July 18, 2024
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Heichal HaTorah’s Second Annual ‘Mishnahthon’ Unites Community for Siyum, Singing and Dancing

By JLNJ Staff

“It was a beautiful sight to see—fathers and sons, grandfathers and grandsons, brothers and friends, all learning together,” said one participant as the evening wound down.

At Yeshiva Heichal HaTorah this past Monday night, a rich and raucous kol Torah emanated from the sanctuary as hundreds gathered for a “Mishnahthon,” accepting the challenge posed by Rav Aryeh Stechler, rosh yeshiva and dean: Complete all of Shas Mishnayot in one hour.

The entire corpus of Mishnah—encompassing 525 chapters, 4,224 mishnayot—was fully reserved by the evening’s participants at the start of the evening. Rabbi Mordechai Willig, rosh yeshiva of RIETS, opened with the first Mishnah in Masechet Brachot, giving a novel explanation of the underlying machloket between the chachamim and the other rabbis of the Mishnah. Then the learning began in earnest.

“I wasn’t sure we were going to pull this off a second time,” Rav Stechler admitted. “People have so many obligations at the end of the school year and their time is very limited. But the community stepped up, proving once again that the Bergen County kehilla takes seriously its commitment to Torah and to the chinuch of its youth.”

The Mishnahthon assigned two perakim of mishnayot to each pair of chavrutot. In what was billed as one of the largest gatherings of communal Torah learning ever in Bergen County, the assembled delved into their assignments. Within an hour they were done. Michael Frohlich, whose family sponsored the event l’ilui nishmat his father, David, z”l, made the Hadran and recited the Kaddish.

The evening was also dedicated to Rav David Kaminetsky, a leader and mechanech in northern New Jersey for over 40 years, whose sudden petirah the previous week created a void that is still being felt in the community.

After the siyum, singing and dancing commenced in the main ballroom, along with a delicious barbecue dinner.

“I came with my son thinking we would ‘pitch in’ to help make the siyum,” said one attendee. “But in truth it was Heichal that pitched in to give me and my son an inspiring evening of learning, achdut, music and dancing.”

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