The History and Form of the Mishnah Why is it called the Mishnah? The Hebrew root "ShNH" means "to repeat," ( ) and refers to memorization by repetition. "Mishnah" therefore has the sense of "that which is memorized by rote," as distinct from the Rabbinic designation for the Bible: "Miqra,"that which is read and recited from a written text. The Jewish sages whose statements are quoted in the Mishnah are known as Tanna'im (singular: "Tanna"), derived from the Aramaic root related to the Hebrew "ShNH". The era in which the Mishnah was developed is therefore referred to as the "Tanna'itic" era.
Our Mishnah Refers to Translation Mishnah Our Mishnah The Rabbis taught Tosefta or Tannaitic Midrash
Baraita It was taught Gemara Term Generations of Tannaim 1 Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai's generation 40-80CE
2 80-110 Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh, Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua's generation, the teachers of Rabbi Akiva. 3 110-135 The generation of Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues, R. Ishmael. 4 135-170
The generation of Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Yehuda and their colleagues. Live in Usha. 5 Rabbi Judah haNasi's generation 170-20 0 When were the contents of the Mishnah was composed? There are traditions in the Mishnah that claim to go back before the fifth century B.C.E. (the "Great Assembly"; cf. Nehemiah 8-10), as well as a few additions from as late as the mid-third century C.E. However, the main body of the Mishnah
consists of teachings attributed to authorities from about the middle of the first century, through 220 CE. It was compiled by R. Judah the Patriarch. Pre - Mishnah Sherira Gaon before Mishnah, each Rabbi had his own formulation and order of traditions. Rebbis Mishnha is based on that of R. Akiva: ' Rabbinic Texts
Talmud Bavli 600CE See https://fc.gannacademy.org/gannopedia/genremap/rlgenremaphebrew.html Texts and Time Periods 1000BCE King David 586 BCE Destruction of Temple I 539 BCE Cyrus the Great Persian rule 516 BCE
Second Temple Built 332 BCE Alexander the Great Greek rule 164 BCE Maccabean Revolt 150BCE-70CE Pharisees 70 CE Second Temple Destroyed 132 CE Bar Kokhba Revolt 50-200 CE Tannaitic Period 220 CE Mishnah & Tannaitic Midrash Compiled 200-500 CE Amoraic Period
400 CE Yerushalmi & Amoraic Midrash Compiled 500-700 CE Savoraim in Babylonia 600 CE Bavli Completed Tannaitic Midrash ------ ------
Comparing Mishnah & Tosefta '
' : Purpose of Mishnah Book of Practical Halakha Quotes the opinion of
a single Rabbi in the Tosefta as the Sages in order to say that he represent the Halakha. Textbook of Oral Tradition There are still multiple opinion and contradictions within the Mishnah. Also, Mishnah includes impractical temple and purity laws.
Hail Ceaser! Some Famous Emporers Augustus (27BCE 14CE) Rome's first emperor. He also added many territories to the empire. Claudius (41-54CE) He conquered Britain. Nero (54-68CE) He was insane. He murdered his mother and his wife and threw thousands of Christians to the lions.
Titus (79-81CE) Before he was emperor he destroyed the great Jewish temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Trajan (98-117CE) He was a` great conqueror. Under his rule the empire reached its greatest extent. Hadrian (117-138CE) He built 'Hadrian's Wall' in the north of Britain to shield the province from the northern barbarians. Diocletian (285-305CE)
He split the empire into two pieces - a western and an eastern empire. Constantine (306-337CE) He was the first Christian emperor. He united the empire again chose his capital to be the small town Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. Stephen Wald The question of the form and purpose of the final redaction of the Mishnah has long been a topic of scholarly debate. In the twentieth century this debate focused on the question whether the Mishnah should be seen as a code of relatively self-consistent and authoritative religious practice
(Epstein), or as an anthology of frequently contradictory sources (Albeck). As so formulated, this dispute seems somewhat artificial. On the one hand, there is no reason to assume that the final redaction of the Mishnah was governed by one single overriding principle. On the other hand, the redaction of the Mishnah could reflect a preliminary, but as yet incomplete, effort to bring order and consistency to the body of tannaitic halakhah. The Roman Empire History of Roman Law 450 BCE Twelve Tables: When the fruit of a tree falls upon the premises of a neighbor, the owner of the tree shall have a right to
gather and remove it (8:6). Then grew and grew with laws by various assemblies, magistrates, imperial edicts and senatorial resolutions. Republic 510 31BCE Empire 31BCE 476CE Roman Legal Codification Gaius (d. 180), Papinianus (d. 212), Paulus, Ulpianus (d. 228), and Modestinus (c. 250) Theodosian Code (438CE) Justinian Code (534CE) Roman Legal Codes R. Aqiva and his colleagues began collecting and organizing rabbinic traditions under Hadrian, when
Julianus, Celsus Pomponius, and others were actively involved in making similar compilations in Rome. Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled and edited his Mishnah, and tannaitic midrashim were collected under the Severans, at a time when Gaius, Papinianus, Paulus, and Ulpianus were likewise compiling codices and responsa of Roman law and commenting on earlier legal material. Lee Levine, Judaism and Hellenism in Antiquity: Conflict or Confluence?, p. 135. Salomon Ben Jeroham The Karaite I have set the six division of the Mishnah before me. And I looked at them carefully with my eyes. And I say that they are very
contradictory in content. This one Mishnaic scholar declares a thing to be forbidden to the people of Israel, while that one declares it to be permitted. My thoughts therefore answer me, and most of my reflections declare unto me, that there is in it no Law of logic nor the Law of Moses the Wise. Why Include Controversy? Mishnah Eduyot 1:5. And why do they record the opinion of a single person among the many, when the Halachah must be according to the opinion of the many? So that if a court prefers the opinion of the single person it may depend on him. For no court may set aside the decision of another court unless it is greater than it in wisdom and in number. If it was greater than it in wisdom but not in
number, in number but not in wisdom, it may not set aside its decision, unless it is greater than it in wisdom and in number. 1:6. R. Judah said: if so, why do they record the opinion of a single person among the many to set it aside? So that if a man shall say, thus have I learnt the tradition, it may be said to him, according to the [refuted] opinion of that individual did you hear it. Law of Citations (321CE) When conflicting opinions are cited, the greater number of the authors shall prevail, or if the numbers should be equal, the authority of that group shall take precedence in which the man of superior genius, Papinian, shall tower above the rest, and as
he defeats a single opponent, so he yields to two. Furthermore, when their opinions as cited are equally divided and their authority is rated as equal, the regulation of the judge shall choose whose opinion he shall follow. Epistles of Manuschihr a Zoroastrian text dating to 881 C.E. On account of the depth and much intricacy of the religion they mention many opinions and wellconsidered decrees which were likewise formed devoid of uniformity, and the utterance of the different opinions of the priests is with the reciters of the Nasks; but even among themselves the most supremely just high-priests were of a different opinion, different judgment, different teaching, different interpretation, and
different practice only in the peace, mutual friendship, and affection which they had together. Institutes of Gaius 1.7 (160CE) The answers of jurists are the decisions and opinions of persons authorized to lay down the law. If they are unanimous their decision has the force of law; if they disagree, the judge may follow whichever opinion he chooses, as is ruled by a rescript of the late emperor Hadrian. Yerushalmi Yom 5:5 42d
. Two priests ran away during the wars. One of them said, I used to stand and sprinkle. The other said, I used to walk and sprinkle. Rav Yudan said, About this it is said: One who acts this way need not worry and one who acts that way need not worry. Bavli Shev 48b : , . - , -
Rav Hama said, Since the halakha has not been stated either like Rav and Shmuel or like R. Elazar, a judge who rules according to Rav and Shmuel has acted [legitimately], and one who rules according to R. Elazar has acted [legitimately]. Amoraim 1 220-260 2 260-290 3 290-320 4 320-350
5 350-400 6 400-500 Eres Yisrael Yehoshua ben Levi R. Yohanan R. Zeira R. Yirmiah R. Yehuda Hanasi IV Bavel Rav (Sura) Shmuel (Nehardea)
Rav Yehuda Rav Huna Rabbah Rav Nahman Abaye and Rava Rav Papa Rav Ashi Important Political Events 313CE Constantine converted to and declared toleration for Christianity 351CE Jewish Revolt against Gallus protesting anti-Jewish legislation 362CE Julian the Apostate announced rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash 380 Christianity declared the official religion of the
roman empire 395 Roman Empire splits into two 425CE Elimination of the Patriarchate 638CE Muslim Conquest Contents of the Mishnah First Order: Zeraim ("Seeds"). 11 tractates. It deals with agricultural laws and prayers. Second Order: Moed ("Festival"). 12 tractates. This pertains to the laws of the Sabbath and the Festivals. Third Order: Nashim ("Women"). 7 tractates. Concerns marriage and divorce. Fourth Order: Nezikin ("Damages"). 10 tractates. Deals with civil and criminal law. Fifth Order: Kodshim ("Holy things"). 11 tractates. This involves sacrificial rites, the Temple, and the dietary
laws. Sixth order: Tohorot ("Purities"). 12 tractates. This pertains to the laws of purity and impurity, including the impurity of the dead, the laws of ritual purity for the priests (cohanim), the laws of "family purity" (the menstrual laws) and others. ' " Order of Masechtot within a Seder Rambam tries to explain order of tractates in the Mishnah based on either chronological or logical progression.
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