While learning Mishna, I frequently come across distinctions between different levels of prohibitions, as well as allusions to sub-categories within those prohibitions. So, for example, there are prohibitions that require the transgressor to bring a sin offering (those that are חייב), prohibitions that do not require a sin offering (those that are פטור), as well as prohibitions that may even constitute further sub-divisions of an even gentler nature (such as the איסור שבות on Shabbat).

What is more, the Mishna in some instances alludes to a body of theory that it does not appear to remark upon: at what stage might we decide that transgressions are heaped upon transgressions? Yevamot 3:10 speaks of a situation in which more than one sin offering might be required in a single instance, which is remarked upon by the Bartenura but which is not explicated in the mishna itself.

Having only learnt about 50% of the Mishna, I do not yet know if there are masekhtot in the final three sedarim that are relevant to this particular issue. What I would like is a break-down of the different types of transgressions and the theory that pertains to them. When does a transgression require an offering? What type of offering is required and when? When do transgressions combine with other transgressions? What happens when transgressions of differing levels combine? And so forth...

Are there specific masekhtot that touch upon this in such a fashion that their respective gemara and mefarshim might be of particular use to me? Or can anybody recommend a sefer in the Rambam's MT that deals with this, or even an acharon who treats of the matter in a comprehensive way? It would assist my learning of the Mishna immeasurably if there were a body of theory that I could consult here.

  • The first masechet that comes to mind is definitely Kreitot. Have you done that one yet? Makkot and Sanhedrin also sound like they're up your alley. – Double AA Aug 26 '13 at 1:28
  • Thanks for the recommendation, @DoubleAA - I have not learnt any of those three yet. I hope to be onto them soon! – Shimon bM Aug 27 '13 at 1:44

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