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(tänä`ĭm) [plural of Aramaic tanna,=one who studies or teaches], Jewish sages of the period from HillelHillel,
fl. c.30 B.C.–A.D. 10, Jewish scholar, regarded as the forebear of the later patriarchs who led the Jews of Palestine until c.A.D. 400. The Jerusalem Talmud calls him the president of the Sanhedrin.
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 to the compilation of the MishnaMishna
, in Judaism, codified collection of Oral Law—legal interpretations of portions of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. Together with the Gemara, or Amoraic commentary on the Mishna, it comprises the Talmud.
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. They functioned as both scholars and teachers, educating those in the synagogues as well as in the academies. Their opinions are found either in the Mishna or as collected in the ToseftaTosefta
, plural Toseftoth [Aramaic,=additional], collection of ancient Jewish teachings supplementing the Mishna or Oral Law and closely allied to it in organization. Like the Mishna, it was compiled by the Tannaim.
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. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple (A.D. 70), Johanan ben ZakkaiJohanan ben Zakkai
, leader of the Pharisees of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, afterward founder of the Jewish academy at Jamnia. He emphasized the study of the Torah as the primary religious duty for which humankind was created. After A.D.
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 reconstituted the academy at Jabneh (see JamniaJamnia
, biblical Jabneel and Jabneh [Heb.,=God causes to build], ancient city, central Israel. Its modern name is Yavne. A central city of Philistia, the Bible refers to its walls being destroyed by Uzziah. It was pillaged by Judas Maccabaeus and later rebuilt.
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), where the work of the Tannaim flourished. Akiba ben JosephAkiba ben Joseph
, c.A.D. 50–c.A.D. 135, Jewish Palestinian religious leader, one of the founders of rabbinic Judaism. Although the facts of his life are obscured by legend, he is said to have been a poor and illiterate shepherd who began his rabbinic studies at the age of
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 was among their disciples. The final compilation and redaction of the opinions and rulings of the tannaim was carried out c.200 under the administration of Judah ha-NasiJudah ha-Nasi
, c.135–c.220, Palestinian Jewish communal leader (tanna). He occupied the office of patriarch (nasi) which was reestablished by the Romans after 135.
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, and resulted in the Mishna, which is accorded canonical status and forms the basis for all subsequent rabbinic discussions. The Tannaim were succeeded by the AmoraimAmoraim
[Heb. amar=to interpret], in Judaism, term referring to those scholars, predominantly at Caesarea and Tiberias in Palestine (c.A.D. 220–c.A.D. 375) and in Babylonia (c.A.D. 200–c.A.D.
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See H. L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (1931, repr. 1969).

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All are elucidated in the teachings of the Tanna'im and Amora'im--the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud--and presented systematically in the codes.
Though it is not articulated in the text, one can sense from the employment of every exegetical tool at their disposal to severely restrict the law's application, that the Tanna'im perceive adolescent development as a critical stage in the life of the individual.
Even before they begin to ply the "wrong eating" lever to dismantle this case, the Tanna'im begin minimizing the law's application by constraining the age of the offender (i.