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Harav Avigdor Miller’s Gemara Shiurim Now Available
Posted by Administrator on 8/22/2012 to KolAvigdor news

In time for the new Daf Yomi cycle, it has been announced that the Gemara shiurim of famed Torah teacher Hagaon Harav Avigdor Miller, zt”l, are now available, news that has been received with great excitement. Although the younger generation does not remember, Harav Miller was the pioneer of Gemara shiurim for working people.

There was a time when the ruach surrounding Daf Yomi did not exist. Take, for example, the following amazing anecdote. Harav Aharon Kotler, zt”l, was once at a function for Zeiri Agudas Yisrael in the early 1960s, where he met Harav Boruch Borchardt, z”l. He drew him to the sink and said quietly, “Let’s wash and eat bread for a seudas mitzvah, because according to the Daf Yomi schedule, tonight is the Siyum HaShas.” (After the next cycle, there was a siyum in Boro Park, attended by a few hundred people.)

In those years, Harav Miller invested great effort in encouraging working people to come out in the evening to a Gemara shiur. He utilized many methods, including the media, regularly advertising, “Come, join a free Gemara shiur.” He also pioneered the recording of shiurim, emphasizing how useful it was for continuous review, a critical component of learning. Although his original purpose was to facilitate review, we are now fortunate through these recordings to be able to participate in these shiurim.

A group of dedicated talmidim has launched Kol Avigdor. They invested tremendous effort, time and expense in gathering tapes of these shiurim, editing them and making them available to the public.

The editing was necessary since one of the unique aspects of the shiur was the Rav’s practice of pausing every few lines to allow everyone to review the material. In the MP3 being released, the breaks were eliminated. Each shiur was originally an hour long, covering approximately one amud, and with the breaks removed, each is slightly more than half an hour long. There are 127 half-hour shiurim on maseches Brachos; each shiur has its own track.

Many recordings of these shiurim were made over the years. The maseches Brachos shiurim were made from the quality recordings of the unforgettable personality Rabbi Shmuel
Chamoula, z”l.

Rabbi Chamoula, well-known mohel of the Flatbush Sephardic community, made high-quality tapes of many of the Rav’s shiurim, with great dedication, perseverance and mesirus nefesh. The invaluable library of Harav Miller’s mussar tapes was also created from his recordings. He graciously made available hundreds of copies of the Gemara shiurim for anyone who asked him; yehi zichro baruch.

Now, for the first time, with the cooperation of his esteemed wife and two sons, Reb Shaul and Reb Shlomo, the tapes are available to the public. The Kol Avigdor group has compiled tapes on most of Shas and has digitalized, cleaned and edited their collection. They request that anyone with tapes please contact them at (718) 289-0899.

For further information about the history of these shiurim, Kol Avigdor referred us to a close talmid, Rabbi Yaakov Hamburger, author of Shaarei Orah, the mussar vaadim of Harav Miller. Rabbi Hamburger is very excited about this new release; he told us that he has devoted a section in his upcoming biography on Harav Miller to the shiurim, and shared some of the highlights with us.

Although Harav Miller was famous mostly for his hashkafah shiurim and sefarim, in his kehillah and among his talmidim he was known to spend most of his time and energy teaching men of all ages how to master learning Gemara. “Come, join us as we journey through Shas, and become a Gemara lamdan” was the Rav’s clarion call. In reference to teaching Gemara, the Rav once said to Rabbi Eliezer Hamburger, Rabbi Yaakov Hamburger’s father, “It is my life.”

These shiurim were not ordinary Gemara shiurim. Harav Miller dedicated himself to what he called a “program for success.” He was convinced, and convinced others, that everyone was capable of and obligated to succeed in mastering Gemara. And he was not in a rush. He would exhort his followers to review and review until it was as fluent in their mouths as Ashrei.

He invested great effort in encouraging and guiding all those who joined to make progress — and they did. Many of his talmidim amassed knowledge of a great number of masechtos, and many finished all of Shas.

The extreme importance Harav Miller accorded the shiur was reflected in his deep level of commitment to it. He simply never missed delivering a shiur for any reason. In over 30 years, he never took a vacation, balking at the very thought of it. His daily learning and teaching were supremely fulfilling and enjoyable for him, and he could conceive of nothing more satisfying. Once when someone mentioned to him that he might want to take a vacation, he responded in surprise,“Vacation from what?”

Even when he sat shivah for his sister, a time when Torah study is halachically forbidden, Harav Miller continued to give his shiur, on the basis that rabbim tzerichim lo, his services were needed by the masses. Since it is forbidden for an avel to sit in a regular seat, he delivered the shiur standing.

Harav Miller’s complete dedication to the shiurim and to his students is noteworthy, particularly in light of the caliber of his own scholarship. He completed Shas on his own every year and was proficient in it. Nevertheless, he carefully and clearly explained the material on his students’ level, dealing with all of their questions with the utmost patience. And despite his superior scholarship, he invested much time and effort preparing for his shiurim so that they would be understandable and suited to the participants’ needs. He once revealed to someone that on a given Shabbos, he was preoccupied the entire day preparing the shiurim for the coming week.

For Harav Miller, ribuy Torah, increasing Torah study, was his business. And like any good businessman, he constantly sought ways to expand the business, both by recruiting new participants and by encouraging the growth of those already in attendance at his shiurim. He prodded them to increase their learning commitment and sought opportunities to raise the bar so that their scholarship would advance to the next level, devising all types of strategies to intensify the learning atmosphere.

In so many ways, Harav Miller’s activities were pioneering, his approaches to teaching multifaceted. He wanted to assure his talmidim that if they could not attend every single night, they could nevertheless learn with continuity. To this end, he arranged the shiurim so that people could attend as much or as little as their schedules allowed and still not miss out. The topics changed based on the days of the week. Every Monday was a shiur on this perek, every Tuesday on that masechta; in this way, a participant who could only come one night a week could still keep pace with the subject matter and complete it with the group.

Of course, those who could come more nights were able to cover more topics. Over the years, there were many who traveled through vast areas of Shas, due to Harav Miller’s guidance and encouragement as well as to their own responsiveness and commitment. Some learned a number of masechtos several times; others learned the entirety of Shas with Harav Miller.

Following is a schedule of Harav Miller’s classes during one time period.

A Sunday shiur on Gittin at 8:00 a.m. began the week, followed by breakfast and a shiur on Sanhedrin at 10:30. On Monday morning he taught Nazir, and on Monday evening he gave a shiur in the complex masechta of Eruvin. On Tuesday morning he taught Pesachim, and in the evening he delved into the complexities of maseches Shavuos.

On Wednesday morning there was a shiur on maseches Shabbos, and at night another on Kiddushin. On Thursday he gave a shiur each week on a different perek of Nazir, and on Friday morning he taught Kesubos.

In addition, he gave shiurim in the afternoon, on topics ranging from the mussar of Chovos Halevavos to the complex simanim of Tur Even Ha’ezer. On Shabbos he learned Bechoros. Shabbos afternoons were reserved for the Agaddeta shiur, beginning with two lines of Gemara on which he expounded for an hour.

For every day of the week, for every seder in Shas, for every type of intellect and on every aspect of hashkafah, there was a shiur.

Now everyone has a not-tobe-missed opportunity to journey through Shas, and, as Harav Miller often said, “to become a Gemara lamdan.” All the shiurim have been digitalized for the benefit of the public.

Kol Avigdor’s number is (718)289-0899. Stay tuned for exciting new opportunities to gain from the rich legacy of Harav Avigdor Miller, zt”l. 
Yishai Date 7/9/2015
How can I buy rabbi millers Gemara CDs?
Ari slasky Date 11/14/2016
Do you perhaps hakones
Joel Lax Date 11/23/2016
Link For Perek Hakones
Mike King Date 3/5/2018
I have Rav Avigdors I pod , but I would love to get masechet Avoda Zara on my computer, Could you help me. Mike King South Africa
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