Thursday, December 26, 2019
The Joy of Jewish Learning
Dear Friends of CBI,
The word ‘Hinuch’ which means education has the same root as the word Hanukkah (Het, Nun, Chaf) In this end of the secular year message, while we mark the middle of the Hanukkah festival, I want to share with you the expanded learning opportunities available to CBI members and to the wider Jewish community starting in January. I also want to tell you about Daf Yomi, which I am personally committed to starting in January 2020.
But first, let me share with you new learning opportunities at CBI. You can now access the Winter CBI Adult Learning Winter Offerings on our website by clicking on this LINK which takes you directly to the listing of classes. There is a registration page you can print and mail in at the end of the listing. Or you can use this online signup HERE which offers you secure online payment and convenience. Please note that all the classes listed begin in January.
Now about this Daf Yomi thing. I want to let you know about a unique Jewish adult learning opportunity call Daf Yomi. As described in the article on “MyJewishLearning” “Daf yomi (pronounced dahf YOH-mee) is an international program to read the entire Babylonian Talmud — the main text of rabbinic Judaism — in seven and a half years at the rate of one page a day. Tens of thousands of Jews study daf yomi worldwide, and they are all quite literally on the same page — following a schedule fixed in 1923 in Poland by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the founder of daf yomi, who envisioned the whole world as a vast Talmudic classroom connected by a global network of conversational threads.” (Continue with the full article, HERE)
The writer of the article, Ilana Kurshan, who wrote the best seller, If All the Seas Were Ink, addresses these 9 questions about Daf Yomi.
- Do I need to be religious — or Jewish — to study Talmud?
- Can I study Talmud even if I have little or no Hebrew background?
- What version of the Talmud do you recommend I use, and where can I find it?
- What resources and study aides are most helpful?
- Does it make sense to start in the middle of a daf yomi cycle, or should I wait for the next cycle to begin?
- One page a day, seven days a week, is quite a relentless pace. Do you have any tips for staying on schedule? What if I fall behind?
- What keeps you going on days when you have no motivation to learn or begin to lose interest?
- How do you keep track of everything you learn?
- What might I get out of studying daf yomi?
While I have studied Talmud extensively over my rabbinic career, I have never done Daf Yomi, which is way to experience over time the full Talmud, page by page. The new cycle begins on January 5, 2020. I have decided to sign up for Daf Yomi myself. God willing, I will live to 73 when this cycle will conclude. The Rabbis say that the study of Torah (which includes Talmud study) is equal to all the other commandments.
Consider joining the biggest book club in the world. If after reading the article by Ilana Kurshan, or if you are inspired to join me in my personal commitment to being on the same page as Jews around the world, you’ll find a link to the daily DAF YOMI email from MyJewishLearning in the article. Let me know if you sign up at [email protected]. We can gather all the ABQ Daf Yomi devotees together from time to time to discuss and celebrate the learning.
Enjoy all the festivities this weekend at CBI as we celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of Adina Clark, enjoy the scholar in residence, and end Hanukkah with a party launching our 100th year.
P.S. I am posting a link for a new Shabbat dinner program of 5 Friday Shabbat dinners focused on singing and learning Shabbat melodies starting on Friday, January 10th. Click on the link to learn more and sign up.
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050545AAAC2DA4F85-singing. We’ll add childcare if there is demand.