Starting to learn Mishnayos is a big step in the evolution of a boy’s Torah learning.
The Mishnah is the first instance of the Torah Shebaal Peh- the oral Torah being written down, and learning Mishna introduces students to the sort of complex reasoning and logic that will be required of them when they learn Gemorah as they get older.
That is why the third grade boys celebrated their Haschalos Mishnayos – their beginning to learn Mishna -on Monday with a special presentation for parents in the multi-purpose room.
For the first part of the presentation, the boys sang a song written by Rabbi Wealcatch about the Shisha Sidrei Mishna, the six volumes of the Mishna. The boys wore colorful cardboards that displayed the content of each Sidra. For example for Maseches Nezikin, which deals with monetary laws, some boys wore a coin. For Zeraim, which is the halachos that have to do with produce, the boys wore an apple, and for Kodshim, which is about Karbanos, the boys wore a cardboard sheep!
After they received their Mishna from Rabbi Wealcatch and Rabbi Field, the boys learned the first Mishna in Masechta Megillah, which is about the different halachos of reading the megillah on Purim. This was a particularly appropriate way to get boys into the Purim spirit!
After the presentations father joined their sons and the Rebbeim in celebratory dancing.
“I think the Haschalos Mishnayos shows the importance of what we are about to do,” said Rabbi Wealcatch. “Starting Torah SheBaal Peh is a whole different type of learning- its learning that is going to train them for the big leagues. It is a really big step, and so we thought it was befitting to have a special event for it.”