HBHA reaches out to community for help completing Mishna reading

In the wake of the terrorist attack in the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy wants to honor the memory of alumnus Rabbi Kalman Levine, a member of the first graduating class of HBHA, and Rabbi Mosheh Twersky the uncle of HBHA teacher Meshulam Twersky. 
“In their memory, we are launching a campaign to collectively finish all six orders of the Mishna so that we can celebrate its completion in their memory. Usually, this needs to be completed 30 days after the death of the individual. It is permissible to study these Mishnas (Mishnayot) in any language, and the mere recitation of chapters is sufficient. But hopefully, the study of them will inject some curiosity that will advance the cause of Torah study in K.C.,” said Rabbi Avi Weinstein, head of Jewish Studies at HBHA.

“After one dies, there is a custom to study the Mishna in his or her memory. There are 66 tractates (separate subjects) organized into what are called six orders. One reason the Mishna was chosen is that the word contains the letters of neshama — the soul. To pray for the soul of an individual through study is considered a powerful statement that enhances our connection with the departed as we pursue contact with others through learning,” continued Rabbi Weinstein.

HBHA students and faculty will be working to take on this major undertaking to honor those who came before us. However, HBHA is asking the entire community to join in for this communitywide memorial. 

“Please join us in this act of spiritual solidarity that brings light where there is darkness, and love where its absence has been felt so strongly,” Rabbi Weinstein said. 

All members of the community are also welcome to join HBHA for a Siyyum, led by HBHA rabbis. The Siyyum will mark the completion of the Mishna reading and will take place Dec. 16 at 3:30 p.m., in the social hall of the Jewish Community Campus. 

If you would like to join the HBHA community in completing the Mishna during shloshim for Rabbis Levine and Twersky, go to www.shloshim.org and register your name. Search for “Kalman” to locate the page and select the chapters you would like to read. Or you may contact Rabbi Avi Weinstein at 913-327-8199, aweinstein@hbha.edu, or Zohar Flacks, Jewish life director at 913-327-8986 orzflacks@hbha.edu.