This evening, some 3,000 Jews gathered in Holmdel, New Jersey’s Bell Works to participate in Agudah’s Ki Heim Chayeinu’s Siyum on Daf Yomi Seder Nashim in the year which marks the 100th anniversary of Rav Meir Shapiro zt”l introducing the concept of the Daf Yomi cycle.
What was originally intended to be only a celebration of the prodigious efforts of the lomdei Daf Yomi on the completion of Seder Nashim, grew to include tefillah for all in danger in Eretz Yisroel, hostages, soldiers, and the many hundreds of thousands of Jews in harm’s way.
As Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, said in his address opening the Siyum, “The barbarians sought to destroy our Simchas Torah. Tonight we say hayo lo sih’yeh! Tonight we proclaim V’nismach b’divrei salmud torasecha u’vmitzvosecha l’olam vo’ed!”
Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum, in his siyum on Seder Nashim, noted that the words of Torah are our weapon: “Every blatt gemara is a missle; every Tosfos is a rocket; and every kapitel Tehillim is a bomb.”
In a similar vein, Chaver Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah Rabbi Yeruchim Olshin, Rosh HaYeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, told the participants that “The zechus haTorah is what, b’eizer Hashem, gives us the ge’ulah.”
Rabbi Elimelech Biderman joined the siyum from afar, due to the situation in Eretz Yisroel. He spoke of the importance of maintaining a high level of Torah during these troubling times: our Torah and unity can help our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel.
The Siyum also included an inspiring siyum on Mishnah Yomi Seder Moed, delivered by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, General Editor Artscroll/Mesorah Publications, who spoke of the desire for Torah learning precipitated by the war in Eretz Yisroel. Over 20,000 pamphlets of the next two weeks of Daf Yomi were printed and distributed in Israel for soldier’s use; following on 20,000 pamphlets from last week. “The desire for Torah is unimaginable,” he said.