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What are the books of Mishnah?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart


Library » Torah » Mishnah and Talmud | Subscribe | What is RSS?



What are the six books of Mishnah and their order?


There are six sections to the Mishnah - known as orders. Each one of these has a number of Tractates.

First Order: Zera'im ("Seeds"). This section contains 11 Tractates. It deals with agricultural laws and prayers.

Second Order: Mo'ed ("Festival"). This section contains 12 Tractates. It deals with the laws of the Shabbat and the Holy Days.

Third Order: Nashim ("Women"). This section contains 7 Tractates. It deals with marriage and divorce.

Fourth Order: Nezikin ("Damages"). This section contains 10 Tractates. It deals with civil and criminal law.

Fifth Order: Kodshim ("Holy [things]"). This section contains 11 Tractates. It deals with laws about the sacrifices, the Holy Temple, and the dietary laws.

Sixth order: Taharot ("Purities"). This section contains 12 Tractates. It deals with laws of ritual purity and impurity, including impurity of the dead, laws of ritual purity for the priests (Kohanim), and laws of "Family Purity" and others.

Read more about "What are the Mishnah and Talmud?" .


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(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Plural form of Kohain. Priests of G-d. This title belongs to the male descendants of Aaron, brother of Moses. The primary function of the Kohain was to serve in the Holy Temple. Today the Kohain is still revered and it is his function to recite the Priestly Blessings on certain occasions.
First written rendition of the Oral Law which G-d spoke to Moses. Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled the Mishna in the 2nd century lest the Oral law be forgotten due to the hardships of the Jewish exiles.
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
Family Purity
Laws relating to intimacy between husband and wife. The primary point of Family Purity is the woman's purifying immersion in a ritual bath which allows the couple to resume intimate relations after the woman's menstrual period.