The study of the Pentateuch with the view of indicating the re-attachment of halachoth to the written law was known as middoth (modes, measures) or, in its Aramaic equivalent, mekilatha. Thus, we read: ‘Better is he who studies halachoth and is conversant with them, than he who studies halachoth and middoth and is not conversant with them, but – it is his ambition to be acclaimed a student of mekilan.’ The term ‘middoth’ and its Aramaic translation ‘mekilatha’ had also the meaning of a scroll or a set of rules. It may thus refer to a set collection of Beraithoth.

S.K. Mirsky, “The Schools of Hillel, R. Ishmael and R. Akiba in Pentateuchal Interpretation,” in Essays Presented to Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, ed. H.J. Zimmels, J. Rabbinowitz, & I. Finestein (London: The Soncino Press Limited, 1967), 297.

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