Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

28 Adar I 5765 - March 9, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Jews Around the Globe Celebrate Completion of Shas

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

We cannot hope to cover it all, but we do hope to convey a sense of the excitement and achievement that was felt all around the world last week as many celebrated the completion of all 2,711 double-pages of Shas, an effort that took them almost seven-and-a-half years.

Some worked it through themselves, others studied together with an individual chavrusa, and many participated in saying or listening to shiurim. A typical shiur lasts an hour a day, seven days a week. Some cover the amount in five or six days. Some spend more time and some spend less.

For many it was not the first time. They have completed Shas already, perhaps even more than once. Nonetheless, whoever managed to complete the project certainly feels a well-earned sense of accomplishment.

We hope that we have included your celebration, but if not, you can still send us reports and pictures and we will try to share your simchah with all our readers.


US Siyum HaShas Fills Madison Square Garden, Continental Airlines Arena, Javits Center and Venues Across the USA and Around the World

by American Aguda Staff

Entire blocks of mid-town Manhattan were filled with religious Jews on 20 Adar I-March 1, 2005, as tens of thousands joyfully filed into Madison Square Garden for the 11th Siyum HaShas - the celebration of the study of the entire 2,711 pages of Talmud by the Daf Yomi program.

Similar scenes took place at the Javits center, a convention hall in Manhattan, and the Continental Airlines Arena in Meadowlands, across the river in northern New Jersey. An estimated 50,000 Jewish men and women participated in person at the three New York-area venues. They were joined by — and linked by satellite transmission to — over 50 other sites across the continent, and 20 more around the globe.

Siyum HaShas celebrations across North America took place in large cities like Los Angeles and Toronto, and in smaller ones like Des Moines and Little Rock. In South America, celebrations were held in cities like Buenos Aires and Caracas; and overseas, in places like Hong Kong and St. Petersburg.

For five hours, the crowds in New York prayed, rejoiced and listened to the words of a broad assortment of speakers, including revered elders of the Orthodox Jewish community. There were musical interludes and, after the official completion of the Talmud, the main venues as well as others were the scenes of festive dancing.

Those who addressed the Siyum-attendees through the national satellite broadcast were (in order of appearance): Rabbi Chaskel Besser, Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, Rabbi Yosef Harari-Raful, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Horowitz (the Bostoner Rebbe), Rabbi Yaakov Perlow (the Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh of Agudath Israel of America), Rabbi Chaim Stein, Rabbi Usher Weiss, Rabbi Fishel Hershkowitz, Rabbi Yissochor Frand, Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon. Some of those rabbis were located in Madison Square Garden, others in the New Jersey venue, and others still in different locations. Satellite technology allowed participants in cities receiving the transmission to hear them all as part of one smoothly integrated program.

HaRav Chaim Stein of Telz Yeshiva in Cleveland, was the mesayem. HaRav Fishel Hershkowitz began the twelfth cycle with Brochos.

Other speakers in the New York-area venues included Rabbi Pinchos Friedman and Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel.

In virtually every city in the world, Daf Yomi students study the exact same page of Talmud each day. Among the cities participating in this week's Siyum was Lublin, Poland, where Rabbi Shapiro founded his famed Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin.

"What we see here tonight," said Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, which organized and sponsored the Siyum HaShas, "is loud and eloquent testimony indeed to the power of Jewish learning, and the Jewish religious heritage."

About the Siyum HaShas in America

Based on a report by Rabbi Yaakov Menken and others

When the speakers at the siyum spoke of the importance of Torah learning, they did not speak about its importance to elite scholars, but to everyone - including those not able to complete the Talmud. Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman set the tone by quoting from the Tomer Devorah, which says that every Jew has a portion of the soul of every other Jew. We are all interconnected, so when a person learns Torah, he uplifts everyone, "even those who don't know the Shas belongs to them too."

HaRav Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh of Agudath Israel of America, called upon everyone to take a direct, hands-on approach, spending one hour a week learning with someone with less background.

The Agudah brought all the different locations together with well-done satellite feeds. The two main sites were Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, and the Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands, but there were many others.

They also flew rabbis around the globe to further demonstrate the unity of support behind this massive Torah project. The speaker broadcast from LA was a rabbi from Jerusalem, while Toronto's speaker was Rabbi Dunner of London.

Rav Yissochor Frand, who spoke in Chicago, is always inspiring. The theme of his talk was: "It's never too late. It's never too little. It's never enough." He mentioned how Daf Yomi has grown: last time there were 70,000 celebrants, while this time there were over 100,000 and perhaps as many as 120,000. The number actually completing the Talmud is similarly blossoming.

To show that it is never too late and never too little, Rav Frand described an elderly, unlearned man, a former professional boxer, who decided to begin studying with his observant son. When, after a year's effort, the man finished a single Daf, he wanted to make a Siyum. The son consulted with the outstanding authority of the time, HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, who not only said that it was permissible to make a celebration, but that he himself would attend. That very night following the Siyum, the elderly man passed away in his sleep. Rav Moshe said at the funeral that just as the Talmud speaks of "one who gains his World [to Come] with a single hour," the deceased was "one who gained his World with a single Daf."

Turning to, "it is never enough," Rav Frand told a second story involving Rav Moshe and HaRav Michel Feinstein. Reb Moshe once called Reb Michel.

Reb Moshe told his nephew, "We need to make a lechayim. I'm making a Siyum on Shas."

Reb Michel replied, "Uncle, if you make a lechayim every time you finish Shas, you'll be a shikker (a drunk)."

Reb Moshe protested, "No, this is special. It's the second time."

Reb Michel wondered, "Uncle, you've finished Shas many more than two times. What do you mean the second time?"

Reb Moshe explained, "I mean this is the second time that I'm fulfilling [Rebbe Meir's statement in the Talmud that], `One who learns something one hundred times is not comparable to one who learns it one hundred and one times.' "

By that time, Rav Moshe had learned the entire Talmud two- hundred-and-two times! He was said to have learned it dozens of times more by the time he passed away.

If the Daf is not for you, many of the speakers recommended finding something else you can accomplish as a daily project. Perhaps an Amud rather than the Daf. For beginners, someone created a "Mishnah of the Daf" project, so that you can learn the Mishnah along with those doing the full Talmud. In order to complete the entire Mishnah in seven years (since many volumes of Mishnah do not have corresponding volumes of gemora), they will learn the first Mishnah in Brochos and the first Mishnah of Pe'ah.

As Rav Frand concluded, most of us fall somewhere between the baal teshuva's father and Rav Moshe, and we should always remember: "It's never too late. It's never too little. It's never enough." The task now is to harness the euphoria, to translate it into ongoing action.

Amazing Growth of Participation

Speaking at the recent American Agudah convention about three months ago, Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, executive vice president of Agudas Yisroel of America, gave a brief oversight of figures that speak for themselves—a geometrically increasing series that characterizes the blessed growth of the chareidi community in the US.

Thirty-six years ago (1968) an event was held to mark the completion of the Daf Yomi cycle. Rabbi Bloom himself was in Baltimore at the time, where he was the only Jew in the city to complete the Shas. The "mass" siyum was held at the Bais Yaakov of Boro Park, with some 200 participants.

Seven years later some 1,200 people took part in the siyum haShas. In 5744 (1984) they already had to hire a large hall. They went to Madison Square Garden — but in one of the large secondary halls, not the main arena. 5,600 participants crammed into the large hall and another 2,000 stood outside. Seven years later the event was held in the main arena of Madison Square Garden, and 21,000 participants took part. At the last siyum haShas at the end of 5757 (1997) several enormous halls had to be rented, as well as smaller halls in 35 cities across the US to accommodate a total of 70,000 participants. Now, some 120,000 are estimated to have taken part in the siyum last week.


by Rabbi Avi Shafran

Midtown Manhattan, with all its din and shameless commercialism, seemed like a different planet from the vast arena within Madison Square Garden last week, filled with modestly-dressed Jews of all ages: men and boys taking their seats in one section; women and girls in another. The juxtaposition of the two worlds marvelously embodied the idea of contrast that forms the essence of the very concept of Havdoloh, separation.

"Blessed are You, Hashem . . . ," as the brochoh begins, "hamavdil bein kodesh lechol . . . "

Gazing out onto the arena floor, usually a place of performers singing, or athletes running, jumping and throwing balls, I watched celebrants engrossed in Mincha. The two images were similarly dissonant. The stands, normally the scene of raucous cheering and shouting (and worse), were packed with people honoring "players" of a very different sort from the usual — accomplished not in physical prowess and ephemeral things, but rather in spiritual strength and eternal ones.

" . . . Bein Yisroel lo'amim"

A contrast whose sheer power one had to personally experience to fully appreciate was manifest after the completion of Shas and its beginning anew, after the inspiring addresses and heartfelt songs, after the memorial Kaddish and the tears — and, after the siyum itself, the dancing that suffused the arena in joy.

The program ended with Maariv. And when the first posuk of Shma — declaring Hakodosh Boruch Hu's relationship to Klal Yisroel and His unity — was pronounced loudly in unison, the sound of tens of thousands of people proclaiming those truths with all of their hearts and all of their souls was overpowering. It seemed to shake time and space themselves.

And yet, somehow, no less powerful was the absolute stillness that marked the silent Shemoneh Esrei that followed shortly thereafter. The transition reminded me of how the holy, determined activity of every erev Shabbos' waning hours yield to the utter calm and peace of Shabbos itself.

" . . . Bein yom hashvi'i l'sheshes yimei hama'aseh . . . "

And then there was a final contrast, too, one that underlay the very fact of the gathering.

The Jewish community is not particularly known for its internal harmony. We care deeply, after all, about many things.

But at the Siyum HaShas, Jews from different backgrounds and of different approaches to life were fused for those hours by a superseding unity of purpose. And there was no denying what obliterated their differences. It was precisely what forged the original Jewish unity at Har Sinai.

It was the holiness that is the Torah.

"Blessed are You, Hashem," Havdoloh concludes, as it begins, "Who separates between holy and mundane."

Rabbi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.


Massive Manchester Siyum

By Y I Goldberg, (The Jewish tribune)

Surpassing every expectation, the Central Siyum HaShas Daf Hayomi of Manchester, England, which took place on Sunday night 18 Adar I-February 27, drew around 2000 enthusiastic participants. Most were seated around regally set tables partaking in a banquet whilst many others stood around the sides of the enormous hall at the Sheridan Suite.

The historical event was hosted by Mr. Shimon Lipschutz who is a veteran member of Rabbi Simcha Bamberger's Daf Hayomi shiur. This shiur is celebrating 30 years of fruitful existence.

Having survived the horrors of World War II and arriving alone in England, Mr. Lipschutz — who has Boruch Hashem since built up a wonderful family and circle of friends — declared that he found this a most appropriate way in which to say thank you to Hakodosh Boruch Hu.

The guest of honor was the moro de'asra HaRav Menachem Mendel Schneebalg, who delivered inspiring words of chizuk. He praised Rav Bamberger for his untiring efforts in harbotzas haTorah. The rov told insightful stories of HaRav Meir Shapiro's greatness and said we have an obligation to mention him as founder of Daf Hayomi.

HaRav Simcha Bamberger was mesayem the cycle and called for more people to join ranks of lomdei Daf Hayomi. Rabbi Bamberger's shiur which has, over the years, gained universal acclaim, is delivered three times a day and is said to be the largest daf hayomi shiur in the world.

The shiur is available live on the telephone and can also be heard at any time. This telephone feature comes through the services of the London-based Kol Haloshon which can be reached on 44 (0)208 731 0345.

HaRav Chaim Shaul Kaufman, rosh yeshivas Tiferes Yaakov in Gateshead, delivered a hadran pilpul. HaRav Kaufman, rosh Kollel HaRabbonim in Manchester, was honored with commencing the 12th cycle. HaRav Moshe Tuvia Lieff of Kehillas Beis Yisroel in Minneapolis USA was the guest speaker. He declared that "your community has shown that there is a love for Torah, and that is the praise to Hashem Yisborach."

The gracious event definitely left a deep and long-lasting impression on all those present and many newcomers were drawn to the universal yeshiva of lomdei Daf Hayomi including a recognizable and large addition to Reb Simcha's shiur.

Several certificates of recognition were presented to individuals for their respective efforts including Mr. Shimon Lipschutz, Mr. Shlomo Adler, family Schwinger and Mr. Shimmi Pine.


Enormous Crowd at Daf Yomi Siyum in Tel Aviv

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

A sell-out crowd of over 20,000 lomdim and gedolei Yisroel took part in the siyum of the 11th Daf Yomi cycle at Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night 20 Adar I- March 1, and other participants watched the event via satellite broadcast at special locations in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Ashdod, Brazil and elsewhere. The event was broadcast to 12 locations in Eretz Yisroel.

Gedolei Yisroel, admorim, marbitzei Torah, morei horo'oh, roshei yeshivos, dayonim, rabbonim of cities and rabbonim of kehillos were all on hand at the grand event for the honor of Torah, which promises to serve as a springboard to increase the number of participants beginning the 12th cycle. Members of the Dirshu delegation, who arrived specially from Europe and the US, were seated prominently at the center of the stage.

Following ma'ariv led by Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, the event began with a series of songs performed by a choir and orchestra.

Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Lazerson, who emceed the proceedings, then announced the arrival of gedolei Yisroel, bringing the audience to its feet singing "Yomim Al Yemei Melech" for several minutes. After the recitation of two chapters of Tehillim and Acheinu Kol Beis Yisroel led by HaRav Eliyohu Raful, Rabbi Lazerson introduced Rabbi Yehuda Meir Abramovitch, chairman of the Agudas Yisroel World Committee and one of the heads the Committee for the Dissemination of the Daf Yomi. "This project and idea was founded by my teacher and rebbe, HaRav Yehuda Meir Shapiro zt"l the rov of Lublin. Daf Yomi has the ability to bring together the hearts of Klal Yisroel into a single entity. Today, 82 years after the founding of the Daf Yomi project, we are completing the 11th cycle—billions of pages of gemora studied by hundreds of thousands of Jews. These pages will rise up before Kisei Hakovod and will serve as a zchus for us," said Rabbi Abramovitch.

Chazzan R' Binyomin Helfgot sang Keil Molei Rachamim for HaRav Meir Shapiro, founder of the Daf Yomi, the six million kedoshim who died in the Holocaust, the victims of war and terrorism in Eretz Yisroel, the hundreds of thousands of Daf Yomi learners who have left This World since the Daf Yomi program began in 5683 (1923) and those who did not have the merit to complete the 11th cycle.

The completion of the Shas was delivered by HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman. Kaddish was recited by Rav Dovid Hofsdteter, president of Dirshu, the worldwide organization for the promotion of Torah study. In his remarks, Rav Hofsdteter noted that we mention techiyas hameisim after Hadron Aloch, for Techiyas Hameisim will be in the merit of Torah study, the pillar on which the entire world rests. Dirshu, which was founded seven years ago with the beginning of the 11th cycle, now gives monthly tests to over 6,000 program participants.

Rabbi Lazerson noted the work of Kol Hadaf, which brings Daf Yomi shiurim to thousands of participants every day via telephone.

HaRav Shmuel Halevy Wosner opened the study of maseches Brochos. He then praised the Daf Yomi participants for adhering to the program founded by his teacher and rebbe HaRav Meir Shapiro.

He next read aloud a letter from the Admor of Gur, who was seated nearby. "Talmud Torah is among those things that have no minimal amount and among those things whose earnings are consumed in This World while the principal remains intact until the World to Come. Not only this, but talmud Torah is equal to all of them, all of the abovementioned — the mitzvos shebein odom leMokom and the mitzvos shebein odom lechavero — all of these are included in talmud Torah, which brings one to action.

"`Peiroseihen' that one consumes in This World, refers to fruits both in gashmiyus and ruchniyus, bnei, chayei, umezonei, generations of talmidei chachomim and success for Klal Yisroel in all its positive endeavors, in addition to the spiritual wages in the World to Come. As Chazal said, `Gedoloh Torah shehi nosenes chaim le'oseiyoh bo'olom hazeh ubo'olom habo' . . .

"In the merit of talmud Torah and Daf Yomi study may Hashem help bless everyone with parnossoh, welfare and salvation for all those in need, and bnei, chayei, umezonei."

HaRav Wosner then went on to deliver an address of his own. Other speakers included HaRav Shteinman, HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, HaRav Ovadia Yosef, the Admor of Sanz, the Admor of Modzhitz, HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein and HaRav Nosson Zochovsky, one of the roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Gaon Yaakov and a member of the Vaada Ruchanit of Yated Ne'eman.

As befits such an event of simchah shel Torah, songs celebrating Torah study — including original compositions — were performed by a large choir accompanied by a large orchestra conducted by R' Moshe (Monoh) Rosenbloom.

Chareidi cultural organizations and other organizations that arrange shiurim report a huge number of avreichim offering to deliver Daf Yomi shiurim as well as innumerable lomdim seeking to join the Daf Yomi program, which was founded by HaRav Meir Shapiro of Lublin.

To prepare for the elaborate event organizers brought in top quality screens and sound equipment, including speakers that had to be installed using special cranes.

A large police force was on hand, as well as extensive private security personnel and ushers to ensure the event went smoothly.

Numerous reporters from Israel and even some from abroad arrived to cover the event and a team of spokesmen was ready to receive them.

The event was organized by the Central Committee for the Dissemination of Daf Yomi Studies in cooperation with Dirshu and was commercially sponsored by Shefa Shuk, The Electric Corporation, El Al, Kupat Cholim Me'uchedet, the Postal Authority and Bank Hapoalim.

Meanwhile the organizers of the major event at Binyanei Ha'Uma in Jerusalem scheduled to take place next Tuesday night say tickets for the two main halls have already been sold out and a limited number of tickets are still available for the other five halls.

Local events are being held throughout Eretz Yisroel and other parts of the world to mark the completion of the Daf Yomi cycle.

Adding Two Halochos to Daf Yomi Shiurim

By Betzalel Kahn

When much of the Torah world begins the 12th Daf Yomi cycle, they will also introduce the takonoh instituted by gedolei Yisroel, including Maran HaRav Eliashiv, shlita, to study two halochos at the end of each Daf Yomi shiur. This takonoh is actually a part of HaRav Meir Shapira's original program, which was designed to ensure that Am Yisroel gains knowledge of, "haderech yeilchu boh ve'es hamaaseh asher ya'asun."

The takonoh by maranan verabonon has been accepted by many Daf Yomi participants around the world and many have already begun adding two halochos to their daily shiurim.

Meoros Daf Hayomi in Israel has published a small pamphlet containing a recommended two halochos a day associated with the respective dapim.


English-Speaking Daf Yomi Siyum in Jerusalem

By B. Garson

"Hadron aloch Talmud Bavli. Who has ever heard such beautiful words, such sweet words?" said HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir, just moments before over 6,000 English-speakers gathered at Jerusalem's Binyanei Ha'Uma completed the 11th Daf Yomi cycle last week on Wednesday 21 Adar I-March 2.

The inspiring siyum, organized by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof Yerushalayim which is headed by HaRav Mordechai Kornfeld, brought together Jews of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the great milestone. It also highlighted the impressive amount of English- speaking rabbonim and roshei yeshivas in Eretz Yisroel.

The opening address was delivered by HaRav Kornfeld's father- in-law, HaRav Gedaliah Rabinowitz, the Admor of Manostrishtcher and the chairman of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, who spoke about "the blessed phenomenon of the renaissance of Torah learning."

The next speaker was HaRav Shlomo Ashkenazi, the rosh kollel of Kollel Boston. "I have a feeling that if we were to listen carefully the walls of this building would shout `Shehechiyonu vekiyemonu vehigi'onu,'" he said. "Binyanei Ha'Uma has now earned its name, for tonight it is the place where Am Yisroel gets its identity."

He also called on participants to reach out to include other Jews in Torah study. "HaRav Chaim Shmulevitz used to say how he felt when he left the territorial waters of Russia. A big hoorah went up from the passengers on the ship, but he was thinking about all the Jews left behind.

"The Shehechiyonu should not stop here with our limud haTorah . . . our responsibility is to be marbeh Torah . . . more talmidim, more shiurim . . . "

The Kaliver Rebbe then led the recitation of Tehillim and shared emotionally-charged memories of one Holocaust victim in Auschwitz who said, "Don't forget to say Shema Yisroel for me," just before he went to his death. "I think we should say Shema Yisroel for the zchus of the six million kedoshim," said the Kaliver Rebbe as he proceeded to lead the packed audience in kabolas ol malchus Shomayim.

He was followed by HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel. "To say `Hadron aloch Talmud Bavli' is one of the biggest achievements in life. This has to be given over to our children — the beauty of Torah, the sweetness of Torah. May we all be blessed with siyata deShmaya in chinuch habonim."

Following a short musical intermission by the Shiroh Chadoshoh Choir led by R' Nochum Zeltzer, HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Slobodka, explained that the very act of going to learn Torah from someone is considered ameilus beTorah. "Every Jew, in all he says and does, is supposed to express and convey that the whole foundation of life is Hashem's Torah so that everyone can see that this person's whole existence is for Torah and mitzvas. This aspect of ameilus is not necessarily at the time of learning. The very act of breaking away and going to learn is an act of kovod haTorah . . . As we celebrate tonight, this idea of siyum haShas is a proclamation that Hashem's Torah and avodoh is the foundation of life."

HaRav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg, rosh yeshivas of Yeshivas Torah Ohr, completed the 11th cycle of the Daf Yomi cycle and recited Hadron Aloch. After HaRav Meir Weiner said Kaddish, R' Meir Gelber took the microphone to lead songs of joy. Streaming into the aisles spontaneously, dozens of bochurim started to dance and within moments hundreds of lomdim and Daf Yomi supporters had filled every inch of standing room. Even men in their 70s and 80s joined the dancing, overcome with simchah shel mitzvoh.

When the exuberance had subsided and the members of the audience returned to their seats, HaRav Yitzchok Sheiner, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Kamenitz, spoke in honor of the special event. "I stand in awe and in reverence at the holy occasion at which we find ourselves now, the 11th Siyum HaShas of Klal Yisroel, which we are completing together with the tens of thousands of Jews at Yad Eliyahu and together with the over 120,000 in America and together with the many gedolei vetzaddikei haTorah here with us.

"We are also connected with the previous ten cycles. Through time and space we connect with the gedolim and tzaddikim of previous generations. Watching us now are the Brisker Rov, the Chazon Ish and the Steipler, zt"l. And also the gedolim we loved and knew so well in America: my roshei yeshiva, HaRav Shlomo [Heiman] zt"l, HaRav Reuven [Grozovksy] z"l, HaRav Yaakov [Kamenetsky] z"l. And Rav Aharon [Kotler] z"l, Rav Moshe [Feinstein] z"l, and the great rebbes. Through these gedolim and tzaddikim we are also connected with the previous generations.

"All the way up, generation after generation, to the Acharonim, the Rishonim, the Amoro'im, the Tanoim — all the way up to Moshe Rabbeinu at Har Sinai. All of us were standing at Har Sinai. That was the beginning of the process that brought us here to the Siyum HaShas. We all heard the voice of Hashem calling out, "Onochi . . . " and "Lo Yehiyei lecho . . . The kol Hashem is still thundering Torah and life to every ehrlicher Yid.

"I had the tremendous zchus of being at the awesome Siyum HaShas yesterday at Yad Eliyahu. After Rav Leib [Shteinman] made the siyum, Rav Wosner began Brochos. Why does Shas begin with Brochos? Because Torah has a very close and inseparable connection with Krias Shema. Torah Shebe'al Peh and emunoh are inseparable.

"As the Ramban says at the end of parshas Bo, "Mi she'eino ma'amin shekol mikreh Yad Hashem, ein lo kol cheilek beToras Moshe Rabbenu" ("He who does not believe every event is [the result of] the Hand of Hashem has no portion in the Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu"). Said HaRav Wosner, `And whoever is lacking in ahavas Hashem with all his heart and soul and worldly possessions has no shaychus to Torah. He who loves other things together with Hashem has no shaychus to Torah.'

"Six million kedoshim were taken away by Yodo Hagedoloh," HaRav Sheiner concluded. "It is a chov kodesh for everyone among us to learn for another 10 or 20 Jews. Every child must learn for another 100 children who did not have the zchus. One million tinokos shel beis rabbon . . . "

The Pittsburger Rebbe then opened the 12th Daf Yomi cycle with the first mishnah of Brochos, followed by a short address to the audience explaining the reason behind the many gathering around the world at approximately the same time. A typical kinyon involves both taking possession of the item and denying others possession, he said, whereas a kinyon Torah is accomplished by revealing a new pshat in Tosafos or in gemora. Even a Jew at the other end of the world can acquire the same kinyon Torah. "Maybe not only are we completing Shas together, but we also have a part in the learning of every other lomed Torah. So it's all a partnership and the partners make a yomo tovo lerabbonon together . . . "

HaRav Tzvi Kushelevsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Heichal HaTorah, explained how Torah can save Jews who might otherwise drown in today's sea of materialism. "The Daf Yomi is a wonderful way to ensure we occupy ourselves with Torah every day," he said.

The final address was delivered by HaRav Mendel Weinbach, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, who discussed the gemora in which an astonished Rabban Gamliel asks R' Akiva how he survived after the ship he was sailing on sank and R' Akiva answers him simply, "Daf shel sefinoh nizdamen li . . . " A simple Daf.

HaRav Weinbach then went on to pay tribute to the noshim tzidkoniyos—many of whom were watching the event projected in an adjacent hall—for encouraging their husbands to engage in Torah study. "A family built on Torah is a different type of marriage, a different type of sholom bayis," he said. "Boruch Hashem we are zoche to a generation of women encouraging their husbands and sons to spend as much time as possible learning . . . "

The event concluded with tefillas Ma'ariv berov am.


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