah le-Moshe mi-Sinai). This usage persisted, but side by side with it there developed the use of halakhah as a generic term for the whole legal system of Judaism, embracing all the detailed laws and observances. For instance, the Talmud (Shab. 138b) comments on "the word of the Lord" (Amos 8:12) that this means halakhah.