web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Daf Yomi’

Daf Yomi

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

No Cell Phones Please!
‘A Kerchief That One Designated For Storing Tefillin’
(Berachos 23)

R. Chisda on our daf cites the following halacha: If someone designates a kerchief for storing tefillin and then does in fact store his tefillin there, he may not store his money there too. However, if he designated a kerchief without actually storing his tefillin in it, or stored his tefillin in a kerchief without designating it for that purpose, he may also store his money there.

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 42:3) codifies this halacha, and the Rema adds that this rule also applies to other tashmishei kedushah. For example, it is only forbidden to write on a piece of klaf if it has already been both designated and used for tefillin, a mezuzah, or Sefer Torah – whatever the case may be.

Tallis Bag

The Magen Avraham (ad loc. s.v. “ve’da d’chol zeh…”) notes that talleisim are not considered sanctified items but tashmishei mitzvah. Therefore, this rule about “designating and using” does not apply to them. Thus, we may store keys, reading glasses, and cell phones, for example, in a tallis bag.

A Designation How To

How does one formally designate a tefillin bag as a tashmish kedushah? The Mishnah Berurah (ad loc. sk 10, 24) writes that one may 1) verbally designate it; 2) manufacture it [or improve upon an existing bag] for the sake of tefillin; 3) actually place tefillin in it with the intent to permanently use it for storing tefillin; or 4) repeatedly use it for one’s tefillin.

The Aruch Hashulchan (ad loc. sk 4) argues that “repeatedly use” means three days. After that, the bag assumes the status of tashmishei kedushah. However, if one openly stipulates that he does not intend to use this bag for tefillin on a regular basis, then the bag does not acquire the status of tashmishei kedushah even after three days.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf, published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

What About Ma’ariv?
‘The Bridegroom Is Exempt From Kerias Shema’
(Berachos 16a)

A mishnah on our daf states that a chassan who marries a besulah is exempt from the mitzvah of reciting kerias shema on the night of his wedding. This is because of the rule (Sukkah 25a): “osek b’mitzvah patur min ha’mitzvah – one who is presently occupied with one mitzvah is exempt from performing another mitzvah.” In this instance, the chassan is preoccupied with consummating the marriage.

The mishnah adds that if the chassan did not consummate the marriage on the night of the wedding, he is exempt from shema for the following three nights since his mind is still pre-occupied with the mitzvah at hand. The mishnah relates that Rabban Gamliel, however, did recite kerias shema when he was a chassan. When his students asked him about it, he explained, “I cannot possibly abrogate my obligation to accept Heaven’s kingship even for one moment.”

A second mishnah on our daf (16b) qualifies the rule of the previous mishnah, and seems to be in general agreement with Rabban Gamliel’s behavior. Indeed, it states that if a chassan so chooses, he may recite kerias shema.

Family Dispute?

Interesting, then, is the statement of his son, Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, that not everyone has the right to display such piety and therefore a chassan should not recite kerias shema on his wedding night. At the conclusion of our perek, Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel’s view is explained. Only one who is highly pious, a Torah scholar of note, may recite kerias shema on his wedding night. A Torah scholar of ordinary stature, however, may not. Thus, there is no inconsistency between Rabbi Shimon b. Gamliel’s view and that of his father cited in the earlier mishnah.

Kavanah, The Lack Of

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 70:3), essentially quoting Tosafos (17b, sv “R. Shisha …”), rules that a chassan today should recite kerias shema since most people lack proper kavanah when they daven. In other words, a chassan’s kerias shema on the night of his wedding may lack kavanah but so do the kerias shemas he says throughout the year. If an ordinary chassan doesn’t say kerias shema on his wedding night, he appears haughty since he’s implying that if not for his preoccupied mind, his kerias shema would contain the proper level of kavanah.

Hand In Hand

What is the rule regarding davening Ma’ariv? It would seem that the same rules that apply to kerias shema should apply to Ma’ariv. Yet, we find that they don’t necessarily go hand in hand. The Shulchan Aruch Harav (Orach Chayim 70sk3) writes that a chassan is exempt from kerias shema and Ma’ariv, but when he discusses the minhag nowadays, he writes that a chassan should recite kerias shema and makes no mention of Ma’ariv. It thus seem that a chassan is exempt from Ma’ariv even nowadays. The reason for this is because, as the Shulchan Aruch Harav writes, kerias shema is a biblical obligation whereas Ma’ariv is only rabbinical.

This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf published semi-monthly is available by subscription: U.S. – $40 per year; Canada – $54 per year; overseas – $65 per year. For dedication information contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit Alhadafyomi.org.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Kerias Shema Twice At Night?
‘When One Reads Shema’
(Berachos 8b)

Our Gemara develops a most interesting halacha. The fixed times for kerias shema in the evening and morning are clearly defined. Opinions differ as to the time limits for the mitzvah. Our Gemara explores whether a person who could not recite the evening shema in its proper time can say it later, until sunrise. The Gemara also wonders whether a person who will not be able to recite the morning shema in its proper time can say it earlier, starting at alos hashachar (see Mechaber Orach Chayim 58:4). It thus appears that the time between alos hashachar and sunrise is acceptable for both the night and morning shema!

Rishonim discuss whether a person who is unable to recite the evening and morning shemas in their proper time can say both of them between alos hashachar and sunrise. The Mechaber rules (O.C. 58:5, see Mishnah Berurah, s.k. 21) that he may not. He writes: “Since he made that time night [by saying the night shema after alos hashachar], he is now unable to make it day.”

Saying The Night Shema While Wearing Tefillin

Everyone knows Ulla’s statement (infra. 14b) “that he who recites shema without wearing tefillin is as though he bears false testimony.” This only pertains to the morning shema as we do not put on tefillin at night. But what if someone says the night shema after alos hashachar? Should he put on tefillin to avoid bearing false testimony? Or perhaps, since he’s saying the night shema, which if recited in its original time is not accompanied with tefillin, he should not.

The Or Sameach (Hilchos Kerias Shema 1:10) leans toward the opinion that he should not wear tefillin while the Mareh Kohen rules that he should.

Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters are published by the Sochachover Kollel of Bnei Brak, led by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kovalsky. Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters in Hebrew and/or English are available for simcha and memorial dedications and are distributed by e-mail, dafyomi@hadaf-yomi.com.

Women Celebrate Completing Daf Yomi Cycle, Asking ‘Why Not?’

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

On August 1, the biggest Jewish American event  ever took place – the completion of the daily learning of the entire Gemara, which happens once every 7 and a half years, known as Siyum HaShas – filling 90,000 seats at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. However, a significantly smaller, but just as intriguing group celebrated the event in skirts, scarves and a spirit of sisterhood in Jerusalem.

At Matan, an institute for women’s Torah study in Jerusalem, a festive meal, a class, and speeches by rabbis, teachers, families and students marked the occasion of the completion of another round of Shas -the first for the women’s group.  While the Jewish people celebrated the 12th cycle finished since the practice of studying a page of gemara a day until its completion was instituted by Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Lublin at the First World Congress of World Agudath Israel – an umbrella organization of ultra-Orthodox Jewry – in Vienna in 1923, this was the first commemoration of its kind for women.

“Baruch Hashem, we were able to finish the Shas”, mother, grandmother and Matan founder Malke Bina told The Jewish Press. “There were 15 completers for Siyum HaShas from Matan, about 30 women from all over Israel.”

“One woman finished it for the fourth time, and she said it was the first time she had a siyum she could participate in.  I was very proud we had such a siyum where women were the main characters of the siyum and really did it with a full heart and were emotional – some of the women were crying,” Bina said.  “It was beautiful.  We finished the last shiur during our customary class time, from 8:10-9am, and families and friends came to join in the celebration”.

The years of classes have been conducted 5 days a week, not including Friday and Shabbat, when the women were obligated to study independently.

The study of the Babylonian Talmud has long been a focus of study for Jews.  But while study halls are often filled with men bent over their books at all times of the day and night, the study of Talmud by women is a new phenomenon, one which is being received with mixed reactions.

“Why not?”  Bina said in response to being asked why women should study Talmud.  “It’s an integral part of what Torah is – the written law and the oral law.  You write and you speak, why shouldn’t we be active participants in the oral law?  It’s not logical.”

“Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach told me personally  – I had women who were bright and educated – that, yes, he sees my point, and he agreed that I could learn Talmud and I could teach Talmud as long as the women doing it would gain knowledge and strengthen their commitment to Judaism, which is what I wanted to offer,” Bina said.  “Other rabbis – Rav Aharon Lichtenstein and Rav David Auerbach – also approved.”  The late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, also wrote that women’s Talmud study should be supported and encouraged.  Yeshiva University features a graduate program in Advanced Talmudic Studies at Stern College for Women, a two-year program for women to study Talmud.

“In earlier times, when women were less educated, and socioeconomy didn’t permit, it wouldn’t fit in with what was happening in the big picture of the world.  But the world is changing,” Bina said.  “Torah also wasn’t permitted, until Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch and the Chofetz Chaim opened it up for women.  That led to the opening of the Beis Yaakov movement…  Now oral law has become available.”

“It all began with the Mishna in Sotah – a discussion between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Ben Azai as to whether you should teach women Torah,” Rabbi Mike Feuer, Educational Director of Yeshivat Sulam Yaakov in Nachlaot, told the Jewish Press.  Ben Azai said fathers were obligated to educate their daughters, while Rabbi Eliezer said it was teaching “tiflut” – empty, meaningless things.  Jewish law codifiers, Maimonides (the Rambam), Rabbi Yosef Karo (in his work the Shulchan Aruch), and later Rabbi Moshe Isserles (the Rama) agreed that daughters should not be taught the oral law, while the written Torah was permitted.

But the Jewish women have always been more educated than their non-Jewish counterparts, Feuer said, and throughout Jewish history, “where there was money left to be spent, many people did educate their daughters”. On top of Torah learning, Ashkenazi women were obligated by the Rama to learn Jewish laws pertaining to them, including laws of kashrut, Shabbat, and the laws of physical relations between men and women.  “Historically, women have also always learned midrashim”, said Feuer, referring to the body of Jewish lore surrounding the stories of the Bible.

When the Enlightenment arrived in the 18th century, women of all backgrounds became more educated and literacy rose.  “The liberalism of women’s role freed them to learn more things, and made it more threatening to traditional society that they were doing so,” said Feuer.  “Women were getting higher secular educations, so there was a real danger if their only outlet for education was coming from the secular world, so they started to serve women who wanted to learn.”

In 1917, Beis Yaakov was founded to meet the needs of the intellectual and traditionally-observant Jewish woman, excluding material not traditionally covered by Jewish women, but delving deeper into those aspects which were considered permitted.  “[Teaching women Torah] is definitely not the definition of the issur (prohibition] any longer”, Feuer said.

Moreover, the nature of the world today is such that many women no longer accept the idea of having fields of information closed off to them.  “The world has shifted”, said Feuer.  “This just needs to happen – it’s not forbidden even if it may not be recommended traditionally.”

“I see a place like Matan as trying to carve out a space of respect for women’s Torah,” Feuer said.  “The playing field on which men win each other’s respect is the Gemara, and this is the expression of old school feminism, which is that a woman ought to be able to do what a man does.“

But the study of it takes commitment, regardless of the gender of the student.  Matan’s 50 minute-a-day course, which begins at 8:10am, comes during the “crunch time” of the morning hours, when many women are busy getting their children off to school and preparing for the day, meaning women with children attending the class would have to be either extremely organized, or submit the responsibilities of that hour to someone else.

“So a woman has to figure it out in her life and see what she has available, what times she has available,” Matan’s founder Malke Bina said.  “It might not be the right solution for everybody – now we have washing machines, we can get help cleaning, she won’t be doing other reading or literature, instead of doing other things, she’ll learn Talmud.  Or maybe she’ll go at a slower pace.  But there are times available to women if they really set their minds to it.”

And though the rabbis disagree as to how much merit a woman gets from spending time in learning for learning’s sake – as she is not obligated by Torah law to do it – she stands to merit “being more energized in Torah”, according to Bina.  “It will enhance her way of viewing the world, her sense of debate and discussion, and makes her home much more of a Torah-based entity.”

Bina’s own background in gemara began after she made aliyah from Baltimore and began studies at Michlala and worked at the women’s seminary of Rabbi Chaim Brovender. “He would make himself available and gave the classes, and I was in charge of the beit midrash were women were doing the preparation, and that was a vehicle that pushed me ahead in my own studies because I had to help the women in their own studies,” Bina said.  “Afterwards, the students would come back and we would cover the points he had covered in his shiur.  Has definitely one of the first rabbis who would teach women Talmud in Israel.”

Years later, Bina began teaching a small group of women gemara in the living room of someone’s home.

“As a woman, I just wanted to make it more available… I gathered women of all ages and we formed a study group at the home of one of the women, and from that grew Matan,” Bina said.  “We had 5 women around a dining room table the first year, I taught Ketubot.  The second year Sanhedrin, by then there were 7 or 8 women.  The table got a little small, so we decided to open an institute.”  The women’s Daf Yomi began in 2005 with the same tractate as the men – Berakhot (Blessings) – and ended with Nidda, focusing on the menstrual laws.  Lessons went on every day for an hour, come rain, sleet, snow, hail, labor pains, illness, birthday parties,work, or travel.

Today, Matan has taught over 3,000 women Talmud and other subjects at 7 locations throughout Israel.

“I think there is a woman’s Torah that needs to come out to the world, which is something we need desperately, and I don’t think it’s going to come out from the gemara,” Rabbi Mike Feuer said.  “But I also know that there isn’t any other training ground, so I would say it is a useful thing for women to study the Talmud, because there’s no other playing field, but on the other hand, it’s limiting because a person with a hammer sees every problem as a nail.”

“The family unit is the basis on which society rests, and men and women need to be able to work together to make that unit function,” Feuer said.  He said he thinks women could make a major contribution to Jewish knowledge by exploring topics such as new avenues of education and perspectives on how to communicate with and teach children.  “And women’s prayer is sorely needed,” Feuer said.

“I respect the accomplishment, and I understand why women would want to learn gemara, but I think for the woman to put in the time and energy a man would, that’s either a social choice or a familial choice,” Feuer said.

Whether in daily classes or on the sidelines, women are getting closer and more familiar with the study of gemera.  At this year’s Siyum HaShas in New York, even those who accepted their more traditional role took part in the celebrations, with an estimated 20,000 women joining the MetLife festivities, looking out on the male celebrants from the stadium’s top tier.  According to a report in the New York Times, a $250,000 translucent curtain was fashioned of green woven plastic, extending for almost 2.5 miles, serving as a separation between the men and women along with traditional lines of modesty adhered to by the Hareidi public.  The curtain was opened after prayers at 8pm, allowing women to fully view and hear speakers give speeches about Torah and sing songs in English and Yiddish.

The next Siyum HaShas will be celebrated in 2020, God willing.

Daf Yomi

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

A Hadran On Shas
‘Tam V’nishlam’
(Niddah 73a)

When we complete studying a mesechta, and surely when completing the whole Shas, we say “Hadran alach.” What does “hadran” mean?

Hadran Means To Revisit

Hadran” means “to revisit” and the intention of the person saying it is that he will review the subject matter he just finished studying. A person may think that he already knows the subject matter, but he must review it for there is an explicit verse: “Just be careful and watch yourself very much lest you forget the things” (Devarim 4:9, cited in Menachos 99b). It is interesting that Rishonim write that in the past only people who had already reviewed the tractate would say “hadran” (see Sefer Haeshkol, Hilchos Sefer Torah, 14, p. 160 in the Albek edition).

Chazak, Chazak Venischazek

Eliyahu Rabah states (139, cited in Peri Megadim, ibid.) that the same rationale, of “revisiting,” is why we call out “Chazak” on finishing any of the five Books of Moses in shul. We are wishing the person who received the last aliyah to be strong and review it and not be satisfied that he successfully concluded it.

Many people maintain that “hadran” was not meant to be said at every siyum. In old editions of the Gemara, the words “selika lah maseches” appear at the end of some tractates while the word “hadran” appears at the end of other tractates. It all depended on how the tractate concluded. Generally, one would say “selika lach maseches – the tractate is finished,” but if the last sentence of the tractate dealt with something negative, one would say “hadran.” In other words, the person was declaring that he should learn the tractate again in order not to finish with something negative. Over the years “hadran” replaced “selika lah” in all tractates (Minhagei Yeshurun at the end of the book in the name of Sefer Takanos Utefilos). All the aforesaid is based on the assumption that “hadran” means “to revisit.”

Hadran Means Glory

However, some believe that “hadran” comes from the word “hadar – glory.” In the long version of the siyum, we say “Hadran alach vehadrach alan.” Rabbi Chayim, the Maharal’s brother, explains that the glory of our holy Torah is recognized through us, the Jews, as we are the ones who learn it, and our glory is similarly recognized through the Torah (Sefer Hachayim, Sefer Zechuyos, 1:3). From the version of Sefer Hakeidah for the siyum (Devarim, sha’ar 87), this explanation is plainly evident, as it reads: “Hadrach alan vehadran alach, zivach alan vezivan alach – …your radiance is upon us” (see Minhagei Yisrael, 1:228 et al.).

Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters are published by the Sochachover Kollel of Bnei Brak led by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kovalsky. Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters in Hebrew and/or English are available for simcha and memorial dedications and are distributed by e-mail – dafyomi@hadaf-yomi.com.

The Siyum – Postscript

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/the-siyum-postscript-and-poll.html

A quick review of the Chicago Daf Yomi Siyum. It began a bit late but finished in a more or less timely fashion. Maariv was concluded about about 10:15 PM CDT.

The dais included Chicago’s two premiere Z’Kenim.  Rav Avrohom Chaim Levin, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe did the ‘Hadran’ after reading the last lines of Talmud Shas Bavli. Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Bet Din of both the RCA and the CRC  began the new cycle by reading the first Mishnah in Brachos.

The rest of the dais included Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel of both the Lakewood variety and the Yeshiva University variety. It also included various Shul rabbis and Kiruv professionals.

In addition to the speakers in Chicago we heard two of the speakers from MetLife who were broadcast via a video feed: Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky and the riveting Rabbi Yissahcar Frand.  In my view the highlight of the evening was a brief but inspiring  video of the history of Daf Yomi from its inception at the first Agudah convention via until the present. Over all, The Siyum was  a job well done I thought.  At least here in Chicago.

Except for Rabbis Kamenetsky and Frand, I have no clue how the “Big One” at MetLife went.  I would therefore love to get some input from anyone who was there. Please feel free to share your thoughts – pro or con about how the evening went there.  Who sat on the main dais? Was Rav Hershel Shachter there? Was there anyone from YU on the front Dais? Please let me know. How good were the speakers? Did anyone stand out? How much of it was in Yiddish?

If You Launch It, They Will Come: ArtScroll On The iPad

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

For the Siyum HaShas in MetLife Stadium, community leaders, security officials, and even dogs (K-9 units) spent months getting ready for the close to 100,000 in attendance on Wednesday afternoon. However, members of ArtScroll have been focusing on what happens after the celebration. In honor of the 13th daf yomi cycle, ArtScroll has begun to launch its newest edition of the Babylonian Talmud – a digitized version for the iPad.

“The project began several months ago,” said Rabbi Nosson Scherman, general editor of ArtScroll Mesorah Publications. Although many developers at ArtScroll had dreamed about utilizing this platform for its tomes, the current technology could simply not support the magnitude of information and features they wanted to create. “As soon as [the technology] became available, we [hired a team] of skilled technicians” to begin designing the application, Rabbi Scherman said.

Before the advent of Talmudic apps, organizations, rabbis, and commuters had devised many ways to make the popular daf yomi study program more accessible to participants. Daf Yomi was started by Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Poland in 1923. Participants would study one page of Talmud every day, aspiring to complete the 2,711 pages over a period of seven-and-a-half years. Such a goal demands a large time commitment that many commuters do not have – except when they are on the train, bus, or car. To facilitate and enrich an aspiring learner’s experience, many people sold and distributed cassettes of recordings of daf yomi classes. Because cassette libraries of Talmud classes can contain close to 2,000 tapes, audio CDs were quick to replace them.

Utilizing MP3 technology and the popular iPod, the previous siyum hashas witnessed the launch of the “Shaspod,” an iPod prerecorded with classes on the entire Talmud and classes that could be downloaded from the Internet for free. However, none of these addressed the needs of the commuter who wished to study the actual text, but did not have room to carry a standard volume of Gemara, let alone a translated edition.

The new ArtScroll application for the iPad contains many unique features that capitalize on the technological advances but retain the familiarity and clarity of the traditional ArtScroll Gemara that has become the staple of many household libraries. The user can open the standard Hebrew folio (provided by Moznayim Publishers), the corresponding English translation and notes, or both displayed alongside each other. Additionally, studiers have the option of using a “floating translation.” By touching a phrase in the text, a “floating” box will appear near the highlighted portion containing the corresponding translation and notes taken from the English folios.

Ever since the Gemara was committed to writing 1,500 years ago, Talmud study has always been an interactive, analytical process. To further abet this process, developers created a search program and other features that allow users to cross-reference various texts and excerpts from other sources. Additionally, using “place tracking” technology, the application allows users to highlight words and phrases from the Talmud and automatically highlight the corresponding commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot as well. Moreover, studiers can create their own notes to write questions, answers, or important facts.

ArtScroll launched version 1.0 of its Talmud app in July on the Apple website, offering a free download of the first seven pages of Masechet Berachot. Offering a variety of downloading options, subscribers can choose to download a single page, a full volume, or a monthly subscription. Further updates will automatically download as the study cycle progresses.

To create the application, ArtScroll partnered with software developer company Rusty Brick. The company has already designed several other apps for Tanach, the siddur, Tehillim, and Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. Although many volumes of the Talmud are still in the developing process, Rabbi Scherman said ArtScroll would continue digitizing other classic works such as Talmud Yerushalmi, Midrash Rabba, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, and the Sefer HaChinuch. Additionally, ArtScroll plans to launch a similar Talmud edition for other devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch.

“We have a mandate from Rav Gifter that we must harness technology and use it to make Torah accessible to as many people as possible,” Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, president and co-founder of ArtScroll Mesorah Publications, declared in an interview. Rabbi Zlotowitz estimated the cost of the entire project to be $5 million.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/scitech/electronics-today/if-you-launch-it-they-will-come-artscroll-on-the-ipad/2012/08/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: