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UNITING AROUND TORAH: SEPHARDIC COMMUNITY GEARS UP FOR SIYUM HASHAS 2020





Anticipation is building for the 13th worldwide Siyum HaShas, when the Jewish world will proudly celebrate yet another completion of the daily Daf Yomi learning cycle, marking the completion of the entire Talmud by thousands upon thousands of Jews around the globe.

Ticket Sales and Special Initiatives

The event, which is run by the Agudath Israel of America, will be taking place in just several months, on January 1st, in New York’s MetLife Stadium. Countless hours of meetings and preparations have already been invested into assuring the success of this celebration, which promises to be a special moment of kiddush Hashem (glorification of Gd), with 90,000 Jews from all backgrounds uniting to answer kaddish together, recite Shema together, and dance hand-in-hand. Ticket sales opened on July 22nd exclusively for those who study Daf Yomi, and for groups and synagogues that participate in the daily study program.

Our community’s own Rabbi Raphael Netanel of YDE is on the committee of the Siyum HaShas, and is serving as a liaison for the Syrian community to ensure that the community is properly represented. He has already been in contact with most of our community synagogues and rabbis, and provided ID codes for all synagogues that study Daf Yomi so they can take advantage of the priority seating. He also registered each Daf Yomi group into a database in the Agudath Israel office, and is arranging free tickets for all the instructors who deliver Daf Yomi classes in our community. In addition, Rabbi Netanel has contacted community institutions that do not have Daf Yomi classes but run other learning initiatives, and he is arranging group seating for them so that all our community synagogues will have proper seating arrangements.

In mid-August, Agudath Israel held a special meeting attended by numerous board members, community leaders from all around the country, and corporate sponsors. Mr. Sol Werdiger, chairman of Agudath Israel of America, warmly greeted the attendees and thanked them for their dedicated efforts in arranging the Siyum, emphasizing the great privilege they all had to be part of this unique celebration of Torah and kiddush Hashem. Rabbi Shaya Markowitz, one of Agudath Israel’s directors, addressed the crowd and explained that the goal of the Siyum is to generate excitement and the energy to spur further Torah study throughout the world. For this reason, Agudath has launched numerous Torah initiatives in conjunction with the Siyum aimed at encouraging greater commitment to learning.

Matmidei Hasiyum

Rabbi Netanel was then invited to share some thoughts and represent the Syrian community in New York and New Jersey. He began by thanking the Agudah for the support it provides to our community in so many different ways, and thanking the board members for giving him the privilege of serving such an important role in the Siyum.

Rabbi Netanel marveled at the success of the initiatives launched in conjunction with the Siyum, particularly the “matmideh hasiyum” program, which has brought the excitement of the Siyum HaShas even to young children. He described his experience at the first Siyum HaShas he attended as a ten-year-old, in Nassau Coliseum, how he felt overwhelmed by the huge crowd and was unable to emotionally connect with the celebration at such a young age. Now, however, children of all ages are learning extra pesukim or Mishnayot, and excitedly calling in their accomplishments to the “matmideh hasiyum” hotline and sharing them with their friends and family. Children have been drawn into the excitement of the Siyum, and so when they walk into the crowd, they will feel very much a part of it – an experience that will, undoubtedly, have a profound spiritual impact and, please Gd, leave an imprint upon their hearts throughout their lives.

As the excitement continues to build, many in our community have already begun making their reservations for this special occasion, anticipating celebrating the beauty of Torah together with the rest of the Torah world. Community members are urged to contact Agudath Israel of America as soon as possible to ensure the best seating arrangements. Priority group reservations can be made at TheSiyum.org.
Please contact your Maggid Shiur or Gabbai for your code.