Way back on August 3rd, 2012, the 13th cycle of the worldwide studying of the Talmud, known as Daf Yomi began and I like so many others jumped on that bandwagon.
I had tried to do it when I was in college but could not commit the time or energy it required. Back then we did not have podcasts, Internet(well I did), useful translations of the various tractates or even regular, WORLDWIDE classes every day on it.
Modern times, it is pretty easy to do the Daf Yomi, if you want to do it. And that is the interesting thing, people I meet are impressed that I have continued with it. If you start doing something regularly, it will become a part of you. I will definitely feel a void once I complete it January 4, 2020, but I also need a break from it. The Daf, of course, never takes a break, people start the next morning all over again from page 2 of Brachot.
No, I don’t remember all of it, but I also don’t want to do it again. Maybe I will do the chapter a day of Tanach or a section of Mishnah Breruh or something else, will see.
It has been interesting, so many bits and pieces of my childhood education come back to me, and now I know where they got it all. The good and the bad, the weird(werewolves?) and the uninformed science of the ancient times comes out and we see in modern times how some of these ideas have played out.
Tomorrow we start the last tractate, the last book of the series, Nidah and while I look for a gala celebration for the Daf Yomi, and plan a small one for friends and family, I want to thank my family for being the driving purpose behind my doing it.
You see, my wife and I decided to homeschool our kids that school year and when my kids complained I had no idea what it would be like, I said sure I do, and to prove it, I would go learn something new. I would never have taken the opportunity to find out the Daf Yomi cycle was starting then otherwise and so again, everything is from heaven and God’s will.
Thus while I taught them, I went back to school.
Although we have since made Aliyah and I have not had to teach my kids again (aside from Algebra), I continued with it, through various travels for work across Europe and the US, on planes, trains and automobiles, in person, online and solo to be able to reach this day and with Hashem’s help the Jan 4 siyum hashas.