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The Mishna - A Study Book of Halakha

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Chapter Summary

The Mishna is the carefully worded literary formulation of Pharisaic-rabbinic law as it developed in the late Second Temple period and some generations afterwards. All sources, including the immediate post-mishnaic authorities in both the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmudim, agree that Rabbi Yehuda the Patriarch (generally referred to as 'Rabbi') was the editor, or final editor, of the Mishna. The teaching of R. Akiva is predominant in the third layer of the Mishna, and indirectly also in the fourth layer. The Mishna is divided into six Orders (sedarim), each Order being divided into tractates (massekhtot- ranging from seven to twelve), tractates into chapters (perakim - three to thirty) and chapters into pericopes (averaging seven or eight a chapter). The total number of Sages mentioned in the Mishna is slightly more than a hundred. The language of the Mishna is Hebrew as it developed in late Second Temple times and afterwards.

Keywords: Hebrew; Mishna; Pharisaic halakha; Pharisaic-rabbinic law; Sages; Second Temple period

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