Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Daf Yomi: A Pictorial History - David Avraham Mandelbaum

From Feldheim's website:

One of the most significant events in the Torah world in the past one hundred years was the adoption and implementation of the Daf Yomi learning program. This pictorial album lays out before the reader its entire history - how it began on Rosh Hashana of 1923 and its expansion throughout the Jewish world until the present day. This volume contains hundreds of pictures and rare documents that will bring the reader in touch with the Daf Yomi learners of yesteryear.

The story begins in pre-war Europe, continues through the Holocaust, documents the aftermath of that horrific period, following the trail of the Daf in the decades that have passed since then. It is possible to see a glimpse of the Hashgacha Pratis that guides the fate of our nation - for, even in the very worst of times for Klal Yisroel, there were thousands, even tens of thousands, of pages of Gemora that served as the rafts of salvation for the Jewish People in the midst of the raging tempest. Finally, in this album, the reader can absorb the words and the ideas put forth by the Gedolei Torah of the past few generations as they related to the Daf Yomi concept, and will become familiar, as well, with subsequent initiatives that are the offspring of the Daf Yomi.

I was very impressed with this beautiful work, which documents the trajectory of Daf Yomi since it's inception up until our day.

This book is very heavy on Rav Meir Shapiro, as R. David Avraham Mandelbaum has written many books that portray Rav Meir Shapiro and his famous Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin.

One thing I found puzzling is on page 110 RADM makes the claim that Kad Yasvin was composed by Rav Meir Shapiro in honor of the first Siyum Hashas. Complete in this book are the music sheets of Kad Yasvin. Hmm. I once asked Mississippi Fred to investigate the origins of the song, as there is much dispute. Perhaps this post will be the impetus for him to tackle this issue.

I still remember the first DY Siyum that I attended in the Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden in 1982. Less that 10,000 were in attendance. It is hard to imagine that merely 30 years later the venue is MetLife Stadium, with 90,000 plus.

Kein Yirbu!


  1. Do you know the source for this Yiddish translation of the song?

    ווען אידישע קינדער זיצן און לערנען
    און לערנען די הייליקע תורה
    וואָס טוט דעמאָלט אויבן אין הימל
    אונדזער הייליקע בורא

    ער רופט צוזאַמען זיין מלאכים
    און ער זאגט צו זיי
    קוקט אויף מיינע ליבע קינדער
    זיי זענען מיר אַזוי געטריי

    אפילו זיי זענען אין אַ קלעם
    אפילו עס גייט זיי שלעכט
    טוען זיי די רצון פון ה׳
    ווי איבערגעגעבענע קנעכט

    אפילו זיי זענען אין געפאַר
    זיי לעבן אין פחד און מורא
    פאַרגעסן זיי פון זייער צער
    און פרייען זיך מיט מיין תורה

  2. No. We'll need to wait until Mississippi Fred notices this post.

  3. This is a beautiful book. Well done. A perfect gift for anyone who has studied the entire Talmud.

  4. Great Yiddish rendition . Where'd THAT come from?

  5. We were taught that version (along with the Aramaic original; goes to the same tune & fits even better) in Yeshiva Ch’san Sofer. I was hoping someone here knew who did the translation.

    And it should have been “קוקטס אויף מיינע ליבע קינדער”; serves me right for using Google Translate rather than typing the Yiddish myself.

  6. I just picked up this book before Yom Tov and had a chance to start reading it. The story is very interesting and from what I have read so far (first few chapters) there are many anacdotes that are fascinating. I have noticed that the proofreading is very poor. I am no expert and by no means perfect but there are glaring misspellings. wrong punctuation, poor typography. Does anyone know if there was more than one edition published with corrections?

  7. I don't know about other versions. I imagine that this was a rush job, designed to publish during Siyum season. Similar to the republication of the biography of RMS by Feldheim - A Blaze in the Darkening Gloom - although that book was thoroughly edited being it was not a rush job.


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