Why are there mishnayot which discuss halachot of situations that occured in history and can never occur again?

As an example of this phenomenon, consider Nega'im 7:1:

אֵלּוּ בֶהָרוֹת טְהוֹרוֹת. שֶׁהָיוּ בוֹ קֹדֶם לְמַתַּן תּוֹרָה...‏

The following bright spots are clean: Those that one had before the Torah was given...

A further example that comes to mind is Zevachim 14:4-7.

Is this simply a case of magnifying and glorifying the Torah, or is there something more going on?

  • 1
    if you were citing a little more: "אֵלּוּ בֶהָרוֹת טְהוֹרוֹת. שֶׁהָיוּ בוֹ קֹדֶם לְמַתַּן תּוֹרָה, בְּנָכְרִי וְנִתְגַּיֵּר, בְּקָטָן וְנוֹלַד, " you would understand that the Mishnah compare Matan Torah to conversion, to teach an additional lesson (as usual). Zvochim is different, it teaches the dependence of on Mishkan and Temple.
    – Al Berko
    May 23 '19 at 9:52
  • 1
    I'm not fluent with Mishnayos, but I think there are many other cases that are relevant to your question more than the one you quoted.
    – Al Berko
    May 23 '19 at 9:55
  • @AlBerko There could very well be. Feel free (or anyone else reading this) to edit them in to the question.
    – Joel K
    May 23 '19 at 10:00
  • 3
    Note that some of these historical teachings have practical applications today; for instance, whether Gid HaNasheh was taught before or after Har Sinai will tell you whether it applies to treif animals or not (cf. Chullin 100b). Perhaps this holds true for other cases as well, where by teaching about what was before Har Sinai, it informs on that which is practiced after as well.
    – DonielF
    May 23 '19 at 13:10
  • 1
    And in addition to @DonielF's point, if these points come out of drashos, then we need to know that, both to understand the pesukim and so that we know not t oderive other halachos from the same pesukim.
    – Heshy
    May 23 '19 at 17:54

The Mishnah is meant to be a complete repository of all halachos in the Torah, even if they are not applicable nowadays.

  • 2
    Really? Can you source this claim? I'm skeptical. What about all the things only mentioned in other sources?
    – Double AA
    Aug 20 '20 at 12:53
  • Introduction of Rambam to Mishnah: And his words in the Mishnah were terse words that included many matters...And that is the Tosefta, and its purpose is to elucidate the Mishnah. And it is possible to extrapolate the Tosefta's explanation from the Mishnah [itself] after great exertion, but he extrapolated them to teach us how to engender and bring out matters from the Mishnah. And so [too] did Rabbi Oshaya. (sefaria.org/…)
    – N.T.
    Aug 20 '20 at 21:10

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