Dear Rabbi Kornfeld,
I see that Shekalim is coming up, and I am curious why Rabbi Shapiro included in the 7-year cycle this masechta without Gemara (and those of Middot and Kinnim), while excluding Eduyyot, Avot, and the Mishnayot of Zera'im and Tohorot?
Since Shekalim has a Gemara in the Yerushalmi, will we be studying that? (The Shekalim Yerushalmi is actually printed in the back of my Soncino edition, though without an English translation.)
- Charles Stein
Yes, the Dafyomi cycle learns Shekalim with the Gemara of the Yerushalmi. You will see that in the Introduction to Maseches Shekalim which we will send out soon, G-d willing, we address your question why Shekalim was included in the Dafyomi cycle. The simplest reason given is that since Shekalim is the only Masechta in Seder Moed which does not have any Gemara Bavli on it, Rav Meir Shapiro included it in the cycle in order to make Seder Mo'ed complete. For the same reason, he included Kinim, Tamid, and Midos to complete Seder Kodshim, even though there is no Gemara Bavli on them.
He did not include the Mishnayos in Zera'im because Seder Zera'im is comprised mostly of Mishnayos and not Gemara (except for Berachos).
As to why he did not include the two Masechtos in Seder Nezikim which do not have Gemara (Eduyos and Avos), the answer to that is not clear. It could be that he did not include Avos because it is learned anyhow due to the widespread custom to recite the Mishnayos of Avos each Shabbos between Pesach and Shavuos (and for some, until Sukkos). Perhaps he did not include Eduyos because most of that Masechta contains Mishnayos which appear in other Masechtos.
If you need an English translation, we strongly recommend Rabbi Chrysler's "Daf-Review" sheets that we publish, which cover every point mentioned in the Daf, or our Outlines to the Daf.