Highlighting: “Tavlaos Zeraim,” by Yehuda Weiss, 2020.
Bergenfield’s Yehuda Weiss, son of Rav Duvie and Mrs. Leelee Weiss and a student at Yeshivas Heichal HaTorah, has spent an incredible amount of time learning mishnayos over the past few years. So much so that at 14 years old, he has now published his second sefer.
When Yehuda was just starting eighth grade at RYNJ and was struggling to fully comprehend the mishnayos, he started writing his first sefer. He completed learning Seder Kodshim just a few months later and published his first sefer at the end of that year. On June 7, 2019 Yehuda started learning Seder Zeraim with the same unique method that he used throughout Seder Kodshim. Although this new sefer has a very similar format to the first one, Yehuda has brought his work to a completely new level. He has covered a range of many more mishnayos, therefore offering a much nicer flow. In order to beautify the sefer, Yehuda also added more color into each individual flowchart.
In addition to diagrams, he created tables to organize information. He utilizes different colors to connote different kinds of information contained inside the text, such as blue for kosher (or tahor), orange for something that is allowable, or red for something that is not allowable (pasul, or assur). Purple is used to indicate names.
Yehuda’s first sefer was enthusiastically endorsed with glowing michtivei bracha (words of support) from RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rav Hershal Schachter and Rav Yaakov Neuburger of Congregation Beth Abraham, and he has now received a beautiful michtav bracha from his rebbe at Heichal, Rav Paysach Skulnick.
Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aryeh Stechler of Heichal HaTorah wrote, “I highly recommend Yehuda Weiss’s Tavlaos Zeraim on Mishnayos for both the rebbe and talmid. I find his sefer helps my personal comprehension of the mishnayos and offers an exciting way to quickly do chazara. Yehuda’s seforim are an important contribution for those who want to master shas mishnayos.”
“What a home, what a yeshiva ketana, middle and high school, what a kehilla that can nurture this passion to study Torah, this excitement and this skill set to teach Torah and this steadfastness to complete a large and difficult section of it. May this holy partnership continue to receive Hashem’s guidance and blessings to have this kind of nachas come ever increasingly,” added Rav Neuburger on his first sefer. “Yehuda’s accomplishment at such a young age promises that we are watching the emergence of one of the Torah leaders of the next generation,” Rav Neuburger told The Jewish Link.
When Rav Yitzchok Motechin of Yeshivat Noam saw the sefer for the first time, he was wowed. While he said the sefer was a tremendous accomplishment for both Yehuda and for his rebbeim for inspiring him toward its creation, he also added the following: “The main lesson from Yehuda’s sefer is that we have to think differently about what we can do as educators and what our students can do.” Rav Motechin told Yehuda “I will be showing it to our teachers and brainstorming about what to do with it and I will also show it to our students.”
Yehuda believes that his sefer is beneficial for all ages, not only because it helps organize and clarify, but because it can excite many people to learn mishnayos when they know that there is a fun and unique chart on the next mishna.
Yehuda is working on selling his sefer in many seforim stores and having them used by schools across the country. The sefer is currently being sold at the YU Seforim Sale. It is also available online (https://tinyurl.com/Tavlaos). Those interested in purchasing a copy directly from Yehuda may contact him at [email protected].