SHAS (Heb. שׁ״ס), an abbreviation consisting of the initials of Shishah Sedarim (Heb. שִׁשָּׁה סְדָרִים), or Shita Sidra (Aram. שִׁיתָא סִידְרָא), the "six orders" into which the Mishnah is divided. The full Aramaic term is found in Bava Meẓia 85b, the full Hebrew in Esther Rabbah 1:12. The abbreviation does not appear in the manuscripts of the early editions of the Talmud and was first used in the Basle edition (1578–81) because of the objection of the censor to the term Talmud. It appears in Ḥagigah 10a and Shabbat 63a. In both of these passages the Munich manuscript reads תַּלְמוּדָא (talmuda). Tosafot to Sanhedrin 24a quotes Avodah Zarah 19b שְׁלִישׁ בַּשַּׁ״ס (shelish ba-Shas; "A third of one's time should be devoted to Shas") where the printed editions read בַּתַּלְמוּד (ba-Talmud). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: R.N.N. Rabbinovicz, Ma'amar al Hadpasat ha-Talmud, ed. by A.M. Habermann (1952), 76f. esp. n. 7. (Harry Freedman)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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