Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Mishnah

    Aparadox of Judaism is that it contains libraries of written books recording and elaborating the Oral Law, Torah Shebeal Peh. But oral means not written. This paradox dates back to the Mishnah, the first layer of Oral Law to be codified in written form, during the second century CE. Before the Mishnah, the Torah Shebeal Peh, originating at Sinai, was transmitted and developed orally from teacher to student. However, in the generations following the destruction of the Temple when many sages were killed and many more were scattered, Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi took it upon himself to write down the oral discussions in the form of the Mishnah, reasoning that otherwise the Oral Law could be lost altogether. Mishnah means teaching. The same word appears in the Shema, vshinantam lvanecha, You shall teach them to your children. It comes from the word shanah, meaning repetition the most basic mode of teaching. The sages of the Mishnah are known as Tanaim, meaning teachers in Aramaic. Shanah also means year, the eternally repeating cycle of time. There is an ancient tradition to study Mishnah at a shivah house. One reason for this is that the word Mishnah, comprises the same letters (mem, shin, nun, heh) as the word neshamah, soul. Studying Mishnah is a way of honouring the departed soul.

Jewish words

Darchei Shalom

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Darchei Shalom
Jewish words

Chizuk

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Chizuk
Jewish words

Harat Olam

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Harat Olam
Jewish words

Ga'agua

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Ga'agua
Jewish words

Nafka Mina

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Nafka Mina
Jewish words

Machzor

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Machzor
Jewish words

Geshmack

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Geshmack
Jewish words

Neilah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Neilah
Jewish words

Taharah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Taharah