Selling the Siyum: a Los Angeles Times Op-ed

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10 Responses

  1. cvmay says:

    Go for it, feel proud as we are of you for your extensive publications. The “World at large” requires a voice of sanity, reason and intelligence so that readers will see Toras Hashem as the guiding light that it should be. Kudos from the Mays of Brooklyn.

  2. michael says:

    sorry to be nitpicky but 1923 was when the idea was introduced by Rav Meir Shapiro. Great article nonetheless.

  3. joel rich says:

    So if a cross section of your average Jews (or orthodox Jews) came to you and said they were willing to spend an hour a day learning, in which situations (or what per cent) would you advise daf yome and why.

    [YA – Those who can benefit from the discipline of set, inflexible goals and from the novelty of new material arriving at a quick pace, even if understood only superficially]

  4. YEA says:

    “I do have enough restraint not to mention on Cross-Currents the vast majority of articles I publish fairly regularly in a variety of outlets.”
    Might we not benefit from reading those articles as well?

    [YA – I’d like to keep Cross-Currents devoted to its original and stated objectives. The advocacy writing I do in my day job targets a different audience and a different purpose. But I will try BEH to keep your request in mind, and make mention of the articles on FB and Twitter.]

  5. CJ Srullowitz says:

    Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

    A real kiddush Hashem.

  6. Yosey says:

    The Talmud has a habit of speaking in the present. “Rava says,” rather than “Rava said,”

    I heard an interesting anecdote years ago attributed to a highly respected Rov in the United States. He was talking to a professor who said “You Jews are a funny people. You hold the prior generations is such great esteem, yet you do not even know where the greatest sage, RASHI, is buried!”

    To which this Rov bellowed, “What? Rashi is dead? Impossible, I live with him daily! He speaks to me daily! I study with him daily. Rashi is not dead and buried, RASHI LIVES!”

    That is why the sages wrote Rava Says!

  7. lacosta says:

    there are some bloggers/articles relating about women daf learners and maggidot shiur.
    this is important since this study session could be seen otherwise as a patriarchal anti-feminist
    haredi undertaking. i have even seen some non-O lady rabbis writing about them doing the daf.

    they are banying about high numbers of MO participants , and i wonder if there is any data–either in learners, teachers, or siyum attendees….

  8. Allan Katz says:

    At a time when stadiums are being filled with siyum hashas , we should get things into perspective
    one cannot deny the ‘ magic ‘ of daf yomi that attracts a high number of participants and the incredible daily commitment – kevi’as but really for most people a chavrusa a couple times a week that prepares for a shi’ur in depth is more about learning. The famous American educationalist Deborah Meier said – learning is essentially ‘ talking ‘ and teaching is essentially ‘ listening ‘ so the only one who is really doing the learning is the magid shiur . Learning is more about process , being involved , doing your own thinking . Daf yomi has become a daily mitvah , that one does – I go to daf yomi and less about one’s involvement in learning.

    I wish myself and all others lots of si’ata deshmayim ‘ for the next round

  9. dr. bill says:

    nice article. However, when u write: “The Talmud was deliberately composed in a kind of shorthand that demands that the student puzzle over the meaning of each line…” you take imputing omnisignificance to the text to yet another level.

    there are any number of more plausible explanations why a text written over many centuries, by scholars for scholars, challenges a contemporary reader. particulaly in most religious circles, the study of talmud is more aptly described as the study of how talmud was understood by gedolai ha-mesorah and how it impacts halakha le-ma’aseh. think about how often you hear two benai ha-yeshiva debate how the ba’al ha-moar and raavad, or the ketzot and nesivot conceptualized a topic versus the conceptual positions of r. yishmael and and r. akiva. in fact, the direct study of talmud, is often viewed with suspicion.

  10. Robin Clare says:

    I think I can safely say that I would be suitably proud to be included in one of the Big Five publications as well!

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