Excerpt from www.tabletmag.com by Adam Kirsch
For the past seven and a half years, literary critic Adam Kirsch read a page of Talmud a day, along with Jews around the world.
“The school of Elijah taught: Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the World to Come.” On Saturday, with this highly appropriate sentiment, Daf Yomi readers came to the end of our seven-and-a-half year journey through the Babylonian Talmud. I imagine that Rabbi Meir Shapiro, of Lublin, Poland, must have had this sentence in mind when he created Daf Yomi in 1923. By offering Jewish laymen a program for studying one page of Talmud every day, Shapiro managed to reconcile the study of Halacha, the classic Jewish devotional act, with the modern, democratic spirit that penetrated the lives of even the most traditional of 20th-century Jews. (When he began the first cycle of Daf Yomi, Shapiro himself was a democratically elected member of the Polish parliament, sitting as a deputy for Agudath Israel, the ultra-Orthodox party.)
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