MO'ED


MO'ED (Heb. מוֹעֵד), the second of the six orders of the Mishnah according to the accepted order established by *Simeon b. Lakish. He interpreted the verse (Isa. 33:6), "and the stability of thy times shall be a hoard of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge …" such that "stability" refers to the order Zera'im, "thy times" to the order Mo'ed … (Shab. 31a, et al.). In the order given by R. Tanhum, however, it is the fourth (Num. R. 13:15). Mo'ed treats comprehensively of the Sabbath and the festivals of the Jewish calendar, but it includes tractates *Eruvin, which is a kind of appendix to Shabbat, *Shekalim, because of the fixed appointed time for the collection of the half-shekel (see Shek. 1:1–3), and *Ta'anit, dealing with congregational fasts, since to some extent its subject matter is similar to that of the festivals. Mo'ed comprises 12 tractates arranged, as are all the orders, in descending order according to the number of chapters. They are (1) *Shabbat, with 24 chapters; (2) Eruvim, 10; (3) *Pesaḥim, 10; (4) Shekalim, 8; (5) *Yoma, 8; (6) *Sukkah, 5; (7) *Beẓah or Yom Tov, 5; (8) *Rosh Ha-Shanah, 4; (9) Ta'anit, 4; (10) *Megillah, 4; (11) *Mo'ed Katan or Mashkin, 3; (12) *Ḥagigah, 3; in all, 88 chapters.

In the Tosefta of Mo'ed, Shabbat has 17 (or 18) chapters; Eruvin 8 (or 11), Pesaḥim 10, Shekalim 3, Kippurim 4 (or 5). Sukkah 4, Yom Tov 4, Rosh Ha-Shanah 2 (or 4), Ta'aniyyot 3 (or 4), Megillah 3 (or 4), Mo'ed Katan 2, and Ḥagigah 3. There is no Gemara to Shekalim in the Babylonian Talmud but there is in the Jerusalem Talmud. In contrast to all the other orders which have plural names, the name of Mo'ed is in the singular. The reason is apparently that the concept Mo'ed has two meanings, one in the sense of a festival and the other in that of a fixed time, as for example, "the season [mo'ed] that thou camest forth out of Egypt" (Deut. 16:6), or, "therefore will I take back My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof [be-mo'ado]" (Hos. 2:11). In this sense the Bible uses the term Mo'ed in the singular, and this is apparently the implication of the use of the singular for the name of the order, since it treats not only of the festivals, but also of other topics that nevertheless have a fixed time, such as Shekalim, Ta'anit and the readings of the Law. It seems that the tractate Shabbat alone was once called Mo'ed.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Epstein, Mishnah, 980ff.; Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, Seder Mo'ed (1952).

[Abraham Arzi]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.