The Daf-Yomi Ended

Hasidim and Misnagdim [Opponents of Hasidism]

By Icchok Bursztyn/ Montevideo

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

When they began to study the Daf-Yomi in Czyzewo, the Talmud lessons were studied in the large Beis-haMedrash [House of Study], although the majority of students were from the Hasidic shtiblekh [small houses of prayer]. Later, when the congregation grew smaller, they studied in the Gerer shtibl. It must be acknowledged that studying in the Beis-Medrash was solemn.

Reb Yisroel Yona's voice during the teaching of the Daf had a gorgeous echo in the Beis-Medrash. Each word was clearly and distinctly heard, not only by those sitting around the large table studying with him, but also by those who stood and listened. Everywhere that someone stood around the entire Beis-Medrash, Reb Yisroel Yona's translations and hypotheses were heard.

Many modern theaters would have wished to have as good acoustics as the Czyzewo Beis-Medrash; the reading rang loudly and was sustained for a long time in the void of the Beis-haMedrash.

Reb Yisroel Yona was an earnest scholar; he had a wonderful power of speculation. Since the beginning of the Daf-Yomi, he had led it in Czyzewo with other scholars. Not only older Jews were drawn to it, but also the young, who were already able to study a page of gemara [commentary on the Mishnah (oral law)] with its critical commentary and there was no lack of them in Czyzewo. It was believed that the large Beis-Medrash belonged to the misnagdim [opponents of Hasidism]. But in reality, it was the Beis-Medrash for everyone, without differentiation.