A.D. 10 – 220 – Tannaim Era

The Tannaim Era (a.k.a.: the Mishnaic period) of the Rabbinic Periods Begins

The Star of David, the Symbol of Judaism

Tannaim (plural) or Tanna (singular) is a Jewish Aramaic term which literally means “repeaters”, or “teachers”. The root tanna is the Talmudic Aramaic equivalent for the Hebrew root shanah, which also is the root-word of Mishnah. The verb shanah literally means “to repeat [or perhaps more to the point “what one was taught”]” and is used to mean “to learn”. The Tannaim were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately A.D. 10 until A.D. 220. It came after the Period of the Zugot (“pairs” see 170 B.C.), and was immediately followed by the Period of the Amoraim (“interpreters”, see 219).

The Tannaim lived in several areas of the Land of Israel. The spiritual center of Judaism at that time was Jerusalem, but after the destruction of the city and the Second Temple (in A.D. 70), Rabbi Johanan ben Zakai and his students founded a new religious center in Yavne, Palestine (in central coastal Palestine).