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Mishnah Overview: – First major written collection of the Oral Torah – Redacted by Judah ha-Nasi between 2nd and 3rd centuries CE – Divided into […]

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Mishnah Overview:
– First major written collection of the Oral Torah
– Redacted by Judah ha-Nasi between 2nd and 3rd centuries CE
– Divided into 6 orders: Zeraim, Moed, Nashim, Nezikin, Kodashim, Tohorot
– Contains 63 tractates, organized into chapters and paragraphs
– Mishnah presents oral traditions through actual cases and judgments
– Aims to exemplify the practice of 613 Commandments in Torah
– Covers all aspects of human living and serves as a basis for judgments
– Collection of existing traditions rather than new laws
– Named for its teaching authority and complementary role to the Tanakh

Oral Law and Tradition:
– Jewish scholarship and judgment were predominantly oral pre-Mishnah
– Oral traditions varied among different schools
– After the First Jewish–Roman War, Rabbinic discourse began to be recorded
– Mishnah transcribed to prevent forgetting of oral traditions
– Different traditions of the Oral Law led to the redaction of the Mishnah
– Mishnah traditionally studied through recitation
– Local melodies preserved for chanting Mishnah
– Some manuscripts vowelized with Tiberian cantillation marks
– Various tunes for Mishnaic passages in liturgy
– Different oral traditions reflected in vocalized editions

Mishnah and Jewish Beliefs:
– Rabbinic Judaism believes the Oral Torah was given to Moses with the Torah at Mount Sinai
– The Oral Law, also known as the Masorah, is considered the basis for interpreting the Written Law
– The Mishnah presents conclusions without explicit scriptural links, focusing on topics rather than biblical commentary
– Midrash halakha links laws to details in the Biblical text
– The Mishnah quotes the Torah for principles beyond law, such as practical advice or historical debates
– Karaite Judaism rejects the codification of the Oral Torah in the Mishnah and Talmud

Mishnah Text and Variants:
– Mishnah text exists in two traditions: one in manuscripts and editions of the Mishnah alone, and the other in Babylonian Talmud manuscripts
– Variations in Mishnah texts can be found in different manuscripts and editions
– Differences may exist between whole paragraphs in Mishnah-only editions and line-by-line citations in discussions
– Manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza may support various readings
– Babylonian and Palestinian rabbinic communities had different Mishnah versions
– Epstein’s research on Mishnah textual differences

Commentaries and Cultural References:
– Various commentaries by Rishonim and early Acharonim on the Mishnah
– Mishnah Cultural References in literature and modern commentaries
– Prominent commentaries by early Acharonim
– Scholarly sources provide insights into the compilation and history of the Mishnah
– Various commentaries and cultural references shed light on Mishnah interpretation and significance

Mishnah (Wikipedia)

The Mishnah or the Mishna (/ˈmɪʃnə/; Hebrew: מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb shanah שנה‎, or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions that are known as the Oral Torah. It is also the first major work of rabbinic literature. The Mishnah was redacted by Judah ha-Nasi probably in Beit Shearim or Sepphoris between the ending of the second century and the beginning of the 3rd century CE in a time when the persecution of Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions of the Pharisees from the Second Temple period (516 BCE – 70 CE) would be forgotten.

Most of the Mishnah is written in Mishnaic Hebrew, but some parts are in Palestinian Western Aramaic.

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