Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Live-daf, Live-chat, Lectures Launched

The Daf Yomi concept, originally conceived in 1923, has seen 12 full cycles of the completion of Shas.

Each new cycle grows exponentially, as 7 years ago using a stadium as the venue for Siyum was more of a joke than a dream. Similarly, Madison Square Garden and other arenas were not taken seriously until they were offered and subsequently filled.

Every generation has new products and services invented to faciliate the completion of the goal: finishing Shas and retaining as much as possible.

The radio was initially used by Rav Pinchas Teitz, Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum proliferated Torah Tapes for the tape recorder and Dial-A-Daf for the telephone. E-daf used the internet to put the full Tzuras HaDaf online, and many others have used the world wide web to disseminate their lectures, essays and videos.

Artscroll has recently launched an app that contains their entire English Elucidation, available for the iPad and other electronic devices.

Notable among new websites is livedaf.net. One can see streaming video of the daily shiur, complete with a link to the Tzuras Hadaf provided by Hebrewbooks.org. An added feature allows one to send questions of the daily daf via live chat. One can even download the day's shiur in MP3 format for listening on the go.

I haven't tried the livechat feature yet, but this question was recently bothering me. The Gemara says that Hashem said KaChatzos and Moshe changed it to BaChatzos: (Berochos 4A)

וכיון דמשה הוה ידע למה ליה למימר כחצות משה קסבר שמא יטעו אצטגניני פרעה ויאמרו משה בדאי הוא דאמר מר למד לשונך לומר איני יודע שמא תתבדה ותאחז
so that the Egyptians should not say that Moshe is wrong, if midnight were to be off from their calculations. What I am puzzled with is how they were able to tell time at night without use of sundials and the like. I suppose the constellations may have been of some help, but not to such a fine degree. Water clocks are also not that precise. Answers are welcome in the comments field.


  1. I tried the shiur. It is only 45 minutes, in English, and covers the material well. I recommend it for others. Unfortunately, this service will now be Mechayev people to learn: they no longer have an excuse that their was no shiur in their area (unless of course they follow the internet ban).

  2. Are there any other daf videos available? Please list others if you know.

  3. 1) the Torah (and hence Moshe) attributes supernatural abilities to the Egyptian magicians. But, Moshe didn't know how precise were their abilities in the field of telling time, so he had to circumspect.

    2) real answer. its a medresh and medroshim are full of anachronism and scientific errors.


  4. I disagree. I have come across contradictory medroshim, but not any anachronism's or scientific errors.

    1. huh! no scientific fallacies. so you believe that moshe was 15-20 feet tall or dozens of similar absurdities.
      and all those medroshim that have people like yisro and iyov appearing in different locations and generations apart

    2. Elemir,

      Thanks for your comments, but there are so many sites that deal with science/torah issues. This is not one of them.

      I don't feel confident enough to state whether people of a previous generation were of superior physical heights, that I am not certain. What I do know is that they were certainly of greater spiritual heights.

      I would like to know if the ancients had a mechanism for knowing midnight. Maybe they were Zoche to a wind blown Kinor like Dovid Hamelech?

  5. ok ... there you might find an idea at this link.


    or, maybe they used hourglasses at night. as a kid i had one that was pretty precise...off by about a half-minute each hour.


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