By Gavriel Levy
Even as we experience a world shut down in this era of the novel coronavirus, there is one fire that continues to burn brightly: Limud Daf HaYomi! Whether via telephone or video conference, thousands upon thousands of shiurim are taking place as usual. But who are the ones steadfastly standing behind these Daf Yomi shiurim? It is the truly heroic Daf Yomi Magidei Shiur, who without fail, despite the difficulties, continue to enlighten our esteemed lomdei hadaf, keeping alight the torch of Torah. Last Sunday afternoon, Agudas Yisroel of America’s Commission of Daf HaYomi and Torah Projects directed by Rabbi Avrohom Nisan Perl and Rabbi Eliyahu Simcha Bamberger organized a Daf Hayomi Magid Shiur Virtual Asifa for the hundreds of Daf Yomi Magidei shiur across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The Asifa began with divrei chizuk from Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, Rav of Agudath Israel of Madison and Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaath. His message to the Maggidei Shiur was that although we are going through trying times, the Lomdei Daf HaYomi are effectively holding up the world as they continue their daily limud HaDaf. Following the introductory divrei bracha, the event moderator, Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, himself a veteran Daf Yomi Maggid Shiur and Chairman of the Daf Yomi Commission, introduced the panel featuring three popular Maggidei shiur from around the country, each one bringing a special flavor to the panel.
Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Friedman, a mechaber seforim and a seasoned Daf Yomi Maggid Shiur from Boro Park, was the first panelist to speak. He suggested that the greatest incentive for Lomdei HaDaf is the limud Torah itself, as well as the knowledge that they will amass a fine B’kius in most of Shas. Rabbi Friedman added that it is important for a Maggid Shiur to supplement the limud HaDaf with an additional limud such as Sefer Chofetz Chayim, Mishnayos, or Taryag Mitzvos and in this way, the lomdim will complete other parts of the Torah as well. Rabbi Yitzchok Margareten, a well-known Maggid Shiur, Rav, and Poseik in Cleveland, OH, spoke about the z’chus that a Maggid shiur has to disseminate Torah, especially in these trying times. He mentioned that undoubtedly, the Z’chus of teaching Torah every single day affords the Maggidei Shiur an extra level of protection. R’ Kalman Frisch, a longtime popular Maggid shiur in Lakewood, NJ, spoke about the value of transforming the participants of every Daf Yomi Shiur into a close-knit unit, a chevra of lomdim. Citing some of his true and tried methods, he offered different examples of how to up the quality of the shiur. Providing incentives for taking weekly bechinos and organizing occasional get-togethers for the lomdim are just some of the excellent ways to cement the bonds between the participants and their Maggid Shiur, and of course enhance the overall commitment of the lomdim. Following these fascinating presentations, the panelists responded to a wide array of questions pertaining to the Daf Yomi shiur setting from participating Maggidei Shiur from across the country. There was also an interactive chat where participants had the opportunity to ask about the multiple Daf Yomi resources, made widely available by the Agudah’s Daf Yomi Commission.
The Asifa concluded with remarks from Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger who quoted Rav Meir Chodosh saying that after he was saved from the Chevron pogrom, he took upon himself one small kabalah to ensure that he would remember his personal miraculous salvation. While there is still so much pain and sorrow facing Klal Yisroel, Rabbi Weinberger encouraged the Maggidei Shiur and their lomdim to take on a small kabalah, ensuring that we will always remember the yeshuos we experienced during this time. After the event, one participant eloquently noted, “It is amazing to know that Agudah’s Daf Yomi Comission is constantly looking for ways to enhance the Daf Yomi program, providing chizuk and resources for the Maggidei Shiur and the lomdei HaDaf!”