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The Tosefta - Companion to the Mishna

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Chapter Summary

The name Tosefta means 'addition', and this is what it is: an addition, a complement to the Mishna. The Tosefta is at least three times as large as the Mishna. This chapter highlights that the text of the Tosefta is very closely interwoven with that of the Mishna, to such an extent that they may almost be considered one literary work. Like the Mishna, the Tosefta is divided into tractates, tractates into chapters and chapters into halakhot. A prime characteristic of the Tosefta is that it is a continuation of the Mishna. The main difference is, in fact, chronological. The Tosefta serves as commentary and supplement to the Mishna in various ways. Scholars have noted that baraitot in the Talmudim which parallel the Tosefta frequently differ in wording and sometimes even in content. Many theories have been expounded as to the manner of compilation and editing of the Tosefta.

Keywords: baraitot; halakhot; Mishna; Tosefta



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