I had the privilege of attending the daf yomi siyum hashas at Matan last motsei shabbat and watched the YouTube highlights of the women’s hadran siyum that took place last Sunday night, that Rabbi Seth Farber posted on Facebook today.

What is the significance of this trend of women (as well as men for that matter) learning daf yomi? I believe the crux is what Rabbi Jonathan Sacks refers to in this YouTube video of highlights – that the Torah – in this case the Talmud, but it applies across the board also to other areas of Torah learning, has been returned to the hands of the masses – just as it was given to the masses, at Har Sinai.

What was previously in the hands of the Rabbinical elite is now in the hands of the masses. The podcasts which Rabbi Seth Farber’s wife – Rabbanit Michelle Farber – produces are just one example, of how Talmudic texts which were previously only able to be understood by the Rabbinic aristocracy, due to all these types of modern aids, are now accessible to the many.

You cannot watch Rabbanit Racheli Frankel and Rabbanit Esti Rosenberg speak here and not be inspired and impressed by how the Torah is now is in the hands of the people – both women and men – who in previous generations never had the opportunity to learn Torah and engage with our texts – our history – and essentially our G-d.

As Rabbanit Malka Bina said, ” The Talmud belongs to every one of us!”

Is this a good thing? I think certainly so, as long as the hierarchy of Rabbinic authority is still in place and we remember who our gedolim and genuine rabbinic leaders and poskim really are. What can be a more beautiful sight, than regular, hard working people engaging with our beloved, sacred texts and thereby becoming part of the tapestry of the Jewish journey.

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