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Halfway there to my Siyum Mishnayot on Shas

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Those of you who have been receiving my emails for the past three plus years may recall the one I sent in June 2013 (see below) about a Siyum Mishnayot that I am planning for January 2019..

This past week in yeshiva I made a Siyum upon reaching the halfway point in my quest - finishing Seder Nashim, which is the third of the 6 Sedarim that I have completed in the past 2 and 3/4 years.

One of the thoughts I mentioned to those attending the Siyum was a question/answer that I heard Rabbi Feiner tell over in the name of Rav Tzadock Hacohen. He asked why is it that for learning we have a special prayer והערב נא - that we ask Hashem that he make learning a sweet and pleasant experience for us? Why don't we pray for the same request before we perform any Mitzva, that we should feel the sweetness of the Mitzva when we do it?

Rav Tzadock explained that the Gemara tells us that Hashem created the Yetzer Harah, the evil inclination, but also created the Torah as a remedy. Whenever we endeavor to perform a Mitzva and don't exactly feel like doing it, we can turn to the Torah, learn more about the Mitzva, and gain extra motivation to fulfill the Mitzva.

But when it comes to learning Torah, if we don't exactly feel like learning, then what can we do? We can't learn Torah to help us, because at that moment we don't feel like learning in the first place. So instead we have a prayer that we beseech Hashem to give us the feeling that the Torah is sweet and wonderful, and that we will ourselves instinctively want to learn. And then when Hashem answers our prayer, we do enjoy the pleasures of learning Torah and can fulfill the Mitzva of learning Torah to the best of our ability.

So at this halfway juncture in my quest to make a Siyum on the whole of Mishnayot, I once again invite you all to join me in January 2019, location somewhere in Jerusalem (to be announced), to celebrate with me.

Hope to see you all then!   

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

I would like to invite you to my Siyum Mishnayot on Shas. The date of the Siyum will be sometime around  January 2019. 

That's right, 2019. Let me explain.

A few weeks ago in my yeshiva there was a gala Siyum Hamishnayot  Seudah at which one of the guys in my shiur, Tzvi Smith, made a Siyum Mishnayot on Shas. His father, Morris Smith, spoke and explained how his son how accomplished the feat. Tzvi started learning Mishnayot at his Bar-Mitzva 5 1/2 years ago. His learning was done using what I thought was a very interesting plan.

He learned two Mishnayot a day, and on every day after day 1 he not only learned two new ones; he also reviewed the two he had learned the day before. On day number 9 he continued learning two new Mishnayot, but also reviewed those of the day before and also those of day 1. On day 39 he started the third level of review - he continued learning two new Mishnayot, but also reviewed those of day 1, and those of the day before (day 38), and those of a week before (day 31). On day 129 he added a 4th review cycle (similar to the previous ones), and on day 365 a 5th review cycle.

So by the year's end he had learned the (365 * 2) Mishnayot once and was deep into reviewing them a number of times. Each year for the next 4 years he added one more review cycle, and finished the initial round of all Mishnayot in 5 1/2 years, which occurred a few weeks ago when he made the siyum.

My head was spinning a little bit at following this sequence (as I'm sure yours is), but Morris explained that by setting up an Excel spreadsheet, the learning schedule is easily constructed. And the whole process intrigued me. My friends have long called me "Machine Man" for my logical approach to processes (I hope it's not for being unemotional - a little fault of mine at times), and I thought that this would be a good project for me as well.

So I set up my spreadsheet (after going over the concept with Tzvi a number of times), and I'm ready to begin my learning on Rosh Chodesh Av, about 10 days from now. So why am I inviting you NOW to my Siyum, if it won't be happening until 5 1/2 years from now have passed? 

A few months ago I read an article in Mishpacha magazine about a master fundraiser who was giving lectures on how to achieve goals. He had 10 steps in his plan, but only a few of them stuck with me. He said that it was important to make a plan, be very detailed about it, and most important of all to tell everyone about it. The more people you tell, the more compelled you will be to go through with your plan.

So I invited my Rosh Yeshiva earlier this week - and he understood right away with a smile why he was being invited 5 1/2 years in advance. And I am inviting all of you for the same reason - because I want to feel compelled to follow through with my plan.

The Siyum will take place IY"H in Yerushalayim (exact place to be determined). As since all of you will have moved here much in advance of the Siyum with the early appearance of Moshiach to bring you (if you are not already here), then there will be no excuse for you to not be at the Siyum.

 

There's no need to RSVP. I'll keep a spot for you ready. See you there!

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