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Mourners traditionally study two chapters of the Mishnah, these two chapters being Kelim Ch. 24 and Mikvaos Ch. 7.

Besides these sections having to do with ritual purity, what is the underlying reason behind the study of these two chapters?

  • Can you source your first sentence? Mourners during Shiva at least are forbidden from studying texts like these. Do you mean during Shloshim? – Double AA Oct 10 at 11:59
  • I’ve heard of doing Mikvaos, but what communities do Keilim? – DonielF Oct 10 at 15:34
  • @DoubleAA Yes, I mean during the 11 months after the family member passes away. – ezra Oct 16 at 4:34
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I recently learned Mikvaot for the MiYodeya 10-year siyum Mishnayot and noticed artscroll there explains

The study of the [seventh chapter of Mikvaot] is considered especially meritorious, because the first letters of the last four Mishnas spell neshama (soul) at the end of the chapter [R Yitzchak Isaac of Komarna]. It is therefore customary to study the chapter at a house of mourners during the thirty-day or one-year mourning period, and on the yahrzeit (anniversary of death).

Similarly on Keilim ch. 24 they write

It is worth noting that the present chapter is singled out from all the chapters in Mishnah as being particularly propitious for study in memory of a deceased loved one. This is because each of the chapter's first sixteen mishnahs ends with the phrase טְהוֹרָה מִכְּלוּם "it is pure from any form of tumah", and the seventheenth and final mishnah also concludes with the word tahor (pure) [Ta'amei HaMinhagim, footnote to Kuntres Acharon #1071]

  • Is four mishnayot spelling a word that unique? Those are all relatively common letters too. Can anyone confirm if there are any other examples of this in the Mishna? – Double AA Oct 10 at 14:55
  • @DoubleAA I vaguely recall reading a piece about other examples but I’m not sure; can’t remember if others were pointed to or none were found. However, I am pretty sure the the Komarna Rav’s discovery was more complex than the simple acronym of נ-ש-מ-ה (the way Artscroll apparently makes it appear). – Oliver Oct 10 at 15:14
  • @DoubleAA I looked up the Komarna’s Maase Oreg (ch. 7, end) and indeed he records a longer acronym (the first 3 mishnayot form א-י-ה) with its broad kabbalistic significance and appropriate intentions. – Oliver Oct 10 at 17:05

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