A few weeks ago, I signed up with a program called Partners in Torah.
It is run by that fabulous adult Jewish education organization, Aish HaTorah. 
The premise is quite simple. People who, for various reasons, cannot get together with a study partner to learn Torah, Jewish history, Hebrew, Talmud, Halacha (Jewish law), and so on, can get connected with an appropriate person and, together, they study on the phone for 30 to 60 minutes a week.
As per their website…
Partners in Torah’s signature phone study program offers Jewish adults of all backgrounds across North America a cost-free learning opportunity to discover Judaism – its culture, history, and traditions – at their pace and their schedule. Jewish men and women with an interest in acquiring specific skills or who simply want to build on their Jewish knowledge-base, are matched, one-to-one, with a carefully selected personal Torah trainer or “mentor” for up to an hour a week of over-the-phone study and discussion. Participants can choose any topic including Hebrew, Jewish philosophy, or history. In its decade and a half of operation, Partners in Torah has engaged more than 40,000 intellectually curious Jews across North America, and today supports some 4,000 weekly study partnerships (over 8,000 individuals!).
I emailed Partners in Torah and very shortly thereafter received a phone call from a charming young lady who asked me several questions confirming my status as a Jew, a bit of my background, what I was interested in studying and why, etc.
I told her that while I spend about half of my week in a Orthodox neighbourhood in Toronto, the other half of my week I practice as a criminal defence lawyer down in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario. Not exactly The Heart of the Old World and certainly not a bastion of Torah Study. In fact, you can count all the Orthodox Jewish men in the entire region on one hand. So I was very keen on being able to learn with someone as opposed to studying on my own (not the ideal method, by any means).
I also indicated to the young lady that I wasn’t all that interested in Talmudic civil law. If a wall crumbles and collapses and a person gets injured, trust me, I could not care less who is liable to pay damages. I went to law school for three years. I hated tort law then and nothing since has improved my outlook on the topic. Bunch of ambulance chasers, if you ask me.
I told her that what I was interested in was the practical day-to-day application of Jewish law. When asked to be more specific, I suggested studying the Mishnah Berurah (the Chofetz Chaim‘s commentary on the Shulchan Aruch ), especially Hilchos Shabbos (Sabbath Laws).
Surprisingly, she said, “I know just the person for you!” She then set me up with one of their volunteers, a guy in New Jersey.
He and I emailed back and forth a few times, and spoke on the phone the next day regarding what I was interested in learning and what would be a mutually convenient time for us to learn.
We agreed to study together Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 pm.
The first study session went really well, I thought. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be. I couldn’t have been more pleased. I am looking forward to the next study session!
As the poster above says, “There’s happy. And then there’s ‘I have my very own Partner in Torah’ happy!”
 For those of you who follow this blog even semi-regularly, you will probably recognize the name Aish HaTorah as also being the international organization that runs, among other things, the Jerusalem Fellowships program which my daughter Exhibit One, attended in August 2011 and which my son, Exhibit Two, will attend this coming May 2012 in Jerusalem.
 Mishna Berurah (“Clarified Teachings”) is an important and widely used commentary, consisting of six volumes, on the Orach Chayim section of Yosef Karo‘s digested compilation of practical Jewish Law, the Shulchan Aruch. It combines his own elucidations and differing opinions with those of otherAharonim (post-medieval authorities.)