Okay so you miss a daf here and there. The thing is though that wherever you may be in the world on any given day or whatever you are doing by virtue of this commitment you are connected. So even if you have stepped out of your daily routine for a few days or a week or so— as is wont to happen—it is always on your mind.
Seven and a half year ago it looked like an uphill gargantuan trek. How was I going to do this every day, seven days a week? At the last Siyum Hashas at Madison Square Garden seven and a half years ago I sat there, way up there, gawking and absorbing everything that was taking place on the floor below. There was the conclusion to the over 2700 pages of interaction, analysis and banter between sages, well known and sometimes obscure personalities who serve as the foundation of our nation.
At some point that evening, I think it was near the end during the joyous dancing in the aisles of the arena, that I made a decision that I had to try to be part of this. On the way home that night on the Long Island Rail Road I though further about whether I could just stand by passively and let another daf yomi cycle begin and pretend that it had nothing to do with me.
I made a decision that the next morning before 7am I would be at a neighborhood daf lecture. Sure, it was awkward and even a little uncomfortable those first few days. First there are the comments or queries about what happened or why you decided to join the system. There was really no answer, in fact I think it was fairly self-explanatory. You join because you want to go on a whirlwind tour of all that the Torah—our oxygen and life source—has to offer. Some of it is riveting and awe inspiring in its contemporariness, other parts are highly technical and even tedious but life itself is very much the same way, isn’t it?
Someone said to me the other day whether I would be doing it again. I thought that it was a silly question. There are myriad ways and angles from which to study daf yomi but there is an added dimension of connectedness that makes it impossible to step away and do something else.
I’m looking forward to being able to say that this is my second cycle. I’m looking forward to this evening momentous and historical Siyum at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands—home of the Giants. They weren’t kidding. Tonight there will be 90,000 giants there. I just hope there will be enough room so that there can be some dancing in the aisles.