For the week ending 4 June 2005 / 26 Iyyar 5765

Dealing with the Daf

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Question: After witnessing the celebration of hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout the world upon completion of the Talmud in the "Daf Yomi" cycle, some of my more learned friends have joined the participants in the new cycle by learning a daf each day. My weaker background and shortage of time make this a virtual impossibility for me. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Every Jew should set aside some specific time of the day to study Torah. When he reaches Heaven after 120 years and stands before the Heavenly Court, the first question he is going to be asked is whether he indeed did so.

There is no requirement, however, to cover a whole daf each day. When Daf Yomi was conceived by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the idea was to unite all of Jewry in learning the same material in order to increase the spiritual power of their sacred effort. Neither he nor any of the Torah giants who gave his plan their enthusiastic approval meant to set a daf a day as a universal standard. There are, in fact, communities which have established shiurim to cover an amud (half a daf) a day.

What you should do is try to find a shiur or at least a chavruta (learning partner) to cover whatever you can in the time available to you. In time you will hopefully reach the level of a daf a day as well.

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