‘Torah she•be•al pe’ is the name of the oral Torah. Oral, in this context, does not mean that it is ‘not printed’ in a book form. On the contrary, most of the rules of Jewish practice are written in numerous books that together make the Torah she•be•al pe.
Among many writings, the Oral Torah includes the Talmuds (there are two different Talmud volumes: the Jerusalem Talmud and the more famous and acceptable, The Babylonian Talmud); the Mishna; and a wide range of interpretations of laws that are not included in the written Torah and which have been passed from generation to generation by tradition or by scholars. This term is a continuation of the Pharisee phrase of the Second Temple era: the Ethics of the Fathers. The Oral Torah was the subject of dispute between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Later, The Oral tradition was the focus of controversy among biblical Rabbinic Judaism and Karaite, a group of Jews that follow only the Torah and completely reject the Jewish practice as directed by the Oral Torah.
Historical Background – According to the sages, Moses received the written Torah at Mount Sinai, with verbal commentary of its commandments. The Traditional narrative of the Oral Torah says that: “Moses received the Torah from Sinai and gave it to Joshua, Joshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly.