4th and 5th Grade Boys Rise, Shteig, and Learn Mishnayos

When 2nd grade Rebbe Rabbi Roth had dismissal duty, he noticed something that bothered him.

“I realized that everyone was sitting around and not doing anything productive,” he said. “I thought this time was a time I would rather be doing something, instead of people just hanging around in a classroom.”

To counter the hanging around, Rabbi Roth started Shteigers, a twice-weekly Mishnayos learning program for boys in grades 4 and 5, that has now culminated in the boys finishing Mishna Pesachim, and some boys learning scores more mishnayos on their own. 

“There wasn’t an end goal in mind,” said Rabbi Roth. “I just wanted to make that time productive.”

Shteigers, is a play on words from the verb “to Shteig”, which is a Yiddish word that means to rise or elevate, and is used in Yeshivah circles to denote a joyful immersion in Torah learning. The word Shteigers combines that word with Tigers, which is TDSP’s team.

The beauty of Shteigers was that it was optional. Boys came if they wanted to, and every week about 17 boys would show up, eager and willing. 

“I told the boys this is an extra thing, and you don’t have to be here,” said Rabbi Roth. “But the boys who came came ready to learn.”

During Shteigers time, Rabbi Roth learned Mishna Pesachim with the boys. He also encouraged the boys to learn other Mishnayos on their own, which he would then test them on. Two boys- 4th graders Chaim Roth and Shuki Moskowitz, learned 100 Mishnayos, and classmate Eliyahu Zachai learned over 75 Mishnayos.

And as for Mishna Pesachim- the Shteigers learned through all 10 perakim of the Masechta. To be specific, that's a total of 89 Mishnayos and 3,755 words! 
To celebrate finishing the Masechtas, The Shteigers had a grand Siyum this past Tuesday. The siyum was catered by Kitchen 18 according to The Shteigers color scheme- black tablecloths with orange plates, orange soda, and even orange chicken! 
Rabbi Roth began the siyum by teaching the final Mishnah of the Masechta to the boys, which was followed by a spirited dance. After the meal, Rabbi Cohen addressed The Shteigers and shared the story of the Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt'l,. 
While still an American high schooler, "Nate Finkel '' traveled to Israel to visit his uncle in the Mirrer Yeshivah. Young Nosson Tzvi remained in the yeshivah for a few months and he reviewed a specific gemara 13 times!
 Upon returning to the United States, Nosson Tzvi never forgot the great pleasure he had in studying and mastering that piece of gemara. 
After graduating high school, he decided to enroll in the Mirrer Yeshivah, seeking to rekindle and cultivate the love that he discovered in its holy halls. As a young student in the Mir, young Nosson Tzvi overcame great challenges such as not speaking the language, being in a foreign country far from his family, and not having the same learning background as his peers.
Nonetheless, his love for Torah motivated him to become the famed Reb Nosson Tzvi Finkel- the Rosh Yeshiva who carried a yeshiva of several hundred students to what is now one of the largest Yeshivos in the world, with many thousands of students. Later in life, Reb Nosson Tzvi did not let Parkinson's disease interfere with his life mission of promoting, pursuing, and proliferating Torah. 
Rabbi Cohen concluded that all of Reb Nosson Tzvi's amazing accomplishments began with the love and passion that he experienced back when he visited as a youngster. This love is what we celebrated at The Shteigers siyum on Tuesday, and we hope that the boys will continue to develop their love and relationship with our holy Torah! 
It has been a true Kiddush Hashem to observe the eagerness of The Shteigers to learn specifically at a time when they are not required to do so. The Shteigers certainly learned that if they want to make the most of our time- they can! Let's learn that lesson ourselves and always make the most of the precious time that Hashem gives us.
Thank you to Rabbi Roth for being The Shteigers rebbe, and thank you to Rabbi Ezi Vann for his assistance with this article