May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Daily Daas for the Rest of Us

Daf Yomi isn’t for me. At least, not now, but I’m not sure it will ever be. Gemara is definitely an acquired taste, and many of us just don’t get there. I know that many people are in the same boat as I am. We can’t prioritize the time, it takes too long, we have no attention span for Gemara or myriad other excuses. We are mere spectators at the steady stream of siyumim, watching as our friends finish masechta after masechta.

When I first moved to Hillside, the rav at Adath Israel, Rabbi Schwartz, first introduced me to the Mishnah Yomis cycle. Initially, this too wasn’t for me. They were already somewhere in Nashim, and I just heard the short daily shiur with half an ear while folding my tallis and tefillin. In March 2016, when they finished the cycle, I decided to join. Two mishnayos a day seemed easy enough to handle, and this way I could be a purist and start at the beginning. Mishnah Yomis has changed my life since that day.

What started as simply following along with my own Mishnah quickly became more. I was soon learning all the commentary in Artscroll’s Yad Avraham series, and just a few months after I started I was filling in for the rabbi when he wasn’t at our minyan. Two years later, I decided to start a second cycle with my son, calculating that at two mishnayos a day we’d be able to finish all of Shas Mishnayos before his bar mitzvah. We are currently well ahead of schedule, and I can’t think of any better bonding time to recommend.

On December 24, our small shiur in Adath Israel, along with hundreds of other people following the Mishnah Yomis cycle established in 1948 by Rabbi Yona
Sztencl as a memorialization of those who perished in the Holocaust, are completing the 12th global Mishnah Yomis cycle. What that also means is that on December 25, thousands of people have the opportunity to join us in starting the 13th cycle. I already heard that a few of our shul’s young boys are joining in the daily learning with Brachos, and I can’t wait to celebrate at their siyumim.

Mishnayos presents an incredible array of Torah knowledge, quickly moving across many interesting topics. There are a multitude of great ways to learn Mishnah Yomis. Artscroll offers two great sets of Mishnayos. The Yad Avraham has deep commentary, summarizing relevant Gemara and other reference material. The Schottenstein edition makes the Mishnah easily understandable for a much faster, surface-level read. You can also hear Rabbi Schwartz’s daily shiurim on YUTorah (https://www.yutorah.org/search/?collection=6536), or join us in our shul any day. I look forward to completing these 4,192 mishnayos again, but with a much larger crowd. Maybe MetLife Stadium will be available.

Chaim Pinsker
Hillside
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