Oral Torah

The discussion and studies that set the ethics, laws, statutes, and legal interpretations of the written Torah, which is the Five Books of Moses.

Moses received the Oral Torah on Mount Sinai and passed it down orally in an unbroken chain from generation to generation until its content was finally committed to writing following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, when Jewish civilization was faced with an existential threat, by virtue of the dispersion of the Jewish people.

The major repositories of the Oral Torah are the Mishnah, compiled between 200–220 CE by Rabbi Yehudah haNasi, and the Gemara, a series of running commentaries and debates concerning the Mishnah, which together forms the Talmud, the preeminent text of Rabbinic Judaism. In fact, two “versions” of the Talmud exist: one produced in the Galilee c. 300–350 CE (the Jerusalem Talmud), and a second, more extensive Talmud compiled in Babylonia c. 450–500 CE (the Babylonian Talmud).

Written Torah
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