Yeshivah College in Melbourne, Australia, was pleased to host a Mishnayos Baal Peh Awards Evening on Wednesday 2nd September, 18 Elul, to recognize the achievements of Yeshivah College students who have achieved outstanding results in their efforts to learn Mishnayos Ba’al Peh (by heart).
The evening was attended by students, parents and teachers, who enjoyed the generous supper and were delighted to watch as students were called upon to receive their prizes – seforim ranging from Tehillim and Siddurim to sets of Shulchan Oruch and Shas.
The Mishnayos Ba’al Peh learning program has been in place at Yeshivah College for 25 years. It is run throughout the year by Rabbi YY Gordon and Rabbi YY Cohen, teachers at Yeshivah Primary, and affords students the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of learning Mishnayos “Ba’al Peh” – taken literally to mean “by heart”. It is said that “You should honor a zokein – one who has acquired wisdom.” The recent awards ceremony was an ideal opportunity to recognize those students who now have Torah “carved out in their memory.”
Cleverly, the program adopts a points system which allocates points based on each child’s age and ability, and points are also awarded based on the effort a child puts in – allowing each and every student to ‘achieve’. Yeshivah College encourages students across both Primary and Secondary ages to attend the twice-weekly Mishnayos Ba’al Peh sessions, and the School hosts Mishnayos Ba’al Peh ‘intensive’ Shabbosim several times a year. Students are excited and enthusiastic about participating in the program – a testament to the design of the program and the dedicated teachers running it at Yeshivah.
The evening recognized the 261 students who actively participate in the program (the largest number involved at Yeshivah over the past 25 years) and who, incredibly, have managed to memorise in excess of 190,000 lines of Torah over the past year – the most lines learnt in the history of the program running in Yeshivah. 42 Masechtois were learnt – the highest amount in 15 years, whilst over 200 perokim of Tanya were memorized – for the 3rd consecutive year.
Additionally, 330 Perokim of Mishna were memorized, with 58 students memorizing an entire Perek. Outstanding achievements! The program’s success is greatly attributed to the ‘repeat’ system on which it is based – this encourages the students to be tested on complete chapters of Mishna and Tanya at each special Mishnayos Ba’al Peh Shabbos.
Highlights of the awards ceremony included several boys demonstrating their skill by reciting Mishnayos and Tanya, speeches from a number of School Rabbis involved in the program, and an address by the Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Principal, Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler. Rabbi Pesach Rosenbaum issued a vote of thanks on behalf the parents.
Special Mishnas were recited with the letters shin, lamed, mem and hey in memory of Mr Shlomo Susskind z”l – in whose memory many of the prizes were dedicated.
Kol haKavod to all the students who continue to inspire others with their achievements and involvement in the Yeshivah College Mishnayos Ba’al Peh program.