The Mishnah or Mishna (; , "study by repetition"), from the verb shanah , or "to study and review", also "secondary," is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions known as the " Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic literature.
The Mishnah was redacted by Judah the Prince at the beginning of the third century CE in a time when, according to the Talmud, the persecution of the Jews and the passage of time raised the possibility that the details of the oral traditions of the Pharisees from the Second Temple period (536 BCE – 70 CE) would be forgotten. The majority of the Mishnah is written in Mishnaic Hebrew, while some parts are Aramaic.
The Mishnah consists of six orders (, singular ), each containing 7–12 tractates (, singular ; lit. "web"), 63 in total, and further subdivided into chapters and paragraphs or verses.
The word Mishnah can also indicate a single paragraph or a verse of the work itself, i.e. the smallest unit of structure in the Mishnah. For this reason the whole work is sometimes called by the plural, .
Usage examples of "mishnah".
The Mishnah is the law of our people, based first on our holy books, which the Christians call the Old Testament.
But the Mishnah is all that has been thought and said on these books since we first made our Covenant with God.