Ma•so•ret (tradition) comes from the root, M.S.R, (Mem, Samech, Reysh. Masar is the verb that means: to give, to transfer, to deliver). It is interesting to note that this verb indicates a one-way direction—from the older generation to the new. The English word ‘tradition’ suggests a two-way direction by the Latin source of the word, traditio, meaning the action of handing over. The word ‘trade’ in ‘tradition’ indicates the back-and-forth direction.
The Oral Torah, which includes the Tal•mud, is the main source of Jewish tradition, but it is also considered an equal source of authority as compared to the Bible itself. Although many do not favor the comparison, it still resembles the level of importance of the Catholic sacraments and traditions for Catholicism. For comparison, for Protestant Christians, the only source of faith authority is the Bible itself. There is a similar Jewish denomination that declines the rabbinic authority of the Talmud and the Oral Torah and sees only the Bible as a source of religious authority. This group is named Karaite Judaism.
Ma•so•ret (tradition) is a culture−customs, rituals, opinions and beliefs, values rules of behavior−handed down from generation to generation in a group or in a particular company. Most tradition is actually the basis for the definition of the group, both outwardly and inwardly.
There are several types of traditions accepted:
National tradition: the tradition of a people that generally includes a common history, national cultural events, and the like.
Religious tradition: a tradition associated with a particular religion, a particular way of interpreting the sacred texts of the religion, the form of religious ceremonies, and the like.
Regional tradition: cultural events taking place in the region, a particular form of language or religion, and so on.
The word ‘Ma•so•rti’ is the name for Jews who are not fully orthodox, but follow part of the commandments and the Halacha (interpretation of Jewish law to daily life). This practice usually includes keeping the Sabbath; the Kosher dietary laws; lighting the candles on Shabbat Eve (on Friday night); and celebrating all Jewish holidays and feasts.