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    walker

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    Jewish scripture

    Post  walker on Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:42 pm

    When was oral tradition written down and when was that officially considered scripture?
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    Arik
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    Re: Jewish scripture

    Post  Arik on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:18 pm

    The Mishnah or Mishna (Hebrew: משנה, "repetition", from the verb shanah שנה, or "to study and review", also "secondary"[1](derived from the adj. שני)) is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah" and the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism.[2] It was redacted c. 220 CE by Judah haNasi when, according to the Talmud, the persecution of the Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions dating from Pharisaic times (536 BCE – 70 CE) would be forgotten. It is thus named for being both the one written authority (codex) secondary (only) to the Tanakh as a basis for the passing of judgment, a source and a tool for creating laws, and the first of many books to complement the Bible in a certain aspect. The Mishnah is also called Shas (an acronym for Shisha Sedarim - the "six orders"), in reference to its six main divisions.[3] Rabbinic commentaries on the Mishnah over the next three centuries[4] were redacted as the Gemara, which, coupled with the Mishnah, comprise the Talmud.
    The Mishnah reflects debates between 70-200 CE by the group of rabbinic sages known as the Tannaim.[5] The Mishnah teaches the oral traditions by example, presenting actual cases being brought to judgment, usually along with the debate on the matter and the judgment that was given by a wise and notable rabbi based on the halakha, Mitzvot, and spirit of the teaching ("Torah") that guided his sentencing. In this way, it brings to everyday reality the practice of the mitzvot as presented in the Bible, and aimed to cover all aspects of human living, serve as an example for future judgments, and, most importantly, demonstrate pragmatic exercise of the Biblical laws, which was much needed at the time when the Second Temple was destroyed (70 CE). The Mishnah does not claim to be the development of new laws, but rather the collection of existing traditions.
    The Mishnah consists of six orders (sedarim, singular seder סדר), each containing 7-12 tractates (masechtot, singular masechet מסכת; lit. "web"), 63 in total, and further subdivided into chapters and paragraphs or verses. The orders and their subjects are: Zeraim ("Seeds"), dealing with prayer and blessings, tithes and agricultural laws (11 tractates), Moed ("Festival"), pertaining to the laws of the Sabbath and the Festivals (12 tractates), Nashim ("Women"), concerning marriage and divorce, some forms of oaths and the laws of the nazirite (7 tractates), Nezikin ("Damages"), dealing with civil and criminal law, the functioning of the courts and oaths (10 tractates), Kodashim ("Holy things"), regarding sacrificial rites, the Temple, and the dietary laws (11 tractates) and Tohorot ("Purities"), pertaining to the laws of purity and impurity, including the impurity of the dead, the laws of food purity and bodily purity (12 tractates).
    The word Mishnah can also indicate a single paragraph or verse of the work itself, i.e. the smallest unit of structure in the Mishnah.

    The Mishnah consists of six orders (sedarim, singular seder סדר), each containing 7-12 tractates (masechtot, singular masechet מסכת; lit. "web"), 63 in total. Each masechet is divided into chapters (peraqim, singular pereq) and then paragraphs or verses (mishnayot, singular Mishnah). The Mishnah is also called Shas (an acronym for Shisha Sedarim - the "six orders").[3]
    The Mishnah orders its content by subject matter, instead of by biblical context, and discusses individual subjects more thoroughly than the Midrash. It includes a much broader selection of halakhic subjects than the Midrash. on a page is.....
    The six orders are:
    Zeraim ("Seeds"), dealing with prayer and blessings, tithes and agricultural laws (11 tractates)
    Moed ("Festival"), pertaining to the laws of the Sabbath and the Festivals (12 tractates)
    Nashim ("Women"), concerning marriage and divorce, some forms of oaths and the laws of the nazirite (7 tractates)
    Nezikin ("Damages"), dealing with civil and criminal law, the functioning of the courts and oaths (10 tractates)
    Kodashim ("Holy things"), regarding sacrificial rites, the Temple, and the dietary laws (11 tractates) and
    Tohorot ("Purities"), pertaining to the laws of purity and impurity, including the impurity of the dead, the laws of food purity and bodily purity (12 tractates).
    In each order (with the exception of Zeraim), tractates are arranged from biggest (in number of chapters) to smallest.
    The word Mishnah can also indicate a single paragraph or verse of the work itself, i.e. the smallest unit of structure in the Mishnah.


    The Mishnah does not claim to be the development of new laws, but merely the collection of existing oral laws, traditions and traditional wisdom. The rabbis who contributed to the Mishnah are known as the Tannaim, of whom approximately 120 are known. The period during which the Mishnah was assembled spanned about 130 years, and five generations.
    Most of the Mishnah is related without attribution (stam). This usually indicates that many sages taught so, or that Judah haNasi (often called "Rebbi") who redacted the Mishna together with his academy/court ruled so. The halakhic ruling usually follows that view. Sometimes, however, it appears to be the opinion of a single sage, and the view of the sages collectively (Hebrew: חכמים‎, hachamim) is given separately.
    The Talmud records a tradition that unattributed statements of the law represent the views of Rabbi Meir (Sanhedrin 86a), which supports the theory (recorded by Rav Sherira Gaon in his famous Iggeret) that he was the author of an earlier collection. For this reason, the few passages that actually say "this is the view of Rabbi Meir" represent cases where the author intended to present Rabbi Meir's view as a "minority opinion" not representing the accepted law.
    Rebbi is credited with publishing the Mishnah, though there have been a few edits since his time (for example, those passages that cite him or his grandson, Rabbi Yehuda Nesi'ah; in addition, the Mishnah at the end of Tractate Sotah refers to the period after Rebbi's death, which could not have been written by Rebbi himself). According to the Epistle of Sherira Gaon, after the tremendous upheaval caused by the destruction of the Temple and the Bar Kochba revolt, the Oral Torah was in danger of being forgotten. It was for this reason that Rebbi chose to redact the Mishnah.
    One must also note that in addition to redacting the Mishnah, Rebbi and his court also ruled on which opinions should be followed, though the rulings do not always appear in the text.
    As he went through the tractates, the Mishnah was set forth, but throughout his life some parts were updated as new information came to light. Because of the proliferation of earlier versions, it was deemed too hard to retract anything already released, and therefore a second version of certain laws were released. The Talmud refers to these differing versions as Mishnah Rishonah ("First Mishnah") and Mishnah Acharonah ("Last Mishnah"). David Zvi Hoffman suggests that Mishnah Rishonah actually refers to texts from earlier Sages upon which Rebbi based his Mishnah.
    One theory is that the present Mishnah was based on an earlier collection by Rabbi Meir. There are also references to the "Mishnah of Rabbi Akiva", though this may simply mean his teachings in general.[6] It is possible that Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Meir established the divisions and order of subjects in the Mishnah, but this would make them the authors of a school curriculum rather than of a book.
    Authorities are divided on whether Rebbi recorded the Mishnah in writing or established it as an oral text for memorisation. The most important early account of its composition, the Epistle of Sherira Gaon, is ambiguous on the point, though the "Spanish" recension leans to the theory that the Mishnah was written. However, the Talmud records that, in every study session, there was a person called the tanna appointed to recite the Mishnah passage under discussion. This may indicate that, even if the Mishnah was reduced to writing, it was not available on general distribution.
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    Arik
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    Re: Jewish scripture

    Post  Arik on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:19 pm

    Rabbinic Judaism holds that the oral tradition was received by Moses at Mount Sinai in parallel with the Five Books of Moses, the (written) Torah (Torah she-bi-khtav), and that these together have always been the basis of Jewish law (halakha). The "Written Law" consists of the "Five Books of Moses," the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, and not the Bible as a whole.[9]
    According to the Rabbinic view, the Oral Law (Torah she-be'al-peh) was also given to Moses at Sinai, and is the exposition of the Written Law as relayed by the scholarly and other religious leaders of each generation. This Oral Law is authoritative in practical terms, as the traditions of the Oral Law are considered as the necessary basis for the interpretation, and often for the reading, of the Written Law.
    Thus, Jewish law and custom is based not only on a literal reading of the Torah, or the rest of the Tanakh, but on the combined oral and written traditions. Notably, the Mishnah does not cite a written scriptural basis for its laws: since it is said that the Oral Law was given simultaneously with the Written Law, the Oral Law codified in the Mishnah does not derive directly from the Written Law of the Torah. This is in contrast with the Midrash halakha, works in which the sources of the traditionally received laws are identified in the Tanakh, often by linking a verse to a halakha. These Midrashim often predate the Mishnah.
    By 220 CE, much of the Oral Law was edited together into the Mishnah, and published by Rabbi Judah haNasi. Over the next four centuries this material underwent analysis and debate, known as Gemara ("completion"), in what were at that time the world's two major Jewish communities, in the land of Israel and in the Babylonian Empire. These debates eventually came to be edited together into compilations known as the Talmud: the Talmud Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud) for the compilation in Israel, and Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud) for the compilation undertaken in Baby
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    Arik
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    Re: Jewish scripture

    Post  Arik on Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:09 am

    Sorry if the above was a little lengthy just trying to pain a whole picture including history and background of the Mishna

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