Page 184 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
“They asked R. Elazar b. Parta, ‘Why did you not go to Be
Abedan?’ He replied, ‘I have been old and feared lest I be tram­
pled under your feet,’ ‘And how many old people have been
trampled till now?’ he was asked.”
(Abodah Zarah
17b)
“Rab would not enter a Be Abidan and certainly not a Be
Nitsrefe. Samuel would not enter a Be Nitsrefe, yet he would
enter a Be Abedan.”
(Shabbat
116a)
In the course o f time, with the heightened danger posed by
the
minim
and possibly also when it became apparent to the
Sages that the
minim
had perverted the meaning o f Scripture,
they decided to divorce themselves completely from them and
stated: “We have it on tradition that a scroll o f the Torah which
has been written by a
min
should be burnt”
(Gittin
45b). We
have cited this material even though it does not directly point
to the loss o f our books. However, it does cast interesting light
on the effort to guard the purity o f the Holy Scriptures from
any encroachment or misinterpretation.
LOST M ISHNA IC COLLECTIONS
In addition to the Mishnah which was arranged by R. Judah
the Prince and whose style is concise and clear, rabbinic sources
also mention collections known as “ great mishnayot” or “extra­
neous mishnayot.” These earlier collection are attributed to R.
Akiba, R. Hiyya, R. Oshayah, Bar Kappara and Levi b. Sisi.