Chart for Collaborative Learning of the Entire Mishnah
by Rabbi Rick Brody
This post links to a Google spreadsheet.
Among the Jewish responses to a death in the community is the opportunity to sanctify the memory of the deceased by studying Mishnah (which in Hebrew has the same letters as “neshamah” [breath/soul])–the codification of the Oral Torah from the 3rd century of the Common Era. This practice is particularly meaningful for the extended community of relatives, colleagues, teachers, students, friends, and other loved ones who do not traditionally observe the specific rituals for mourners–the “next of kin.” The goal is to collectively achieve the learning of every mishnah from every tractate–traditionally completed during the 30 days (sh’loshim) that begin with the day of burial.
In response to a recent death, a community I am a part of wished to provide an easy method for anyone who wished to sign up and commit to learning certain p’rakim (chapters) of Mishnah. While Google Docs and Google Sheets are used for this kind of sharing regularly, I was dismayed that a quick search on the internet did not deliver a template that was ready for us to use for this purpose.
The website http://www.shloshim.org/ allows for users to choose separate tractates to learn in memory of one who has just died (or for any other sacred purpose). It does not break the tractates into chapters and I could not easily find any interactive page or shareable spreadsheet that did; hence, I created this template, with information that was shared on this site.
The columns and the information in them should be pretty self-explanatory, but if you have any questions, feel free to be in touch. Each tractate is hyper-linked to the corresponding Hebrew text as displayed at shloshim.org, courtesy of http://www.mechon-mamre.org/. Feel free to adapt this chart to your own use. If you feel you have important corrections, changes, or valuable enhancements to the template itself, feel free to make them directly to this file (and let me know so I can give you credit!). Otherwise–if your adjustments are specific to your particular use or purpose–please copy the template and save it as a separate file before editing.
Thank you for using and sharing this chart–and may your learning enhance the holiness of the memory of your loved one or simply strengthen your bonds to Torah and to those with whom you share it.