Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fox in socks

ALG and I have completed our study of Masechet Makkot. Stay tuned for a formal siyyum in late July or August.

To calculate when I'll be finished with Sha"s at this rate:

  • Berachot, chapter 1 (1999-2000, with JER): 11 dapim
  • Berachot, chapter 2 (2000, with JER): 5 dapim
  • Berachot, chapter 4 (2004-05, remotely with EAR): 5 dapim
  • Berachot, chapter 7 (2000-01, with EAKO): 7 dapim
  • Berachot, chapter 8 (2004, with EAR): 2 dapim
  • Sukkah (2002-04, with MR): 55 dapim
  • Rosh Hashanah (2004-05, with MAK): 34 dapim
  • Megillah (2005-06, with MAK): 31 dapim
  • Sanhedrin, chapter 8 (2000-01, in RSH's class): 7 dapim
  • Makkot (2005-07, with ALG): 23 dapim
Total: about 180 dapim in a little under 8 years. Let's call it 90 months, or 2 dapim per month. There are 2711 dapim in the whole Talmud Bavli, so at this rate I should take about 113 years to finish the whole thing. Everyone's invited to the siyyum in the year 2112!


  1. I'm sure the Rabbis aren't sure whether they should laugh or cry at the fact that a girl like you is studying Gemara, but rest assured, Rabbi Akiva will do the opposite of whatever they decide to do.

  2. a girl like you is studying Gemara

    What's THAT supposed to mean? And why on earth do you assume that BZ is female? Many men and women learn together on a regular basis, you know, and the sky has not yet fallen.

  3. On the whole, I believe that the Rabbis would have been very happy to see women studying Gemara. There are, of course, some opinions that women are not obligated in Talmud Torah to the same extent that men are. There are other opinions that say that women are obligated to the same extent that men are to study any laws that would have practical application to their lives, including all of Zeraim, Moed, and Nezikin and parts of Nashim, Kodashim and Taharot. Either way, to suggest that the Rabbis would cry because one who is not obligated to perform a mitzvah performs it anyway is ludicrous at best.

    Tosefta Brachot 2:12:
    הזבין והזבות והנדות והיולדות מותרין לקרות בתורה ולשנות במשנה במדרש בהלכות ובאגדות

    Talmud Yerushalmi, Sotah 3:4
    אמר בן עזאי חייב אדם ללמד את בתו תורה

    Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Talmud Torah, 1:13:
    אישה שלמדה תורה, יש לה שכר

    And moving on to a (much) later sources, see:

    R. Menachem M. Scheerson, Likkutei Sichot, Vol. 14 (NY, 1978)
    "Torah law requires a woman to study all the laws and concepts necessary to observe the mitzvos which she is obligated to fulfill. This encompasses a vast scope of knowledge, including the laws of Shabbos, Kashrus, Taharas Hamishpachah, and many other areas of Jewish law. Indeed, many men would be happy if their Torah knowledge would be as complete....Throughout the generations, we have seen women with immense Torah knowledge. The Talmud mentions Bruriah, the daughter of Rabbi Chaninah ben Tradyon and the wife of Rabbi Meir. Throughout the Middle Ages, we find records of many women who corrected their husbands’ Torah texts. In his memoirs, the previous Rebbe describes how the Alter Rebbe’s family put a special emphasis on women’s Torah knowledge and the previous Rebbe educated his own daughters in this spirit....Within the context of our society, women are required to function on a more sophisticated level than ever before, occupying professional positions that require higher knowledge. To prepare themselves for such activities, they should develop their thinking processes in Torah, training themselves to think on an advanced level within the framework of Torah. This will set the tone for their behavior in the world at large."

    There are many other acharonim, including the Chofetz Chaim, who say similar things. I only chose to quote the Lubavitcher Rebbe on this because his likutim were readily available online.

    See this for many more sources.

  4. Done in 2112, huh? So for the Siyyum you will sponsor a kiddus at Temple Bet Syrinx?