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Judaism / Talmud /
Mishnah



An edition of the Mishnah.
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An edition of the Mishnah.

In Judaism, the first part of the Talmud. The Mishnah is the systemized collection of both the Oral Law of the Old Testament, and of the political and civil laws of Judaism.
Mishnah is Hebrew and means "repeated study".
The juridical traditions of Mishnah goes back as far as 450 BCE, a period when all material was transmitted orally.
Mishnah is written in Hebrew, but has many words from Aramaic and Greek. It is arranged to 6 orders with 63 tractates, each tractate divided into chapters.
The first order is Zera'im, Seeds and consists of 11 tractates. It deals with daily prayer and laws on agriculture — everything from technical issues to taxation.
Mo'ed, Festival, consists of 12 tractates, and describes ceremonies, rituals, observances and prohibitions with the Sabbath, festivals, fasting and other rituals.
Nashim, Women, consists of 7 tractates, and deals with issues of married life, divorce etc.
Neziqin, Damages, consists of 10 tractates, and deals with criminal law, court system and punishments.
Qodashim, Holy Things, consists of 11 tractates, and deals with issues regarding the Temple of Jerusalem and its rituals.
Tohorot, Purifications, consists of 12 tractates, and deals with ritual purity of everything from food to persons.

History
Around 200 CE: The Mishnah is compiled by Judah ha-Nasi.
3rd to 5th centuries: Studies over the Mishnah leads to two collections of interpretations, Gemara, one of Babylonia and one of Palestine.




By Tore Kjeilen