June 24, 2024
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Mishnayos, Chazara and Ruach Each Night: A Look at the Talmudo Biyado Mishnayos Club Phenomenon

Imagine this: Walk into your local shul during early-evening hours on a weekday and see a large group of boys learning Mishnayos with a geshmak. Day after day. They spent a long day in yeshiva, yet enthusiastically returned to the Bais Medrash—with zero pressure.

Ruach. Nosh. Prizes. Trips. And more.

This beautiful sight is not a dream, but a reality for a fast-growing number of neighborhoods in Lakewood and around the world, with the strong haskama of prominent rabbanim and mechanchim, shlit”a.

The “Talmudo Biyado Mishnayos Club” (TBMC) is the brainchild of Rabbi Shmuel Abramowitz, a warm visionary and beloved teacher in The Lakewood Cheder, who has worked hand-in-hand with Rabbi Tovia Halpern, a renowned marbitz Torah in the Forest Park area. From Sunday through Thursday each week, the program features a 20-minute Mishnayos shiur at a neighborhood shul delivered by an experienced mechanech from the neighborhood, for boys in fifth through seventh grade. The exact limud and schedule is customized per neighborhood, per the desires of the rebbi and talmidim.

But this is only the beginning. 

The Mishnayos learned in the shiur is invaluable in its own right, but it’s only one facet of the program. Another key goal is getting the boys to review Mishnayos they’ve learned, consistently, at least four times per Mishnah.

Rabbi Abramowitz has been using Rabbi Sender Dolgin’s Talmudo Biyado chazara program for many years now, and has seen how beneficial it is to retain what has been learned. The program is based on a simple yet sophisticated chart that allows individuals to learn each Mishnah four times, with chazara done at optimal intervals. Based on various maamarei Chazal and, l’havdil, scientific research, it is proven that learning something four times makes for extraordinary long-term retention.

Boys who participate in the Talmudo Biyado Mishnayos Club are encouraged to use this chart to review any Mishnayos they’ve learned, whether at the shiur, in yeshiva or anywhere else. They mark down every Mishnah they’ve reviewed and receive nosh, trophies and other exciting rewards, depending on how much they’ve covered.

Rabbi Abramowitz and Rabbi Dolgin recently paid a visit to the home of the mashgiach, Harav Mattisyahu Solomon, shlit”a, to share details about the Mishnayos program. The Mashgiach listened intently and offered enthusiastic praise of the endeavor.

The program’s structure emphasizes the benefits of effort more than anything else, encouraging motivated boys of all academic levels to learn and review to their maximum ability. The pinnacle of recognition and reward goes for those who complete the chazara program for a full Seder or all Sedarim of Mishnayos. Understandably, when boys excel at understanding and retaining their limudim, they love to learn more than ever before.

“When I walk into shul each night to deliver the shiur, I find a large group of boys already there reviewing Mishnayos on their own,” says Rabbi Tzvi Joseph, a renowned local mechanech who delivers the TBMC shiur in Khal Zichron Pinchos in New England Village. Rabbi Joseph’s group was launched after he posted a small note on the shul bulletin one Erev Shabbos. The following week, over 30 boys showed up and the group is now up to 50 boys, bli ayin hara!

“I cannot emphasize enough how ‘into it’ the boys who participate in the program are,” says Rabbi Joseph. “Not a single boy is there because his arms were twisted, and they are motivated to come even during the summer ‘off’ weeks.”

Every Thursday night, there is a cholent party that the boys enjoy immensely. There is also an exciting trip after every siyum Masechta. And nightly nosh. True to its name, the boys in each group feel a tremendous amount of cohesion and pride in being part of the program. Each boy receives his own uniform shirt emblazoned with the TBMC logo, his name and number of his choice.

“I’m admittedly baffled at how successful this program has become, and how fast it’s growing,” says Rabbi Abramowitz. The program is currently in five Lakewood neighborhoods—Arlington, Chestnut, Hearthstone, New England Village and West Gate—the Hearthstone program taught by Rabbi Abramowitz. One Lakewood shul even touts TBMC as a benefit of membership!

There are also branches in Miami and Boston. The Boston branch came about when a rav from the area, Rabbi Shimon Miarah, saw TBMC in action on a Lakewood visit and was determined to launch one back home.

“Our goal is to have at least 1,000 boys under the TBMC umbrella, learning and chazering Mishnayos each night,” Rabbi Halpern explains. “We’ve received serious interest from neighborhoods across Lakewood, other U.S. cities, Eretz Yisrael, Europe and South Africa. This will, be’ezrat Hashem, be a global phenomenon soon.”

Though the program’s parameters are set by the main organizers—under one TBMC umbrella, with TBMC paraphernalia—each neighborhood branch is led from the grassroots up. It is local rabbanim, mechanchim—ordinary kehilla members who put the groups together, in coordination with Rabbi Abramowitz and Rabbi Halpern. Scheduling and limudim are customized at a local level, as is sponsorship of the program. It costs just $100 a night, per neighborhood, to be a TBMC sponsor. The zechus of this enthusiastic limud mishnayos cannot be overstated—for a simcha, yahrtzeit, l’zechus, or any other occasion.

Is your neighborhood next?

For more information, please call Rabbi Abramowitz at 732-278-5842, or Rabbi Halpern at 908-433-3359.   

By Shimmy Blum 

 

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