Can you name something you have been doing for 5 years straight with no break?
Yes, many of you will say, coffee, parenting, walking your dog and cooking among other things.
Some of you will say learning. Even fewer of you will say learning the Daf Yomi.
I am one of those fewer, plowing through what is an almost 7.5 year education.
Learning the Daf has good and bad pieces of information about everything from sickness remedies to spirits, both drinkable and other worldly. Discussions about homosexuality and people who live or were born without a definitive sex and even pet names for your spouse/love (not always what you would think either).
Over the past year we completed the following Tractates of Mesechet Nezikin:
Bava Kama started last summer and discusses damages and what/who to pay and how much and covers animals and people damages, personal and business. Along the way there are stories and side points that kept you coming back for more such as eat breakfast keeps you healthy on Daf 92A/B.
Bava Metzia, I last learned in about 7th or 8th grade, is about among other things, finding lost objects and returning them. Defining what is considered lost objects and how to maintain your ownership of said items. Over here too there are life lessons, like why eating bread is good for you to start your day with on Daf 107B.
Baba Batra was hard to get through for me, it seemed to never end (it is the longest Tractate at 176 pages, 6 months of it!) and deals with land and home ownership which includes cattle. It also discusses negotiable instruments, loans and family aspects related to the loans.
Currently in San Hedrin and we are talking about inheritances and witnesses and of course judges and courts. One can see so many modern legalities stem from ancient times it is an eye opening experience. You can also read what King David and other kings were and were not allowed to do related to war, horses, wives and other romantic stories about him and his lovers. And all before Daf 20!
You can start Daf Yomi at anytime, ideally start at the beginning of a Tractate and keep moving forward.
My father in law will be celebrating his completion of shas, it has taken him about 12 years, and he deserves all the respect and honor for completing it. This was no easy feat to accomplish and he had some things delay him.
It goes to show you are never too old to learn something new.