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The Tosefta is a second compilation of oral law from the period of the Mishnah. In many ways, the Tosefta acts as a supplement to the Mishnah (tosefta means “supplement”). It is an Halakhic work which corresponds in structure almost exactly to the Mishnah, with the same divisions for orders (sedarim) and tractates (masekhot). It is mainly written in Mishnaic Hebrew, with some Aramaic.

The Mishnah was redacted by Judah haNasi in consultation with members of his academy (yeshiva), while the Tosefta was edited by Rabbis Hiyya and Oshaiah on their own, thus the Tosefta is considered less authoritative in the Orthodox Jewish world.

The text of most of Tosefta agrees nearly verbatim with the Mishnah, and often varies only slightly. The Tosefta offers authors' names for laws that are anonymous in the Mishna. The Tosefta as we have it today functions like a commentary on unquoted Mishnaic material; It offers additional haggadic and midrashic material, and it sometimes contradicts the Mishnah in deciding Halakha (Jewish law), or in declaring in whose name a law was given.

Much of the Tosefta is currently regarded as being written shortly after the Mishnah was redacted. The definitive commentary on the Tosefta is by Rabbi Yehezkel Abramsky in Hebrew (1925-1975 AD ).