Dov Abramson, ZMaN NaKaT, 2013
Schechter Institute Collection

Who knows six?

The Six orders of the Mishnah are the cornerstones of the oral tradition. Rabbi Judah the Prince, the redactor of the Mishnah, was the first scholar to arrange Jewish law thematically as he systematically edited the teachings of the Tannaitic sages into six thematic sections.

The six orders are Zeraim (Seeds), Moed (Festivals), Nashim (Women), Nezikin (Damages), Kodashim (Holy Matters) and Tehorot (Purities) – forming the acronym: ZMaN NaKaT. The six orders are the foundation from which grew the Talmud, from which Jewish law has evolved, in all of its complexity and marvels, until today.

The series of works, ZMaN NaKaT, seeks to give visual expression to the thematic arrangement of the six orders of the Mishnah, using it to convey the richness of Jewish culture that encompasses all aspects of Jewish life – from shaving during Chol Hamoed until the laws of two partners who want to divide their common property.

Within each print – for all of the orders – are visual cues for each of the tractates of that order.  The list of tractates at the bottom of each print provides key words.

The viewer is invited to participate and search for the visual representation of each tractate.