New Mishna Program of OU Torah Begins December 23

10 Dec 2010


First there was Daf Yomi and then came Nach Yomi. They were followed by Shnayim Mikra. Now comes Mishna Yomit, the latest in a series of programs adhering to a daily cycle of Torah studies, presented by the Orthodox Union on the OU Torah section of and through emails and podcasts.

Mishna Yomit, the daily study of the Mishna, debuts on December 23. The cycle will end on April 1 — April 1, 2016, that is.

The OU’s Daf Yomi is the daily page of Talmud taught by Rabbi Moshe Elefant; it is the most listened-to daily daf shiur on the web. Nach Yomi and Shnayim Mikra, the popular daily podcasts on Nach and Chumash respectively, feature such popular speakers as Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom, and Rabbi Eric Levy, among others.

The OU Torah offerings on the web also include commentary on the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot and a daf b’iyun shiur on a Daf Yomi topic of the week, taught by Rabbi Shalom Rosner; Taryag, a daily email on the 613 commandments by Rabbi Jack Abramowitz; Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s weekly video parsha shiur for the all-new “Take 5 for Torah;” Rabbi Weinreb’s Person in the Parsha; Rabbi Yosef Grossman’s Good Vort; Torah Tidbits; and divrei Torah by Britain’s Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Bernie Fox, and Esther Wein, among others.

Now comes Mishna, which is elaborated upon in the Gemara, and will be taught by a rotation of rabbis drawn from a variety of OU programs.

The entire Torah program is overseen by Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, OU Torah Content Editor.

“I am delighted to announce another Orthodox Union resource for the daily study of Judaism’s most sacred texts,” declared OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil. “Any student of Torah and Talmud – from senior rabbis to young students — will find enrichment in our daily lessons. Rabbi Abramowitz has recruited a stimulating group of presenters for the Mishna program, who will present insights that will richly supplement Rabbi Elefant’s daily Daf Yomi.”

The Mishna is the first part of the oral law, the Talmud, with the word deriving from the noun for “repetition” and from the verb for “to study” or “review.” It was compiled by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi about 200 CE based on the teachings of the early sages, the Tannaim. It consists of six books, 63 tractates, 525 chapters, and more than 4,000 mishnayos, or individual lessons. Unlike Gemara, which is in Aramaic, it was written in Hebrew.

The OU program will cover two mishnayos a day, seven days a week. Each will be read, translated and explained by the lecturer, with reference to classical commentaries, including that of Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura, the 15th century Italian commentator who, according to Rabbi Abramowitz, “is to Mishna what Rashi is to Chumash.” The text of the mishnayos to be covered each day will be shown online.

The speakers will be drawn from among the most popular lecturers on other OU Torah programs, together with NCSY regional directors, rabbis from the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus program, and others. Rabbi Weinreb, always an audience favorite, will kick off the program with Tractate Terumos; at the same time, because the six-year cycle actually began in July, Rabbi Abramowitz will begin a concurrent “make-up program” starting with Tractate Berachos.

For interested students, OU Torah can actually be transformed into a sort of OU yeshiva if the student takes all four of the daily cycle classes – Daf, Nach, Mikra and Mishna. According to Rabbi Abramowitz, it would take about two and one-half hours a day, with another half hour for the “elective courses,” Sefer HaMitzvot and Taryag. There are no exams at this yeshiva. However, Rabbi Abramowitz declared, “From the lay person to the seasoned learner, OU Torah presents a broad spectrum of content to satisfy even the most ardent thirst for Torah.”

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