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What is Mishnah Yomit?
By Rabbi Reuven Spolter
Many people have heard of Daf Yomi - studying one page of Talmud a day. Did you know that there's also a daily Mishnah program as well? At the conclusion of the second Daf Yomi cycle in 5698 (1938), Rabbi Arye Zvi Frumer, Rosh Yeshiva of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, suggested that in addition to learning Gemara people should also be encouraged to complete the Six Orders of Mishnah as well. After all, the Babylonian Talmud does not encompass much of Shas, skipping most of Zeraim, Kodshim and Taharot. He suggested learning one Mishnah daily from the Masechtot that are not studied in the Daf Yomi cycle. His idea would remain dormant, as the outbreak of the Second World War and the destruction of the Holocaust decimated the Jewish community of Europe.
Fast forward almost ten years. On Shavuot 5747 (1947), Rav Yonah Shtentzel, student of Rav Frumer - who had lost numerous friends and family members in the Holocaust, raised the idea of studying the entire cycle of Shas Mishnayot in memory of the holy and departed souls who perished at the hands of the Nazis. After all, the word Mishnah (משנה) in Hebrew, shares the same letters with the word Neshama (נשמה) - meaning soul, and it has been a common Jewish practice to study Mishnayot in memory of departed loved ones. What better way to honor and elevate the memories of those who perished than to initiate a worldwide program of the Six Orders of Mishnah study in the memory of the Six Million? It comes as no surprise that Rav Shtentzel's idea garnered widespread support and commendation.
Today, Mishnah Yomit is studied by thousands of people around the world. One who studies the entire cycle will cover the entire Shas (Shisha Sidrei Mishnah - Six Orders of Mishnah) in under six years. It is a great and efficient way to gain knowledge of a broad range of topics, issues and laws that span the entirety of Jewish law.