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The Yom Tov of Shavuos. The acceptance of the Torah. Not merely a remembrance of what was, but an actual giving of the Torah to those people that study it and hold it dear. Shavuos has always come, no matter where and how the Yidden find themselves. It has come during times of great joy, and it has come during times of persecution and sadness. But it has always come. This year, Klal Yisroel finds themselves in a unique situation for the acceptance of the Torah, with Yeshivos, Batei Midrashim, and Shuls closed across the country it hardly creates the environment that we usually associate with this precious Yom Tov. However, just like Shavuos always comes, so too is the way to prepare ourselves always the same; that is with Limud Hatorah. It may be by ourselves, in our own houses or on our lawns, by teleconferencing or by Zoom, but prepare we must by learning Torah for this great day.
This change of venue stands out in a very pronounced way for those that learn the Daf Hashavua program. Started fifteen years ago, Daf Hashavua was created to help people learn in-depth with a structured schedule that allows them to cover ground, but still be able to have a fuller understanding of the Sugyos and give time for review. Daf Hashavua has become very popular all over the globe, especially for Bnei Torah who are joining the workforce as they are able to continue an Iyun-style learning, similar to what they did when they were in Yeshiva. With over 5,000 participants worldwide and hundreds of Chaburos in Batei Midrashim all over the globe the Lomdei Daf Hashavua have toiled on the weekly Daf, week by week, month by month, year by year.
Now, coming up on this Rosh Chodesh Sivan the participants of Daf Hashavua will be reaching a huge milestone; the finishing of Seder Moed. Masechta Shabbos, the first moed, began nearly fifteen years ago, and the ending of Maseches Chagiga is merely days away. Indeed, one cannot think of a better way to prepare for the Yom Tov of Shavuos then through achieving such a monumental accomplishment. The siyum, planned to be an international event, with participants worldwide joining together, has been cancelled due to the virus. However, as Rabbi Zacharia Adler, the indefatigable Director of Daf Hashavua explains, the Siyum will still go one, albeit in an unusual way. “All the people that have learned the Daf for years definitely deserve the best Siyum possible”, explains R’ Zacharia, “therefore we plan on a virtual Siyum with someone being Mesayem, the beginning of Masechta Yevamos, and lively music in honor of this great accomplishment.” The Siyum will also feature Divrei Chizzuk from leading Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivos, urging the Lomdim to continue their never-ending work of toiling in the Torah, with the beginning of Masechta Yevamos, a difficult and complex Masechta.
Although this timing seems hard for the beginning of such a Masechta, R’ Shimmy Globman, Chairman of Daf Hashavua, is not fazed. “Look at what’s going on the last couple of months” says R’ Shimmy, “even with the Batei Midrashim closed, our Chaburos continue to learn and share with each other insights, be it by phone, Zoom, WhatsApp, or other means. Lomdei Daf Hashavua know how to persevere and accomplish, as witnessed by the fifteen-year cycle of intense learning, that has been done only through a devotion to the Daf that can’t be paralleled.”
Now, with many people’s regular learning schedules interrupted and many others looking to acclimate themselves with the new norm of quarantine, taking on Masechta Yevamos is both the perfect way to prepare for Shavuos and to restart you Sedarim with an exciting Limud! Check out their website at Dafaweek.org to get a Chavrusa you can learn with over the phone or Zoom, see Marei Mekomos, and hear Shiurim on the weekly Daf! It’s time to make your Kabbalas Hatorah the most meaningful one yet!
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