An Introduction to the Project

Posted by Boaz Willis on

Hey Jew!

This message is targeted at you! We're beginning a new kind of broadcast through an age old method that's all about the Jewish way. That is to say the many Jewish ways. The ShtarkShirts Project is all about doing what Jews love to do best, talk, and talk, and talk.

Through this medium, the blog, we have the opportunity to showcase so many of these ideas, thoughts, and opinions with an incredibly wide group of people. I intend to use a number of mediums to offer a curated variety of perspectives on acutely Jewish subject matter, beginning with and through the lens of the Mishnah - the brainchild (maybe mouthchild) of the early 'Rabbinic' faction after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

The test of success for this project will be to see whether we are able to create mass of individuals committed to the critical study of the Mishnah, it's language, transmission, and values, and whom are also believing that the study of such a thing has the power to transform our existence as Jews in contemporary society; something that bears on our language and the transmission of our own values. 

Going off of this, the first step I've taken to start some of these conversations is by producing a collection of long sleeve tees that have illustrations of mishnayot on them. 'The Babba Collection' features one mishnah each from Mishnah Babba Kamma, Babba Metzia, and Babba Batra. 

Now, now, now, I know what you're all thinking... 

"Oy vey iz mir, this guy is trying to write a blog about the critical academic study of Mishnah and he's calling it 'Babba?!?' Well the answer is yeah. Though the proper (if there is such a thing) pronunciation for the Aramaic word 'gate' is "Bova' with a soft V sound, there's not a doubt in my mind that many Jew have sounded it out with the hard B throughout time. 

So yes, now we've gotten to the real point of the Project. Not to make any concrete decision about this or that, but to ponder the why, what, when, and how of it all. To talk about the in-between, between then and now, and now and then. To talk about hard B's, soft ones, Rabbis, Ravs, rifts, and recension. 

I'll hope to upload another article this week, as well as some voice recordings of the featured Mishnahs. If you're interested in getting in touch about collaborations or want to write a piece don't hesitate to email

Shavua Tov Yiddin!


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