70 for Shomrei70
1 June 2017
Learn 70 For Our 70th
As we continue to mark the 70th anniversary of Shomrei, I am excited to launch a collective educational project to help us celebrate.
There are 70 Chapters of Mishna in Seder Nezikin (actually 73, but I will learn the last three). The idea is to have 70 different people each take ONE perek–or potentially do it in pairs–and TOGETHER as a community we will finish the entire book of Nezikin.
The Mishna is the record of centuries of discussion expounding the Oral Law of Judaism as it took place in the great Torah academies of long ago. The Mishna, which is the basis of all talmudic discussions, was completed and edited at the beginning of the third century CE by Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi in Tzipori in the Galilee. Throughout Jewish history, the Jewish people throughout the diaspora lived a life connected to these teachings–based upon the sanctity and integrity of the Torah, the Written Law–that bound world Jewry together in spite of the enormous distances of space and society. The names of the great men of the Mishna – Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi, Hillel, Shamei etc. – were all household names and familiar “guests” in Jewish homes the world over. Even though the vast majority of Jews were hardly scholars–this field was pretty much reserved for the educated elite–almost all Jews were aware of the Mishna, its values, messages, decisions and stories. It was the guiding book in their lives, not only in matters of ritual and law, but also in terms of personal behavior, societal goals and vision of the Jewish future. Eventually it could be said that the book referred to in the phrase “people of the book” was the Mishna. Understanding the Mishna is the way to understanding the Jewish soul–the Jew that is within us all–and thus is our true connection to our past and our destiny.
Please see the document here to sign up. On the top it lists each Masechta and there is space for people to sign up for the perek listed within that Masechta. We have also included the number of individual Mishnayot for each perek. We will please G’ make a collective siyum on 2nd day Shavuot 1 June, to celebrate this wonderful achievement and undertaking. Anyone can learn for this project–adults or children–and I am available for guidance, learning or assistance in any way to help make this happen. Whether you are an experienced Mishna scholar or this would be your first time please join us. At the siyum, we will share an overview of all we learned and one or two members of the community will share some insights to the Mishna they learned.
Looking forward to you joining this exciting Mishna project!
Rabbi Moshe Mayerfeld