The 63 Tractates of Shas – part I

The laws transmitted orally from Sinai were organized by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi into six orders containing 63 tractates, called “mesechtos” in Hebrew. (“Shas” is an acronym for “Shisha Sedarim”—the Six Orders.) These are:

I. Seder Zeraim (The Order of Seeds)—laws of agriculture

Brachos*—blessings and prayers
Peah—the corner of a field
Demai—doubtfully-tithed produce
Kilayim—forbidden mixtures
Sheviis—the Sabbatical year
Terumah—the portion given to the kohein
Maaser Sheini—the second tithe
Challah—the portion of dough
Orlah—the fruit of the first three years
Bikkurim—first fruits

II. Seder Moed (The Order of Festivals)—laws of Sabbath and holidays

Shabbos*—the Sabbath
Eiruvin*—carrying and travel on Shabbos
Shekalim—the half-shekel coin
Yoma*—Yom Kippur, the day of atonement
Succah*—Succos, the feast of Tabernacles
Beitza*—Yom Tov
Rosh Hashana*—the Jewish new year
Moed Katan*—chol hamoed, the intermediate days of a Festival
Chagigah*—the pilgrimage

III. Seder Nashim (The Order of Women)—laws of marital relationships

Yevamos*—levirate marriage
Kesubos*—marriage contracts
Nazir*—the nazirite
Sotah*—the suspected wife

Continued next week.

*37 of these mesechtos have gemaras in the Babylonian Talmud. These are marked with an asterisk above