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Top Ten Sefarim You Must Read During Your Shanna Aleph Year In Israel

Although ten hours a day of Torah study seems daunting at first, a shanna aleph student quickly learns that there isn't enough time in the day to learn all that he wants to learn. Here are ten sefarim you just can't miss out on your shanna aleph.

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1.

It's pretty strange, but how many shanna aleph talmidim have read the Torah cover to cover? From Bereshit to Devarim, you'll find things you never knew! Read it cover to cover, in Hebrew or English.

2. Pirkei Avot with Rashi, Rambam, and Rabbeinu Yona's commentaries.

Pirkei Avot is a mesechta of mishnayot that discusses how man should lead a perfected life. It is composed of sayings of our Sages that teach the lessons of life.

3. Mesilat Yesharim

Mistakenly referred to as a "Musser Sefer," Mesilat Yesharim teaches a person how they can improve their lives step by step. Studied in yeshivot for years, this is not to be missed.

4. Mishna Berurah

The Mishneh Berurah was written by the Chafetz Chaim and discusses the Orech Chaim section of Shulchan Aruch. Although finishing it might be out of reach for one year, it's Hebrew is very easy and topics (Prayer, shema, Shabbat, the festivals) are familiar. It's a great book to start a foray into serious independent learning.

5. Shemirat Shabbat K'Hilchata

This book covers all of modern day laws of Shabbat. In great detail and modern Hebrew this book will allow its reader to build his vocabulary and know what to do and not to do on Shabbat.

6. Sefer Hamada

The Rambam's Sefer Hamada, part of his Mishneh Torah spells out the basics of Jewish philosophy. Easy enough Hebrew for the beginner and challenging enough concepts for the deepest of thinkers, if you've got questions from God's existence to free will, this is the book to start with.

7. Shnayim Mikrah

Many people aren't aware of the obligation to review the weekly parsha each week. A person must read the parsha twice and use one commentary (either Onkelus or Rashi) each week. The good news is that the Torah and Rashi are translated into English.

8. Make a Siyum!

With every mesechta translated into English, some are short enough that if you commit to learning an amud a day you'd be able to make a siyum by Pesach. Try Taanis, Megilah or Rosh Hashanah. How proud would you, mom and dad be if you made your first siyum this year!

9. Hilchos Tefila

While Ishei Yisrael (pictured above) is one sefer on the laws of prayer, there are plenty out there. We pray three times a day, shouldn't we know how to pray properly?

10. Love Your Neighbor

Rabbi Pliskin's book is a classic work that combines teaching about the weekly Torah portion and how to be a better friend. Any talmid who reads a little every day is bound to become a better person - and more knowledgeable about the parsha.

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