PHOTOS & VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: 12th Siyum Hashas: A Milestone Reached, A Historic Event Celebrated



The mammoth sports arena here is usually filled with cheering football fans, but last night MetLife Stadium hosted some 90,000 Orthodox Jewish men and women celebrating the 12th Siyum HaShas – the completion of the latest study cycle of the entire 2,711 pages of Talmud by students of the worldwide “Daf Yomi” program.  Tens of thousands more in 90 cities around the world participated in the celebration via live broadcast.

The Talmud, which embodies the “Oral Law” component of Torah, is the prime source of Jewish ethics, ideals and laws. The Daf Yomi program was introduced in 1923 by a young Polish rabbinical leader, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, as a way of bringing uniformity to the study of Talmud and as a means of enhancing Jewish unity; through the program,   Jews in virtually every city of the world study the exact same page of Talmud each day.

Students of “the Daf,” who come from every Jewish background and a wide variety of professions, study in groups in synagogues or homes – one group even meets on the Long Island Railroad – or by themselves. Daf Yomi can also be studied with the help of a variety of modern day technologies, audiotapes and phone study services that offer easy access to the Talmud and its commentaries. Translations of the Talmud are also available in English and other languages.

“As someone who leads a large Daf Yomi group each morning, I can attest to the tremendous personal and spiritual growth each member of the group experiences over the course of a Daf Yomi cycle,” said Yossi Gleiberman, a Daf Yomi teacher, or maggid shiur, in Brooklyn, New York. “Their commitment to setting aside time for study each day not only contributes to their own development and advancement, it sends a message to their families about the importance of Torah study in a Jew’s life.”

Completion of each page-a-day Daf Yomi cycle takes approximately seven and a half years. The previous Siyum HaShas, which drew more than 50,000 participants to Madison Square Garden and what is now the Izod Center, took place in 2005.

The National Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas is sponsored by Agudath Israel of America, a broad-based Orthodox Jewish movement with chapters in major communities throughout the United States and Canada.  Founded in 1922, the organization promotes Jewish values, advocates on behalf of religious rights, and sponsors a wide range of projects in the fields of education, welfare and social action.

Last night’s event represented the largest North American Siyum HaShas celebration in history. In addition to the more than 80,000 participants in the stands, close to nine thousand more were seated on folding chairs set up on the playing field, making tonight’s gathering the largest in MetLife history as well.

For over four hours, the crowds prayed, rejoiced and listened to the words of an assortment of speakers, including revered elders of the Orthodox Jewish community.  There were musical interludes, dramatic video presentations and, after the official completion of the Talmud –  followed immediately by the commencement of the 13th cycle of  Daf Yomi Talmud study — scenes of festive singing and dancing.

Speakers who addressed those in attendance at the Siyum included (in order of appearance):  Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Rabbi Dovid Olewski, Rabbi Malkiel Kotler, Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner, Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, and Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau.  The national celebration, which was dedicated to the memory of Jerome Schottenstein, was chaired by Elly Kleinman. Sholomo Yehudah Rechnitz of Los Angeles, served as master of ceremonies.

“The Siyum was an amazing experience,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, “So much joy, so much inspiration, such an eloquent testimony to the power of Jewish learning, and the Jewish religious heritage.  It is impossible to imagine that anyone who attended did not go home a changed person, a better Jew.”





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  1. 712-432-8286 This is an official # provided by New Tel Systems for translation.
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  2. The most amazing awe inspiring event of my life!!!what a tremendous kidush hashem. Shemonei esrei by mincha you could hear a pindrop in the stadium. Amen’s echoing the halls of the stadium. Singing and dancing that brought tears to so many. And the most amazing speakers I have ever heard. This was a magnificent and exceptional event with so many great highlights. Mi kiamcha yisroel!

  3. I am still emotional over the event. I am so happy that I spent the money to have my wife and children come as well. A person can go his whole life and not experience what we who attended did.

  4. I was there but had to leave a few minutes early.

    Anyone know if there is a place where the whole siyum can be watched?

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