I am familiar with the term Mesora to mean not just any tradition but particularly - Oral tradition, in the sense of, the mishna, or traditions or midrashim brought forth in the talmud.

I was interested to see a title of a book. "The Masorah of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia". And what I understand it to be about, is it lists Masoretic notes, and explains them. e.g. a word appears a particular number of times, and in this manner the text is better preserved.

So in that book "The Mesora", seems to refer to Masoretic notes.

I'd never heard of the word used in that sense before.

I am wondering if there are any Jewish sources that uses the phrase "The Mesora" in that sense. i.e. to mean Masoretic notes.

Is it perhaps a usage that came into being at some point in Jewish history, and was introduced by somebody.

Or is it something that exists only in academia when discussing that aspect of Judaism - the masoretic notes.

I am aware that generally in Judaism, masoretic notes are hardly focussed on by most, apart from perhaps a keri/ktiv note in a chumash, so it's perhaps not an easy thing to find an answer to.


1 Answer 1


This is very much a Jewish term. One of the most famous and influential collections of such statements is indeed titled Masoret Siyag LaTorah. You'll find it often in commentaries who discuss such things (eg. Ba'al HaTurim to Gen 1:2). Arguably, it's even used in the Talmud (Megillah 3a).

  • You can add אם למסורת
    – kouty
    Sep 21, 2016 at 14:14

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