Maran Hagaon Harav Shimon Galay – I could not believe my eyes… At a Shas Yiden, Shas-wide farher in Bnei Brak last month.


Shas Yiden held another tough and searching, two-hour, Shas-wide farher in Bnei Brak for all its kollelim. The latest examiner was Maran Hagaon Asher Anshel Schwartz, shlit”a, Rosh Kollel Sanz in Bet Shemesh. In the opinion of the avreichim geonim, this farher was one of the most difficult and demanding to date, and they expressed their appreciation to Rav Schwartz who pushed them to the ‘max’, thereby spurring them on to redouble their efforts in their learning – as if their 45 blatt a day with Rashi and Tosfos were not enough motivation.

Stunned and Astounded

In a letter penned shortly after the farher, Rav Schwartz wrote the following:

“At Shas Yiden, the vision of the Pozna Rov, Hagaon Harav Avrohom Eisen, shlit”a, of learning techniques and programs to enable the completion of Shas  in a year have been developed. Thus, he would merit to produce legions of talmidei chachomim and exceptional geonimwho are engaged with Toras Hashem, day and night.

“I have been privileged, with Hashem’s help, to test the avreichim geonim shlit”a, and I was stunned and astounded when my eyes witnessed these geonim exhibiting their mastery of masseches after masseches. On each question they answered correctly through a combination of memorization and exactitude, and without any hesitation. It was nothing short of amazing.

Praised is the eye that beheld this, and happy is the generation that merited such a phenomenon. Not only a wondrous encyclopedic knowledge of Shas, but their in-depth understanding of deep issues in Shas and the words of the Rishonim. I found them unbelievably knowledgeable – happy are our People to merit this.

Special Guest – Maran Harav Shimon Galay

A surprise special guest to attend the farher was the Gaon, Maran Harav Shimon Galay, shlit”a. A buzz went through the hall when he arrived to witness the avreichim geonim being put through their paces with the most searching questions.

In his own words: “I was able to be present when they were tested on the entire Shas b’al peh, and I could not believe my eyes. There they sat, exceptional talmidei chachomim whose awe of Heaven clearly precedes their wisdom, with their boundless prowess throughout Shas, with clear and precise knowledge and precise insights. Praised are eyes that merited to see this all.”

Apparently for some three hours after the farher, Rav Galay was still speaking about his experience at the Shas Yiden farher.

Some of the Questions at the Farher

The Farher can be viewed at

1.     Where do we find that Rashi shows great appreciation for a Gaon who is baki in all the Shas?

2.     Is it permitted to steal for the need of pikuach nefesh?

3.     Where  do we find a case of someone who did not rob, yet even so is called a gazlan (robber)?

4.     Where in the Talmud Bavli does it refer to the Shas Yerushalmi?


1. Beitzah 24b

2. Tos Bava  Kamma 60b, Shabbos 129a

3. Brochos 6b When a person does not respond Shalom to someone who inquires after his health, Bava Metziah 78b One who passes over the opinion of his friend; Sanhedrin 59a A goy who learns Torah is as if he stole from a Yisrael.

4. Chagiga 10a

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