Rabbi Einhorn giving part of the Longest Shiur Ever
Rabbi Einhorn giving part of the Longest Shiur EverYavneh Schools

Say goodbye to complaints that seven-minute shiurim between mincha and maariv are too long. Imagine: 18 hours of a live streamed, non-stop shiur. That was the feat accomplished by Los Angeles’s Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn last week on Thursday. He created a shiur that would rival any in the world in terms of length, and  proceeded to stream it live, on Youtube, where it will stay for posterity.

The idea came to Rabbi Einhorn, while he was overhearing a conversation that his wife was having with another woman. “The woman simply wouldn’t let my wife hang up. She kept going and going. I thought to myself, wow she is going to break a record.” It was that moment of inspiration said Rabbi Einhorn that led to the  possibility of the idea of breaking a record by giving a shiur for 18 continuous hours.

The impetus for the actual shiur was to create a fundraising effort to help families afford private Jewish day school. “The burden of private education is so expensive, because the quality has increased, it has made it very difficult for the average family to afford proper private Jewish education in schools around the US.” Einhorn set out to reach the goal of raising $250,000 during the 18 hour Torah marathon. Last Thursday he succeeded in his goal, and the money will be donated to Jewish day schools in the area of Los Angeles  to ease the burden on parents  of affording Jewish day school education for their children.

"The cost of day schools is exorbitant, but that is because the quality of education has gone up," said Rabbi Einhorn in an interview with Arutz Sheva

During the interview, Rabbi Einhorn recounted the reactions of the people in his community and around the world who tunes in via the live audience and the live stream. “People loved it and thought it was crazy and didn’t know what to make of it. But by the time it was going on, and the money was coming in,  the feedback was great and people loved it.”

Einhorn relayed that while some people thought that it would simply be him sitting in front of a computer camera with a gemara, the actual shiur was a far bigger production. “It was a huge production, we had a live audience at all times, we had two huge trucks and a live production team working in shifts.” A website was created to both stream the shiur and to accept and monitor the donations.  

The shiur included shacharit, during which Rabbi Einhorn gave an explanation on tefillah, while he was mic'ed, he spoke quietly so as not to disturb the other attendees of the minyan. “Naturally, I did not talk from baruch sheamar until after shemonah esrei,” he quipped. After Tefillah came a daf yomi shiur, and by then Rabbi Einhorn was more than a few hours into the shiur that would break world records. He began at midnight on December 25th and provided Jews around the U.S. some much needed, round-the-clock Torah video that they could watch in order to escape carolers.  

Some of the logistics were, planned, and some were simply kismet. “Youtube only two weeks before had a streaming limit of only 10 hours for any given video. We were in touch with them to find out when they would roll out an upgrade to 20 hours. Once they did we were able to use their streaming platform to show the video.”

When asked what some of the more memorable moments of the 18 hour marathon was, Rabbi Einhorn responded by saying: “The highlight was definitely the last shiur. I thought I would be done and wiped out, but the adrenaline kicked in and the middle school came back from their trip and they walked in and I saw what it was all for and it all came together.”

Local Rabbis came to attend the shiur and show their support, and students from the school where Rabbi Einhorn is the head Rav came and participated as well. What is even more surprising is that other private schools and yeshivot from around the country cancelled classes and had their students watch the shiur instead.  

Rabbi Einhorn works as the Dean and Rabbi of Yavneh middle-school of Los Angeles. His response to the shiur was one of joy. “I loved doing it. It was really enjoyable. The shiur and the length of it was inspiring for myself to want to do more and learn more.” Rabbi Einhorn said that while he is not sure if he will try to break his own record next year, he will likely think of something to help keep the ball rolling.

“We’re thinking about what’s next but I’m gonna give it a month before I make any decisions.”