Jews read the Hebrew Bible through the lens of our oral law. While originally transmitted orally (as the name suggests) our oral law was ultimately recorded in the Mishnah. The six books of the Mishnah show the way that the indigenous people of the Bible have understood and transmitted their tradition.
These infographics cover topics such as: what is the Mishnah, how is it arranged, who are the teachers we find it in, how is the Mishnah related to other classic rabbinic texts?
Many parts of the Mishnah make reference to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the Beit Ha’Mikdash, “House of Holiness,” בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ. There has been more than one Temple, so when reading the text use context to figure out which Temple there are referring to, the First Temple, the Second Temple, or the Second Temple as rebuilt and expanded by Herod.
Here is the first Temple, the Temple of King Solomon.
Herod’s expansion of the Second Temple dates from around 20 BCE.
For comparison here it is shown next to Solomon’s Temple, the first Temple.
Many parts of the Mishnah discuss events in and around Jerusalem, so it is important to have a map showing the geography of Jerusalem
Here is the same city from another artist, with another view.
A synagogue-home in the first century CE.
The Sanhedrin meeting inside the second Temple in Jerusalem.
The rabbis of the Mishnah, from the Encyclopaedia Judaica.
Famous rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, shown on a family tree-like diagram.
From BimBam (formerly G-dcast.)
The six orders of the Mishnah
- Zeraim (“Seeds”), Prayer, tithes, agricultural laws (11 tractates)
- Moed (“Festival”), the Sabbath and the festivals (12 tractates)
- Nashim (“Women”), marriage and divorce, oaths laws of the nazirite (7 tractates)
- Nezikin (“Damages”), civil and criminal law, courts and oaths (10 tractates)
- Kodashim (“Holy things”), sacrificial rites, the Temple, dietary laws (11 tractates)
- Tohorot (“Purities”), ritual purity and impurity (12 tractates)
From the Mishnah to the Tosefta
The Tosefta is a little-studied primary work of classic rabbinic literature, alongside the Mishnah and Talmud, dating from the late 2nd century. We can learn more about that here Tosefta, the “other” Mishnah
From the Mishnah to the Talmud
How is the Mishnah related to the later Talmuds? (Yes, that’s right, its plual – there are two Talmuds. The Talmud of Babylon, and the Talmud of the land of Israel. From the Mishnah to the Talmud
Reading a page of Talmud
When you finally get to the point where you are studying Talmud, it will become easier if you know how the Talmud is usually published. I discovered this wonderful image from Desiree at triberuth. wordpress. com
Professor Jay C. Treat at U. Penn Arts & Sciences shows us how this looks in a traditional Hebrew & Aramaic layout
and here is the key