MISHNAH: The Oral Law

Tractate AVOT 1 | Tractate PE’AH 1/a> | Tractate BABA BATHRA 9 | Tractate EDUYOTH 13 | Tractate KETUBOTH 13

Tractate AVOT 1

This is how the oral law was handed down: Moses received the Torah from Sinai, committed to it to Joshua, who handed it on to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets…

The Prophets said: be deliberate in judgment, raise many disciples, and make a fence around the Torah.

Simeon the Just said: by three things is the world sustained: by the Torah, by Divine Service, and by deeds of loving-kindness.

Antigonus of Soko received the Torah from Simeon, who said: Be not like slaves that do what is ordered by the master only for the sake of receiving a bounty…

Yossi ben Yochanan said: Let your house be opened wide and let the needy be members of your household…

Joshua and Perachya said: When you judge any person incline the balance in his favor.

Nittai the Arbelite said: Keep far from evil neighbors and do not mix with the wicked…

Simeon ben Shetah said: Examine the witnesses carefully and be cautious in your words lest they (the witnesses) learn from your words to swear falsely.

Shemaiah said: Love labor and hate mastery and seek not acquaintance with the ruling power.

Hillel said: Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving humankind and bringing all people close to the Torah.

Hillel said: If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?

Shammai said: Make study of the Torah a fixed habit; say little, do much, and receive all people with cheerful openness.

Rabban Gamliel said: Provide yourself with a (spiritual) teacher and remove yourself from doubt…

Simeon ben Gamliel said: I have grown up among the Sages and I have found no better spiritual discipline for a person than silence; not the expounding of the Torah, but the doing of it, is the chief thing…

Rabban Simeon said: By three things is the world sustained: by truth, by judgment, and by peace, as it is written: ”Execute the judgment of truth and peace” [Zachariah 8:16].

Tractate PE’AH 1

Mishnah 2

Pe’ah (corners of the field which belong to the poor to harvest) should not be less than 1/60 of the harvest. And although they have said that no (definite) measure is prescribed for Pe’ah, the amount should always accord with the size of the field, the number of the poor, and the yield of the harvest.

Mishnah 4

A general rule that they have enjoined concerning Pe’ah: Whatever is used for food and is kept watch over (is on private property) and grows from soil and is all reaped together is brought in for storage is liable to the law of Pe’ah. Grain and pulse (peas, beans, etc.) come within this rule.

Mishnah 5

Among trees, the sumac, carob, walnut, almond, vines, pomegranate, olive and palm trees are subject to the law of Pe’ah.

Tractate BABA BATHRA 9

Mishnah 1

If a man died and left sons and daughters and the property was great, the son inherit and the daughters receive maintenance; but if the property was small the daughters receive maintenance in the sons go a-begging. Admon says the sons may say,”Must I suffer because I am a male?” Rabban Gamliel said: I approve of the words of Admon.

Tractate EDUYOTH 13

Mishnah 13

If the man was half bondman and half freedman (for example, if he belonged to two brothers and one brother set him free), he shall work one day for his master another day for himself. So says the School of Hillel. The School of Shammai says: This is good for the master, but what of the man? He cannot marry a free woman, and he cannot marry a bound woman. Was not the world created for procreation and increase? For the general good they (the community) should compel his master to set him free, and the bondman writes a bond of indebtedness for half his value. The School of Hillel changed their opinion and taught according to the opinion of the School of Shammai.

Tractate KETUBOTH 13

Mishnah 10

There are three “countries” (or domains) as concerns marriage: Judea, Galilee, and beyond the Jordan. A man may not move his wife, if she does not want to go, from one country to another. In one country he may move her from town to town, or city to city, but he may not move her from city to town, or town to city, if she does not want to move. He may move her from a bad dwelling to a good dwelling, but he may not move her from a good dwelling to a bad dwelling. Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel said: Not even from a bad dwelling to a good one, if the move will do her harm.