Monday, April 13, 2009

Mishna Yomi

From Josh L (and Mazel Tov to him on this), who learned Taharos l'zecher nishmas Rav Alter Henoch Leibowitz zt"l (past Rosh Yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim yeshivos) and most of Nezikin l'zecher nishmas Yonah Goldman a'h. In addition to Mishna Yomi itself, the concepts to be learned from it - how a little bit of a little bit at every opportunity adds up to so much - is an important one for us all.

This morning after Birchas HaChama, I made a siyum on Shisha Sidrei Mishna. I would like to take this opportunity to publicize the Mishna Yomi program. The Chofetz Chaim writes in "Kol Kisvei HaChofetz Chaim" that when we get to Olam Habba, we can only learn subjects which we learned while we were on this Earth. It is therefore a good idea to learn through all of Shisa Sidrei Mishna in order to learn all the various topics.

The Mishna Yomi program involves learning 2 or 3 mishnayos per day, in which all of Shisa Sidrei Mishna can be completed in about six years. I have not been following the official Mishna Yomi schedule but for the past many years I have been making a siyum on a seder of mishna almost every Erev Pesach.

When I was about to leave for Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel after high school, my brother told me that the Yeshiva davens very slowly and that I should make sure to use any extra time I have waiting for the tzibbur to finish Shmoneh Esrei to learn. I decided that I would use that time to learn mishnayos. I started Seder Taharos and the following Erev Pesach I finished it. Since then, I have tried to learn 1 or 2 sedarim per year and today I finished Shisa Sidrei Mishna for the 3rd time. I encourage everyone to try to learn Mishna Yomi. It only takes a few minutes per day and in 6 years you will have finished all of Shas.

The pocket-size Kehatis are very helpful. You can carry them around wherever you go. I keep one in my jacket pocket. There is also an English translation of Kehati. I'm not sure if they have the entire Shas in the pocket-size edition but they do have it in the full-size. Artscroll has full-size and pocket-size editions of their mishnayos for the first 5 Sedarim and a lot of Taharos. If you start now with Zeraim, by the time you get to Taharos they will probably have the set completed. As you can see, there are a lot of options for peirushim on mishnayos both in Hebrew and English.

This happens to not be an easy time to join the official Mishna Yomi program as they are currently in the middle of Keilim. But you can set your own schedule. Choose a time that you want to finish by (such as Erev Pesach) and figure out how many Mishnayos you have to learn per day to finish by then. Then set a time when you think you can learn it and try to keep to it. Besides the breaks during davening I also try to learn mishnayos while waiting around at the airport or doctors office.

I will now PUNish you by going through the names of the various mesechtas in Shas.

I was blessed, 5 years ago to start Shisa Sidrei Mishna with BERACHOS. After that I cornered the market on PEAH. I'm not sure how I got through DMAI. After that I got mixed up in KILAYIM. I then took a year off to learn SHVIIS. (After chazering it 7 times I was jubilant). I gave TRUMOS to someone else and I got a tenth of the way through MAASEROS.
I'll start the 2nd tenth of these puns with MAASER SHENI. (I'll skip the pun for CHALAH since it is already past the zman for eating chametz, although I learned it twice because it was Shabbos.) Come back to me in 3 years for a pun about ORLAH. The fruits of my labors were then realized as I finished Seder Zeraim with BIKURIM.

Next I learned Seder Moed. First I worked on Shabbos. I was then able to string together some puns for ERUVIN, I felt like I was surrounded by them. (I kept the pocket-size mishnayos Eruvin in my carry-on.) I didn't pass over PSACHIM (I know, that was Baaaad). I only paid attention to half of SHKALIM. I learned YOMA in a day, and then I covered SUCCAH. BAITZAH was egggcellent. ROSH HASHANA was sweet. It was a great way to start off the new year. I learned through TAANIS pretty fast. I then scrolled through MEGILLA. MOED KATAN was like a small holiday. I then celebrated finishing Seder Moed by making a CHAGIGA.

Next came Seder Nashim. YEVAMOS gave me a lot of Tzarros. I wrote off KSUBOS and swore off NEDARIM. I pulled my hair out over NAZIR. I then had a drink of pure unadulterated korbanated SOTAH water. I was too unattached to GITTIN. I felt I needed to Get a life. After finishing KIDDUSHIN I made a kiddush, it was a marry occasion as I was half way through Shas!

Next came Seder Nizikin. BABA KAMA was brutal. I found BABA METZIAH too hard to do at once so I split it in two. I then got a partner for BABA BASRA. SANHEDRIN then taught me about PUNishment. I hit up MAKKOS next, I whipped right through it! I spent a few weeks before swearing off SH'VUOUS. EDIYOS was telling. After that I did AVODA ZARA. It was strange. My father then helped me with AVOS. I was going to rule out HORIYOS but I made it through and finished Seder Nizikin.

Next came Seder Kodshim. I sacrificed a lot to learn ZVACHIM. I only learned MENACHOS in the afternoon. I totally butchered CHULIN. I got through BECHOROS unblemished. ARACHIN was totally worth it! I wouldn't exchange it even for TMURA. I thought that KREISUS would help me cut out these puns. MEILA was a steal. TAMID is always fun (it only takes a day to learn). MIDDOS measured up nicely. I then got a chavrusa for KINIM but he got all mixed up. It should be a kappara. I then felt very holy as I finished Seder Kodshim.

Next came Seder Taharos. KAILIM was pretty self-contained. OHALOS was deadly intense, but I covered it. I then touched on a spot of NEGAIM. Holy cow was PARAH mooooving. I red through it pretty quickly. I then learned Maseches TAHAROS - pure and simple. I then immersed myself in MIKVAOS. Although it was hard to learn it without a shiur, I was able to draw something from it. I really NEEDA stop these puns or this might get bloody. MACHSHIRIN was pretty kosher. ZAVIM flowed into TVUL YOM, which I washed down in a day. Next I washed my hands of YADAYIM. I was able to handle it. Then comes today's Siyum which stems from finishing UKTZIN.

Mot sure how this will come out but here is a list of the number of Mishnayos in each masechta:

Berachos 57 Shabbos 139 Yevamos 128 Baba Kamma 79 Zvachim 101 Kailm 254
Peah 69 Eruvin 95 Kesubos 111 Baba Mitzeia 100 Menuchos 93 Ohalot 133
Dmai 53 Psachim 91 Nedarim 90 Baba Basra 86 Chulin 74 Negaim 115
Kilayim 77 Shkalim 52 Nazir 60 Sanhedrin 71 Bechoros 73 Para 96
Shviis 89 Yoma 61 Sotah 67 Makos 34 Arachin 50 Taharos 92
Trumos 101 Succah 53 Gittin 75 Shvuous 62 Tmura 35 Mikvaos 71
Maasros 40 Baitza 42 Kidushin 47 Ediyos 74 Kriesos 42 Nida 82
Maaser Sheni 57 Rosh Hashana 35 Avoda Zarah 50 Meila 38 Machshirin 54
Chala 38 Taanis 34 Avos 108 Tamid 34 Zavim 32
Orlah 35 Megilla 33 Horyos 20 Middos 34 Tvul Yom 26
Bikurim 39 Moed Katan 24 Kininm 15 Yadayim 22
Chagiga 23 Uktzin 28
655 682 578 684 589 1005 4193

(I have this list in a spreadsheet and each year it calculates how many mishnayos I have to learn per day in order to finish by Erev Pesach. Every few weeks I enter how many I have actually completed and it recalculates it.)

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