By Rabbi Dovid Heber, Kashrus Administrator, Star-K Kosher Certification
This Shabbos (Pekudei 5776/2016) we complete Chumash Shemos and lomdei Daf Yomi will complete Maseches Gittin. What is most fascinating is that it will mark the 463rd Daf Yomi siyum of a masechta and will also be the 463rd chazak in the same amount of time.
The explanation is as follows: Every year we say “Chazak chazak venischazeik” when we complete each of the five Chumashim. When one completes a masechta of Shas or a seder of Mishnayos, the Hadran and special tefillos are recited. Thus, those who learn Daf Yomi are zocheh to make a siyum and recite the Hadran and special tefillos several times each year.
The frequency of a siyum of a Chumash followed by chazak is basically identical to the frequency of a siyum of the Daf Yomi masechta, Hadran and special siyum tefillos. On average, they both occur once every 73 days.
Statistically, the completion of Chumashim/chazak occurs slightly more frequently than a siyum on a masechta in Daf Yomi. On average, there are 365.247 days each year and we finish 5 Chumashim. That means that we say chazak on average once every 73.05 days.
For Daf Yomi, in a span of 2,711 days (the current number of blatt in Shas used by the lomdei Daf Yomi), there are 37 masechtos completed (see below). 2,711 divided by 37 equals 73.27 days. So, on average, a Daf Yomi siyum is made once every 73.27 days, slightly less frequently than chazak.
The two “siyumim” converge this Shabbos, the 2nd of Adar II 5776/2016. As indicated, the completion of Maseches Gittin will mark the 463rd Daf Yomi siyum. On this Shabbos, we lain Parshas Pekudei and complete Chumash Shemos, marking the 463rd chazak in the same amount of time.
This week’s haftorah “Vatishlam kol hamelachah” (when all the work was completed) is indeed an accurate description of the two siyumim this Shabbos.
Note: There are 37 masechtos that Daf Yomi completes each cycle. This includes the Yerushalmi masechta of Shekalim (currently 21 blatt long; a 12-blatt Shekalim Gemara was used during the first seven cycles). We are considering the smaller masechtos at the end of Seder Kodshim (Me’ilah, Kinnim, Tamid and Middos) as one masechta, as one siyum is typically made. This is apparent from the fact that the three masechtos following Me’ilah do not start with daf bais, but continue with the blatt numbers from the prior masechta.
The above first appeared in Calendar Calculations, Rabbi Heber’s weekly column in Yated.