Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5784/October 15, 2023, will be a date that may transform your learning and your geshmak in learning in an unprecedented way.
On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, lomdei Torah the world over will be gifted with a new program, a seven-day-a-week Amud HaYomi program that will enable learners to complete the entire Shas within fourteen years.
When the senior members of Dirshu’s hanhalla led by its Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, told HaGaon HaRav Berel Povarsky, shlita, senior Rosh Yeshiva of the Ponovezh Yeshiva, about the idea at his home in Bnei Brak, the smile that wreathed his face from ear to ear said it more than anything else. “Moredig, gevaldig, gevaldig!” he exclaimed. “An excellent idea! Amud HaYomi is something that each person can learn in accordance with his own level of learning.”
HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Mesivta of Lakewood, greeted the news with great simcha. He said, “HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Be’er Yaakov, would often bemoan the fact that avreichim do not have a wide ranging bekius in Shas. He would advise avreichim to take time during bein hasedarim or night seder to learn an amud yomi. My father, Rav Boruch Sorotzkin, zt”l, also had an amud yomi seder every afternoon. I think it is a wonderful idea and will meet a need for those who find that an amud yomi works better for them. It is a wonderful idea whose time has come!”
Why Amud HaYomi?
Why Amud HaYomi? Isn’t there already Daf HaYomi? The answer is twofold. Firstly, Amud HaYomi and Daf HaYomi are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, in many ways Amud HaYomi complements the Daf HaYomi. The Daf HaYomi is now approaching the milestone of completing half of Shas. Many lomdei Daf HaYomi would benefit from a daily chazarah of what they have learned thus far. Amud HaYomi will enable Daf HaYomi leaners to incorporate an amud of chazarah into their daily schedules thereby affording them a better retention of Shas, locking it in, in a much more comprehensive way. Thus, as they continue learning the Daf HaYomi they will not neglect chazarah on what they learned previously.
In addition, there are many people who cannot learn the Daf HaYomi. For some the pace is too quick, for others they like to learn with more iyun, benefitting from looking at meforshim and from iyun kal. This is especially true when it comes to kollel yungeleit and bnei yeshivos. They understand that they have an obligation to learn Shas and would appreciate a framework where the learning can be done daily, thoroughly, and with a goal of eventually completing Shas.
For this reason, the Amud HaYomi can become a true gamechanger both for those that are already learning the Daf HaYomi, and for those whom Daf HaYomi does not work.
Historic Launch One Hundred Years Later
The official launch of the Amud HaYomi will take place motzoei Shabbos Bereishis, at the historic Sofiensäle Hall in Vienna, a concert hall where, during the month of Elul one-hundred years ago the groundbreaking, world-changing concept of the Daf HaYomi was proposed by Rav Meir Shapiro, the young Rav of the Polish town of Sonik at the first Knessiah Gedolah. The launch will be held in conjunction with a siyum on seder Nashim and half of Shas in the Daf HaYomi machzor and will be graced by leading Gedolei Yisrael from America, Eretz Yisrael and Europe.
HaGaon HaRav Hillel David, shlita, Yoshev Rosh of the Vaad Roshei Yeshiva of Torah Umesorah, a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, and Rav of Kehillas Yeshiva Shaarei Torah, will lead the delegation of Rabbanim coming from America.
The very distinguished delegation of Gedolei Yisrael from Eretz Yisrael who will be participating in the historic launch will include HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron; HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Meir Stern, shlita, talmid muvhak of Hagaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner and one of Eretz Yisrael’s leading poskim and dayanim; HaGaon HaRav Shimon Galei, shlita and HaGaon HaRav Chaim Peretz Berman, shlita, a Rosh Yeshiva at the Ponevezh Yeshiva. The European delegation will be led by HaGaon HaRav Gavriel Knopfler, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Shaarei Torah of Manchester. The group of Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbanim is still in formation and numerous others will be joining.
One hundred years ago, the Daf HaYomi completely changed Klal Yisrael. It was instrumental in making limud haTorah a central part of the day for hundreds of thousands of Yidden the world over. Now, one hundred years later, the new Amud HaYomi, with the same relentless, seven day a week schedule, 354 days a year, promises to have a transformative impact on the limud haTorah of Klal Yisrael.
Although it is expected that most lomdei Amud HaYomi will engage in the learning with chavrusos, Dirshu will also be offering shiurim by prominent talmidei chachomim and lomdim. In addition, for those who cannot make it out to a shiur, there will be telephone options whereby one can participate both live and at any time of the day.
HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Chevron Yeshiva, exhibited great excitement when he heard about the program, saying, “For some people learning an amud properly and comprehensively works better than learning an entire daf. It is possible to learn an amud a day with some degree of iyun.”
When the hanhalla of Dirshu met with the Sanzer Rebbe, shlita, a spirited and comprehensive dialogue ensued about the advantages and disadvantages of quicker bekius programs and slower iyun programs. “There is certainly a maalah in a program such as Amud HaYomi if one learns meforshim and is thus able to gain a deeper understanding of the Gemara.”
Indeed, when Rav Dovid Hofstedter discussed the idea of establishing an Amud HaYomi program with HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, zt”l, he expressed apprehension that an Amud HaYomi might discourage those that are capable of learning the Daf HaYomi from learning more. Rav Gershon, however waved away that concern, saying, “Every neshama finds its place in learning. Ish l’fi tivo, each person will choose a limud that fits his own nature.
How Does it Work?
The new Amud HaYomi machzor will begin daf beis amud aleph in Masechta Brachos on the first day of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, October 15, 2023. Of course, the program is open for anyone, but Dirshu is creating four separate learning tracks so that it will appeal to the various segments of Klal Yisrael who can benefit from such a program. There will be a track of Gemara with Rashi, another with Gemara, Rashi and Tosafos and within those two tracks there will be two separate tracks.
Dirshu will also be publishing a remarkable kuntress called Iyun Ha’Amud compiled by phenomenal talmidei chachomim. The kuntress will be distributed among the lomdim of the Amud Hayomi throughout the world. The kuntress is intended to assist the lomdim of Amud HaYomi with their learning and it includes the pages of the Gemara, explanations and supplements, marei mekomos and practical applications of the halachah.
Lomdei Amud HaYomi will be able to take monthly tests on one of any of the four tracks and be rewarded handsome stipends for excellent results.
Track 1 of the Gemara with Rashi will consist of tests on just Gemara and Rashi. In Track 3 of the Gemara with Rashi, the lomdim will learn and be tested on Gemara, Rashi and the kuntress Iyun Ha’Amud.
The Gemara with Rashi and Tosafos, Track 2, will feature learning and testing of just Gemara, Rashi and Tosafos while Track 4 will feature testing on Gemara, Rashi, Tosafos and kuntress Iyun Ha’amud.
Every test in Tracks 2 and 4 will feature 23 questions on the Gemara, Rashi/Tosafos and seven questions on Iyun Ha’amud.
The tests are being composed by the distinguished Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, HaGaon HaRav Isamar Garbuz, shlita.
HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Feivel Schustal, shlita: The Torah Says, “I want People to Learn Me!”
HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Feivel Schustal, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Tiferes Yerachmiel in Lakewood, displayed great simcha when he heard about the new Amud HaYomi program. His primary joy was aroused by the realization that this program would increase limud haTorah and the numbers of lomdei Torah.
“Years ago,” he said, “I heard from Rav Berel Soloveichik, zt”l, that his grandfather Rav Chaim Brisker said, ‘The Torah wants there to be people who learn Torah.’ Rav Chaim continued, ‘The Torah says, “I want people to learn me.”
“The reason Rav Chaim said this was in response to a decree from the Czarist Russian government when they demanded that the rabbanim must learn Russian. Rav Chaim felt that learning Russian would interfere with their learning. He said, ‘If the rabbanim will not be able to learn, the shoemakers will not be able to learn either. This means that the learning of the talmidei chachomim has an impact on the entire generation. The more the talmidei chachomim learn, the more Klal Yisrael as a whole learns. The Torah needs lomdei Torah. The Torah needs yodei Torah, people who don’t just learn Torah but understand and know what they learned.’ I think therefore that the Torah is makir tov to you. The Torah wants people to be busy with learning Torah, to encourage limud haTorah. I think that, without a doubt, you Rav Hofstedter and Dirshu are shelucha d’rachmana, emissaries of Hashem to ensure that the Torah always has customers…”
With this historic new program, lomdei Amud HaYomi will be able to learn one amud every day and experience deeper comprehension utilizing Dirshu’s proven retention and accountability methods by learning, chazering, taking tests and being rewarded for good results.
Slower is Sometimes Better
HaGaon HaRav Messoud Ben Shimon, shlita, Sephardic Rav of Bnei Brak and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Ohr Elitzur, was similarly very enthusiastic about the new program. “I think the new Amud HaYomi program,” he said, “will be a great toeles for a very large percentage of lomdim. I am very much in favor of such a program. Learning with a bit more iyun and a bit more slowly, might not enable you to cover as much ground but it offers a person the ability to attain a more comprehensive knowledge with more time for chazarah. Hearing about this new program has brought me great simcha.”
HaGaon HaRav Isamar Garbuz, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, recalled that there had once been a kollel that put an emphasis on retaining what the avreichim had learned in previous years. They devoted a certain amount of each day to chazering the previous masechtos that they had learned. They decided to do an entire blatt every day. Initially it worked but as time went on, many avreichim had difficulty keeping up. They went to consult with HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt”l, and Rav Shteinman told them that they should chazer only an amud each day, that sometimes a daf a day is too much. “I too,” Rav Garbuz proclaimed, “think that many lomdim will be able to have great toeles from learning an amud each day. With perseverance they will finish and retain Shas.”
Indeed, Rav Hofstedter told Rav Garbuz, “We are not chas v’shalom in any way minimizing the Daf HaYomi. In fact, Dirshu’s flagship program is the Kinyan Torah Daf HaYomi testing program. However, we recognize that for various reason, the Daf HaYomi is not necessarily a good fit for every lomeid. In addition, even those who are already learning the Daf HaYomi can join the Amud HaYomi and will find it to be an amazing opportunity for chazarah.”
This Program Is Tailormade For You!
Since last week’s unveiling of the new program, an avid interest has been aroused among lomdei Torah.
There is no location more appropriate to launch the new program as the same venue where the original Daf HaYomi was launched 100 years ago! Indeed, Amud HaYomi, promises to be a program that will, bez”H, enrich the limud haTorah of untold numbers of Yidden in the next 100 years and beyond.
If you want to learn Shas methodically and clearly, with a plan, in a way that you can be koneh what you learn; if you want to learn Shas with ikker reyd and meforshim on each sugya; if you have already learned with Daf HaYomi and are seeking a structured daily chazarah of an amud per day… then this program is tailormade for you!
Now is the time to join the Amud HaYomi program and take your limud haTorah to the next level!
What are you waiting for?
For further information or to join, please contact Dirshu at 1-888-5-Dirshu or e-mail, Info@kollelDirshu.org