Is "halar" the same as "jalar"?
I was under the impression that the "H" is always silent in Spanish. Why then, does the word "halar" exist if it is the same as "jalar?"
It's just one of them crazy rules. It's best not to even bother yourself with it...just know it and move on. You could drive yourself half crazy trying to figure it out.
Are we only discussing pronunciation or are we also discussing meanings?
Halar and jalar appear to be synonymous, if they are not, indeed, different spellings of the same word. It would require someone familiar with the usage of both words to tell you if Spanish has a predilection for using one form or the other in specific contexts.