Following "what-was-rabbi-yehuda-hanassis-role-in-compiling-the-mishnah":

Fearing the loss of the Oral tradition, it sounds reasonable for Rebbi to attempt to compile all known Mishnayos (incl. Beraitot) but he didn't. Actually, it isn't so big and Rebbi with his resources could easily achieve it.

In fact, omitting other Beraytot caused big damages to the Oral tradition - many were completely forgotten, many were made difficult for later generations to comprehend, and more.

I presume Rebbi had a vision and made it on purpose, so why didn't he gather all existing Mishnayos?

  • 3
    Your claims "it isn't so big" and "many were completely forgotten" contradict one another: if many were completely forgotten, then you don't know how big the corpus is.
    – msh210
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


Given the infinite nature of the Oral Torah, it is literally impossible to record everything. Even including the next few generations of material would have been a much more difficult task, especially if you are starting without the base of the Mishna.

Besides, even while Rebbi concluded that some parts of the Oral Law had to be written down due to 'Eis La'asos', he still wanted to limit what he wrote as much as possible. Clearly, he felt that what he included was the right amount.

  • Thank you. I don't see much of an answer here, but still: 1. Your first sentence is a meaningless dogma. No transmission of information can be infinite. Moses couldn't pass an infinite amount of Torah onto Yehoshuah and on. Therefore at any time, the Oral Torah was finite, written or not. It can be expanded and refined infinitely, but at any given moment it's finite (see Otzar). 2. Your second part seemingly suggests that Rebbi's selection of mishnayos was pretty much arbitrary - "he felt that...", or pick and choose. I can't argue with that.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 13:03
  • I would, however, love to get a more serious presentation of Rebbi's intentions.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 13:03

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