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Immediately after Succot, Rabbi Yaakov Marcus, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Or Hatorah, entered his 11th grade class with a challenge. The Daf Yomi, he said, is starting next week - Masechet Makot.  Last year, we learned together the first two perakim during B’kiut class. Let’s make a class, after school hours, following along with the Daf Yomi, one page a day, and review what we did last year, as well as learning the 3rd perek, thereby finishing the masechet.

B”H, five members of the class rose to the challenge. For 23 days straight, Ovadia (Eddie) Janani , Daniel Mordakhayev, Abraham (Albert) Alchkifati, Yaakov (Jack) Khouli, and Uriel Gurgov  returned to the Yeshiva, Sunday -Thursday evenings, Friday afternoons after dismissal, as well as Motzai Shabbat,and learned together with Rabbi Marcus, finishing Masechet Makot!

The Siyum was scheduled to take place the first day of Hanukah. On Hanukah, when Jews throughout the world celebrate the victory over the ancient Greeks who tried to stamp out the Torah, in Yeshivat Or Hatorah an actual celebration of Torah took place.

Prior to the Siyum celebration, Rabbi Marcus went with the boys to visit with Rabbi Eliezer Ginzberg, shlit”a, Rosh Kollel of the Mirrer Yeshiva. He spoke with them encouraging them to continue growing in their Torah studies, and to review the masechet, again and again. He gave each of the boys a personal beracha as well.

 After the last lines were taught by Rabbi Marcus, there was live music accompanied by the joyous dancing of the Rabbis and the entire student body. It was a beautiful sight to watch. Rabbi Marcus initially first danced with each of the five boys who completed the masechet, and afterwards all the boys joined in as well. Following the dancing, the boys sat down to a delicious catered meal in honor of the Siyum.

During the meal, Rabbi Marcus spoke Divrei Torah, recalling the words Rabbi Avraham Schorr, shlit”a, said at Or Hatorah when he spoke at a prior Siyum Masechet, regarding  the significance of completing a masechet as well as the customary festive meal . A token gift was given to each of the boys during the meal.

Afterwards, seeing what can be accomplished with an extra hour a day, the boys approached Rabbi Marcus, and asked to start learning a new masechet immediately after the Hanukah break.

We wish Rabbi Marcus, Rosh Yeshiva, now in his 21st year of teaching Torah in Yeshivat Or Hatorah, continued hatzlaha guiding and teaching the next generation of youth in the Community.