In this book (end of #20, in bold), R' Shmaryahu Horowitz quotes the book "Maase Efod" by R' Yitzhak ben Moshe Halevy (1350-1415), that lists the proper ways of Torah learning and mentions that there used to be books of Mishnah written with taamei mikrah accompaniment just like the Tanach is written.

ולזה תמצא כל ספרי המשנה הקודמים כתובים עם הנקוד והטעמים

Rashi also mentions this in Eruvin (21b; see also Mahartz Chajas, Shabbos 104a):

אגמריה בסימני טעמים - קבע לה מסורת וסימנין בין בתיבות המקרא בין בגירסא של משנה

Are there any examples of this?


1 Answer 1


Some Mishnah manuscripts have sporadic taamim. For example, MS Parma B (containing order Tahorot) has conjuctive accents connecting words and disjunctive accents marking pauses.

Here is the beginning of Mishnah Tahorot:


Here is Genizah fragment T-S E1.107 in Tractate Sanhedrin, vocalized with Eretz-Israeli accents (and occasionally, vocalization):

T-S E1.107

Here are Tiberian accents in T-S E1.53 (Eruvin):

enter image description here

There are also accented manuscripts or fragments of targumim, the Talmud, Sifra, Ben Sira, the Scroll of Antiochus and the Hebrew introduction to Sefer Ha-Egron. More on this can be found in Yeivin's three part paper "הטעמת תורה שבעל פה בטעמים" (in Leshonenu 24, 1959-1960).

  • Argon, Have you surveyed many manuscripts such as these only to discover this is the only one which contains strange extra markings like this one?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 4:52
  • @Dr.Shmuel "Some manuscripts of early Rabbinic literature contain marks for partial or systematic cantillation. This is true of the Sifra, and especially of Genizah fragments of the Mishnah.[22]" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantillation#Mishnah Commented May 31, 2019 at 11:44
  • @Dr.Shmuel There are many more. See update.
    – Argon
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 17:05
  • 1
    There's also Masechta Kiddushin, printed by Toviah Foa in Sabbioneta (Italy) in 1553, which has similar cantillation markings for the Mishnah. Presumably his source was a manuscript like one of the ones shown above. (He planned to publish the rest of Shas, but was prevented by the ban on the Talmud in Italy and the burning of it there later that year.)
    – Meir
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 18:09
  • @Meir Great! thanks
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 16:18

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