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A Celebration Two Years in the Making: The Daf Hashavua Siyum of Masechta Yevamos

(Courtesy of Daf Hashavua) On Thursday, September 15, a crowd of more than 700 hundred people filled the spacious event space at Bell Works in Holmdel, New Jersey to celebrate the hard-earned completion of Masechta Yevamos. The sizable crowd, comprised of lomdim and their wives, came from the primarily tri-state area, but also included participants who journeyed quite a distance to be part of this long-awaited celebration.

Walking into the gala reception hall preceding the event one could feel the sense of camaraderie and kinship that permeated the room despite the fact that many of the participants have never even met before.

As one of the mesaymim put it, there is a sense of solidarity that comes from a joint mission, spanning two-plus years, a journey that navigated through so many of the most challenging sugyos in Shas, slowly, meticulously and methodically conquering daf after daf and sugya after sugya. Much like fellow mountain climbers joining in celebration upon reaching the summit of their ascent, the siyum transcended all barriers, marking a shared milestone for fellow lomdim from around the world.

For the wives of the lomdim, the reception was a perfect opportunity to bond with fellow Daf Hashavua spouses and share the rewarding feeling as the facilitators and motivators behind this grand achievement.

Off to a side room, many of the lomdim utilized these precious moments leading up to the siyum to participate in a live pre-siyum shiur by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, a popular maggid shiur on the Daf Hashavua podcast.

The program opened with welcoming remarks from Daf Hashavua’s indefatigable director, Rabbi Zacharia Adler. After welcoming the assemblage, Rabbi Adler noted that concurrent Daf Hashavua siyumim were taking place on continents across the globe, mentioning Eretz Yisroel, South Africa, Australia, the United Kingdom, as well as cities across the United States. He also welcomed aboard the 30 new chaburos who will be joining Daf Hashavua for Masechta Kesubos.

Rabbi Adler thanked the driving forces behind Daf Hashavua, specifically Shimi Globman and Shlomo Abrams for their vision in launching and nurturing the program over the past 17 years, as well as Duvy Gross for his considerable investment in bringing Daf Hashavua to where it is today. Rav Zacharia gave a special yasher koach to the maggidei shiur from around the world, who selflessly give of their time and talent in their preparation and masterful delivery of the shiurim daf after daf.

Eloquently expressing the feelings in everyone’s hearts, Rabbi Adler noted that indeed it’s been a long two-plus years, a journey that weathered the challenges of the COVID era, and a limud that truly brought out the geshmak of ameilus b’Torah. He wished the assemblage that this same geshmak and ameilus should now carry over to the Masechta Kesubos.

Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, who was unable to attend personally, shared his warm divrei bracha via a recorded message. Harav Meir Stern, the rosh hayeshiva of Yeshiva of Passaic and an ardent enthusiast of Daf Hashavua since its inception, was unable to make the trip. He conveyed his warmest brachos to Rabbi Adler to share with the audience that the lomdim should have the wherewithal to carry forth their ameilus b’Torah, ad meah v’esrim shana.

Reb Shimi Globman then approached the podium, warmly thanking Rabbi Adler and the office staff for their tireless dedication to Daf Hashavua. As a tribute of hakaras hatov, he presented Reb Zacharia with a beautiful Waterdale likeness of Hagaon Rav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l.

The keynote address was delivered by Harav Uren Reich, shlita, rosh yeshiva, Yeshiva Gedolah of Woodlake. The Rosh HaYeshiva shared his amazement at the way this “chabuah kedosha,” as he referred to the lomdim, mostly people with limited time to learn each day, dedicate themselves to learning a masechta such as Yevamos with the requisite ameilus and yegiah to truly acquire the many difficult sugyos.

“We cannot begin to appreciate the nachas ruach in Shamayim,” said Rav Reich, “that comes from a tzibbur of Yidden, primarily baalei parnassah, who were fortunate not only to learn but to take by the horns and complete of the most challenging masechtos in Shas.”

The Hadran was then recited by Rav Mordechai Brand, followed by the Kaddish, by Rav Shlomo Gottesman. Rav Shlomo noted that he was dedicating the Kaddish in memory of the gedolei Yisroel who were taken from us over the course of Masecta Yevamos mentioning specifically, Harav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l,who was a personified the virtue of ameilus b’Torah.

The completion of the Kaddish was followed by a rousing rekidah. The tangible simchas haTorah burst forth in a crescendo, as the crowd quickly rose to their feet in lively singing and dancing, and the sweet voice of Reb Shloime Taussig singing “Ashrei Mi She’amalo B’Torah” filled the large hall. The energetic dancing continued without letting up for close to a half hour.

The hascholas Masechta Kesubos was made by Rav Schachne Weinberger, rav, K’hal Tiferes Boruch of Passaic-Clifton. It was followed by a beautifully produced video that wove together a tapestry of glimpses and perspectives of a broad cross-section of Daf Hashavua participants.

The final address was delivered by Rav Moshe Aharon Friedman shlita, ra”m in the Mirrer Yeshiva of Yerushalayim and a maggid shiur of Daf Hashavua. Rav Friedman’s popular daily 10-minute shiur homes in on various aspects of the daf. A highlight of his address was when he pointed out that precisely at the epicenter of Masechta Yevamos, on daf samach gimmel, the Gemara pays tribute to the the ezer k’negdo – the virtuous role of the wife in supporting her husband’s endeavors. The program closed with heartfelt kumzitz music by Reb Shloime Taussig, a perfect conclusion to an evening of celebration, inspiration and steadfast conviction.

To learn more, email: [email protected] or phone: 507-DAFWEEK (323-9335)

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