I want to share some takeaways from the various Siyium that are taking place over the Jewish world.
This is a celebration of Torah study, of dedication and every day for 7 and half years – 2711 pages in all.
What is a Siyum?
Siyum (Hebrew: סיום) (“completion”) is the completion of any unit of Torah study, or book of the Mishnah or Talmud in Judaism. A siyum is usually followed by a celebratory meal, or seudat mitzvah, a meal in honor of a mitzvah, or commandment. Siyum also refers to the celebration.
So what is Daf Yomi?
The proposal for the study of Daf Hayomi was made on Elul 7 or 9, 5683 (by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, then Rav of Sanok, Poland, and future rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin. In those years, only some of the 63 tractates of the Talmud were being studied regularly, such as Berachot, Shabbat, and Eruvin, which deal with practical laws, while others, such as Zevachim and Temurah, were hardly studied. Rabbi Shapiro also viewed the program as a way to unify the Jewish people. As he explained to the Congress delegates:
What a great thing! A Jew travels by boat and takes gemara Berachot under his arm. He travels for 15 days from Eretz Yisrael to America, and each day he learns the daf. When he arrives in America, he enters a beis medrash in New York and finds Jews learning the very same daf that he studied on that day, and he gladly joins them. Another Jew leaves the States and travels to Brazil or Japan, and he first goes to the beis medrash, where he finds everyone learning the same daf that he himself learned that day. Could there be greater unity of hearts than th
The first cycle of Daf Yomi commenced on the first day of Rosh Hashanah 5684 (11 September 1923), with tens of thousands of Jews in Europe, America and Israel learning the first daf of the first tractate of the Talmud, Berachot.
I have attended 2 siyium in Jerusalem. One was the English Hareidi Siyum and one the National Religious in Hebrew organised by Mizrachi.
Both were very moving, powerful, both involved a lot of music and dancing and Simcha a, joy of learning God’s Torah.
One idea of Daf Yomi is that it bonds all Jews around the world with Jews learning the same page in different shuls around the world.
For me, I have now merited to complete Shas twice. I am not the greatest scholar, many days I just do a very superficial overview. Sometimes,I feel like giving up going for days in circles with little understanding and then you get some juicy parts with lots of stories, wisdom which makes it all worthwhile.
I have merited to have some amazing teachers and it amazes me how each of them have such a grasp and depth. Not only does it bond me with these teachers but also fellow Daf Yomi participants including 80 + year young Dr. Herzberg who comes every day at 5.50 to the Chorev Shul in Jerusalem.
And it bonds all of us with our past, and the depth of our heritage, to our Sages, to the Torah, the Laws, and to our Land and our connection to Jerusalem and Israel.
There is even a Women’s Siyium in Jerusalem. So, the Talmud and the Torah belongs to all of us. https://main.hadran.org.il/ On this Website I found:
The Value of Talmud
Talmud is the foundation of Jewish tradition, the basis of Halacha and Jewish thought. Studying Talmud is challenging, exciting, and immerses learners in collective Jewish knowledge. Having access to the richness of Jewish tradition from its sources strengthens women’s Jewish roots, enhances their ability to contribute to the Jewish community, and improves the Jewish future.
So, I invite all you to start and continue Daf Yomi. Yes, it is a commitment. I had thoughts to give up. The last few months have not been easy, and I have thoughts to continue or not.
Attending the siyiumim have given me renewed inspiration and strength to continue.
The first Masechtes are easy and interesting. Brachot and then Shabbat
And don’t worry if you fall behind, as Rav Kimche said at the Siyium, make a note of the missing pages and do the current Daf and catch up later.
So, I call on you those who are not sure about doing the Daf, just start.
I can not wait till Sunday morning to start the new cycle of 7 and a half years.