Hadran Alach Maseches Brachos

The above is said when completing Tractate “Brachos” of the Talmud, and those who are studying the Daf Yomi, a page of Talmud daily, completed this, the first tractate, on Tuesday.

Yes, I’m a few days late, but yesterday evening was the annual Siyum (completion of a tractate) in honor of the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of my wife’s grandfather, Rav Zvi Elimelech Hertzberg zt”l, so I made the Siyum last night. I didn’t yet know on Tuesday what I was going to say…

We also commemorated the first yahrtzeit of his mechutan, Rav Avraham Zvi Rosenfeld z”l. Mechutan has no English equivalent — it means the person whose child your child married. [He was my wife’s other grandfather, if that’s easier to understand.]

Rabbi Rosenfeld was 101 when he passed away. He was still learning Daf Yomi at 91. So even if he started learning “the Daf” after he retired at age 65, he completed the entire Talmud three times. I don’t actually know when he started learning the Daf, but I’m saying this to encourage everyone to try to learn something using a daily program. As I wrote in an earlier post, I gave a Daf Yomi class for several months over a decade ago — but after their regular teacher returned, I stopped learning Daf Yomi. I wasn’t “thinking long term.”

The end of Tractate Brachos speaks about the benefits of Torah, and of association with Torah scholars — and, of course, one gets all those benefits by becoming a Torah scholar! A program of daily learning puts you on that road, especially if you do “think long term.”

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