The ShtarkShirts Vision

After the destruction of the Second Temple the early Rabbis had to make many decisions about how longstanding Israelite traditions would map onto the new Palestinian landscape.

As they began to have conversations about a whole range of topics, heated debate ensued - disagreements multiplied.

Ultimately, these early rabbis developed a number of differing perspectives about how to interpret authoritative Scripture. In some cases, they even disagreed about which narratives should be counted as authoritative!

In all cases, the opinions and rulings of elders would be memorized by students and were therefore preserved for future generations. Thus, these generations of rabbis are referred to as 'Tannaim' - Reciters. 

However, through further troubles and travails the Rabbis decided that threat of losing the many perspectives recorded in this manner was too great - the oral law had to be written down. 

ShtarkShirts brings us back to the essential task of the Tannaim in reciting and explicating Scripture as it relates to the world before us. All who don a Mishnah-Tee take on the task of memorizing, interpreting, and explicating the law before others. Doing so requires a willingness to question normative law, consider minority opinions, and live betwixt the everlasting tension of the two.