Mr. Aharon Klein, father of Major Roi Klein, Hy’d, who was killed in the Bint Jbeil battle in the Second Lebanon War when he leaped onto a grenade to save the lives of his soldiers, was one of the guests of honor at the Siyum Hashas—Bavli that took place in Beis Hamedrash Beis Naftali of the Belz community in Ashdod. The siyum was held l’ilui nishmas Danielle Sonnenfeld, z’l, whose yahrzeit falls on 13 Adar, Ta’anis Esther. The Siyum Hashas was also the venue of a sheva berachos held for the granddaughter of Rabbi Elimelech Firer, Chairman of Ezra LaMarpeh, who attended the festivities. Beis Naftali is named in memory of Rabbi Firer’s father, Rabbi Naftali Firer, z’l. Also present as honored guests at the event were Mr. Ilan and Rabbi Shmuel Moreno, father and brother of Lieutenant Colonel Emanuel Moreno, Hy’d, a commander in the elite Sayeret Matkal General Staff Reconnaissance Unit who was also killed in the Second Lebanon War and whose picture may not be published until this day.
In a remarkable display of unity, the Siyum Hashas was attended by rabbanim from both the charedi and National Religious sectors. Numbering among the venerable guests were Hagaon Harav Yosef Efrati, Rosh Beis Hamedrash L’Halachah Ba’Hityashvut; Hagaon Harav Menashe Fink, Rav and Dayan in Kehillas Belz-Ashdod; Harav Aharon Berkowitz, Rav of Kehillat Reut in Raanana; Harav Yaakov Zilberman, Rav of Kehillat Yotzei Brazil in Raanana; Harav Peretz Einhorn, director of Tzava L’Shem Shamayim and maggid shiur in the pre-military mechinah Etzem, as well as Mr. Elio Moti Sonnenfeld; Rabbi Shlomo Chanoch Werner, chairman of the Re’em Fund and Danielle Sonnenfeld Foundation; Rabbi Yaakov Edrei, former rabbi of Ohr Yehuda and an uncle of the late Danielle, and many other guests who eagerly joined the festivities.
In the course of his speech, Elio Moti Sonnenfeld spoke about Purim and the special joy of the day that must be absorbed despite his personal grief over his daughter. Danielle was an exceptional young woman who personified traits of chesed and simcha. Sonnenfeld also quoted Hagaon Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt’l, who quoted the Tepliker Rav, one of the great geniuses of Yerushalayim, in asking why Rav Pappa and his sons are mentioned at the end of each mashechta. Rav Pappa was an Amora, and there were certainly greater Tannaim than he, so why is he the one mentioned?
The answer is that in many instances of machlokes in the Gemara, Rav Pappa chose the way of compromise, expressing a message of achdus, unity, and kavod, mutual respect for all in spite of the many opinions required to learn regarding Torah. In this manner Rav Pappa, who resolved machlokes between talmidei chachamim with messages of peace and unity, merited to carry that same peace and unity to Torah study and thus enable people to complete Shas!
The siyum haShas, taking place for its third consecutive year following two years which saw the completion of both Shas Bavli and Shas Yerushalmi, was attended by hundreds of members of the Belz community in Ashdod, including dozens of members of the Shas learning programs. Each person who completed Shas received a generous bonus gift from the Danielle Sonnenfeld Foundation. In addition, Shas Yerushalmi study packets were distributed to offer people in the community the chance to join the learning program in time for next year’s yahrzeit. Danielle, whose kindhearted nature and devotion to others were legendary, was killed three years ago in a tragic car accident while returning home from volunteering in the oncology unit of Schneider’s Children’s Hospital. After her passing, her father founded the Danielle Foundation which builds and supports dozens of charity projects both in Israel and abroad in memory of Danielle Sonnenfeld.