The Mishna meets bass guitar: A Jewish-American band has recently set the various Mishna texts to music as an innovative method to help students learn the chapter of the Mishna by heart. Jewish educators might take a while to catch on, after all guitars and drums are hardly conventional tools of Jewish learning, but this just might be the ideal way for students to learn the Mishnayot by heart.
The band, hailing from New Jersey, is comprised of brothers Moshe, David, and Joshua Weinberg, and is known as the “Mishna Project”. They have already released their first disc, which includes all of the Mishnayot in chapters 1-3 of Masechet Berakhot. The texts, of course, are attributed to ‘front man’ Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi.
Listen to the Mishna Project:
“Aside from just being wonderful musically, these discs are an invaluable learning tool for memorizing the various Mishnayot,” said Avi Abelow, founder and CEO of 12Tribe Films project which distributed the CD. The 12 tribes Film Project is a non profit organization promoting various projects benefiting the Jewish community and the State of Israel.
One member of the Mishna Project, notes Abelow, is a rabbi and Jewish educator at an American school, and he regularly utilizes music as a teaching tool in his classroom. “I am sure that this method will quickly catch on in Israel as well,” he said.
Avi Abelow worked as an educational psychologist, but took time off before the Gaza pullout in order to actively protest the disengagement plan. During this time he produced the film “Home Game” which tells the heartfelt, human story of one Jewish family from Gush Katif during this difficult period in time.
He has been making and producing films geared towards educating, inspiring, and connecting Jews around the world ever since.