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The Tosefta ( Aramaic תוספתא), “add”, “complete”, is a compilation of oral traditions and traditions of Judaism from the rabbinical period (originally the Halachic period). In many cases it is a supplement to the Mishnah , the main collection, and was created alongside or shortly after it. Later it also became the subject of the baraita .

The noun tosefta comes from the verb jasaf / יסף ( causative stem "add, supplement") and means something like supplement, addition.


Scherira Gaon (ISG L. 34) describes R. Chija bar Abba I , a friend and student of Rabbis ( Jehuda ha-Nasi ), as the actual author . The same opinion is held by Rashi (bBM 85b) and Maimonides (in the foreword to Mishne Torah and Qāfiḥ 33 f).


The structure of the Tosefta corresponds to the 6 orders of the Mishnah . Only the treatises Avot , Tamid, Middot and Qinnim have no equivalent and the treatise Kelim is divided into three “gates”. The Tosefta is about sixty percent larger than the Mishnah.


  • Erfurt manuscript (oldest manuscript, incomplete, only the first four orders, 222 sheets from the 12th century)
  • Vienna manuscript in catalog Schwarz No. 46 (only almost complete manuscript, only a few sheets are missing)
  • Manuscript London ( Seder Mo'ed and Tract Chullin only )

Text output

  • First printing: Venice 1521f.
  • Mose Samuel Zuckermandel : Tosefta, Mishna and Boraitha (critical Tosefta edition), Pasewalk 1880; Reprints Jerusalem 1937 and 1970
  • ders., Supplement with overview, register and glossary, Trier 1882
  • Saul Lieberman, Tosefet Rishonim , 4 volumes, Jerusalem 1937–1939 [Collection of text witnesses by medieval authors, which is of particular importance due to the poor handwritten tradition of the Tosefta]
  • Saul Lieberman, The Tosefta, according to cod. Vienna, with variants from cod. Erfurt, Genizah mss and ed. Princeps (Venice 1521). New York 1955–1973 (4 volumes) / Tosefta Ki-Fshutah. A Comprehensive Commentary on the Tosefta, 8 volumes and supplementary volume on Moed , New York 1955–1973 (Hebrew) [the most important Tosefta commentary to date]
  • J. Neusner , The Tosefta. Translated from the Hebrew , 6 volumes, New York 1977–1981
  • Karl Heinrich Rengstorf (ed.): Rabbinical texts. First row: The Tosefta. Stuttgart 1953ff


  • MS Sugar Almond: Tosefta, Mishnah and Boraitha in their relationship to one another . Volume 1-2. J. Kauffmann , Frankfurt am Main 1908-1909, (Supplement 1910).
  • Arthur Spanier : The Tosefta Period in Tannaitic Literature . Schwetschke, Berlin 1922, ( publications of the Academy for Science of Judaism - Talmudic Section 1, ZDB -ID 2033660-3 ).
  • Samuel Rosenblatt: The Interpretation of the Bible in the Tosefta . Dropsie University, Philadelphia PA 1974, ( The Jewish quarterly review 4, ISSN  0021-6682 ).
  • Günter Stemberger : Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash. 8th revised edition. Beck, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-406-36695-3 , ( Beck-Studium ), pp. 153-166.
  • Michael Tilly : Art. Tosefta , in: Theologische Realenzyklopädie. Vol. 33 Technology - Transzendenz, Berlin, New York 2002, ISBN 3-11-017132-5 , pp. 680-683.

Web links

Commons : Tosefta  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: The Tosefta  - Sources and Full Texts (Hebrew)