tanna

tanna

[Sephardic Hebrew tah-nah; Ashkenazic Hebrew, English tah-nah]
noun, plural tannaim [Sephardic Hebrew tah-nah-eem; Ashkenazic Hebrew, English tah-nah-im] . (often initial capital letter) Judaism.
one of a group of Jewish scholars, active in Palestine during the 1st and 2nd centuries a.d., whose teachings are found chiefly in the Mishnah.
Compare amora, sabora.


Origin:
< Hebrew tannā teacher

tannaitic [tah-nuh-it-ik] , adjective
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tanna

any of several hundred Jewish scholars who, over a period of some 200 years, compiled oral traditions related to religious law. Most tannaim lived and worked in Palestine. Their work was given final form early in the 3rd century AD by Judah ha-Nasi, whose codification of oral laws became known as the Mishna (q.v.). Some scholars believe the Mishna was committed to writing at this time, while others believe it was preserved solely by memory for another three or four centuries.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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