You don’t have to be an actual mesayeim of the latest cycle of Daf Yomi to participate in the historic simchas haTorah scheduled to take place at Metlife Stadium and other venues around the world in less than three months.
That’s the message that Siyum Hashas organizers are getting out during the final weeks leading up to the upcoming Twelfth Siyum Hashas.
“There’s no question that the tens of thousands who labored diligently for the last seven-and-a-half years to complete Talmud Bavli will be the true guests of honor at the upcoming mega-celebration,” observes Siyum Hashas chairman Elly Kleinman. “But the Siyum, which will bring Yidden together in unprecedented numbers, offers every member of Klal Yisroel – participants in the Daf Yomi program or not – a chance to be part of an unforgettable display of kavod haTorah and kiddush Hashem.” Anyone who believes that because he did not personally finish this cycle of Shas he has no reason to attend the Siyum risks missing out on an unforgettable, even life-changing experience, Mr. Kleinman says.
“Daf Yomi learning may not be for everyone,” acknowledges Siyum Hashas co-chairman Shmuel Yosef Reider, “but everyone can tap into the inspiration of the Siyum to increase and intensify their own Torah learning and to strengthen their commitment to the idea that Torah study is central to the daily lives of the Jewish people.”
Previous Siyumim, points out Mr. Reider, have indeed engendered an explosion not only in Daf Yomi study, but in Torah learning in general.
And because the Siyum Hashas will bring together hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from around the world and across the Torah-observant spectrum, and tens of thousands more are expected to join the massive gathering at MetLife via live broadcast, it is also an extraordinary and not-to-be-missed opportunity for promoting achdus amongst Klal Yisroel, stresses Mr. Kleinman.
“More than just a celebration marking the magnificent achievement of the lomdei hadaf, the Siyum Hashas is the ultimate vehicle for reaffirming that true Jewish unity is achieved only and forever through Torah.
“At the end of the day, that’s also what a Siyum Hashas is about, and that’s what Rav Meir Shapiro surely had in mind when he founded the worldwide Daf Yomi program ninety years ago.”
Siyum Hashas organizers are also urging women and children (preferably over the age of 11) to attend the Siyum. Many hundreds of young boys are in fact expected to join the gathering as participants in the Masmidei HaSiyum program, which has been established to encourage elementary school-aged boys to “be a mesayeim at the Siyum” by completing at least one perek of Mishnayos. To date, and with more than two months still remaining until the Siyum, 14,000 students have been entered in the program’s database and a total of 3,401,182 lines of Gemara and Mishnayos have been learned.
As full partners in their husbands’ limud haTorah, the spouses of the lomdei hadaf and, in particular, the wives of the maggidei shiur – those who sacrifice so much of their precious family time to enable their husbands to prepare and deliver the daf – have an honored place at the celebration, says Rabbi Labish Becker, executive director of Agudas Yisroel of America, organizers of the Siyum Hashas. But, he stresses, every woman should make an effort to be part of the epic celebration.
“On that night, all of us – men, women and children alike – will have an extraordinary opportunity to recite Shema Yisroel together with the 90,000 Jews gathered at MetLife and the many thousands more joining the celebration via live broadcast.
“To be able to rise from one’s stadium seat in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and proclaim Hashem’s Sovereignty together with and at exactly the same moment as another Jew in Dallas or Melbourne or Hong Kong, well, that’s an experience that just has to make a lifelong impression on anyone attending the Siyum,” says Rabbi Becker. “And it’s an experience that no one should miss.”
The Twelfth Siyum Hashas, which will take place at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday evening, 13 Av/August 1, is dedicated in memory of Jerome Schottenstein z”l.