By Chaim Gold
“To see the face of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, beaming with joy and nachas as he participated in the siyum on Seder Nashim with the Daf Yomi organized by Dirshu was something that I will never forget,” exclaimed Rabbi Avigdor Berenstein, a senior member of hanhalas Dirshu. “Rav Chaim is often stoic but it was clear at this siyum as we sang the hallowed words of “Kad Yasvin,” that he was deeply moved. In fact, his grandson, who accompanied him to his home after the siyum, said that his joy, a manifestation of his simchas haTorah, was evident long after he had returned home.
The Dirshu siyum on Seder Nashim in Eretz Yisrael was the primary Daf Yomi siyum attended by Gedolei Yisrael from across the spectrum, who celebrated the milestone accomplishments of lomdei Daf Yomi and hailed the lomdei Dirshu who take monthly tests on the Daf Yomi.
“In 25 Years… I have Never Seen a Maamad Like This One!”
The siyum began in a large tent erected in front of the home of Rav Chaim Kanievsky. It then continued with more than 3,000 in attendance at the municipal auditorium in Beitar Illit and its environs where an overflow crowd gathered to share in the simcha.
Rabbi Yosef Heisler, a member of the Beitar community commented, “I am living in Beitar for more than 25 years and Baruch Hashem I have merited to participate in numerous major gatherings in town. Nevertheless, I have never seen a maamad like the Dirshu Daf Yomi siyum on Seder Nashim celebrating the limud haTorah of lomdei Daf Yomi.”
Rav Chaim Kanievsky: Not Just Run Through The Daf, But Learn The Daf!
Held on Isru Chag Shavuos, the siyum began with a visit by the Nasi of Dirshu, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, to Rav Chaim Kanievsky at the latter’s home. Rav Chaim expressed his great satisfaction on being updated on Dirshu’s myriad activities to promote limud haTorah. With regard to the siyum on Seder Nashim, Rav Chaim said that the main thing is that a person should not just run through the daf, but learn the daf to know the daf.
The first part of the siyum with Rav Chaim, was attended by over 30 Daf Yomi maggidei shiur from Beitar, together with the hanhala of Dirshu. Rav Yitzchok Schreiber, the chairman of the event, began the festivities by pointing out that the very fact that the siyum was being held together with the Sar HaTorah shows how much importance he attaches both to the siyum and to Dirshu’s efforts to promote limud of Daf Yomi. The siyum was made by Daf Yomi Maggid Shiur, Rav Moshe Tuvia Weisberger, Rav of Kehal Yereim in the HaGefen neighborhood of Beitar. The Alexander Rebbe, shlita, was then honored with saying Kaddish. Rav Yishai Elfenbein, a Daf Yomi Maggid Shiur at Yeshivas HaRan, beautifully explained the first Mishnah in Bava Kama. The entire first part of the siyum was shown by live hookup to the thousands in Beitar who had gathered in the large auditorium there.
A climax of the first part of the siyum was the powerful drasha given in the presence of Rav Chaim Kanievsky by HaGaon HaRav Chaim Feinstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Bais Yehuda. Rav Feinstein explained that, “the siyum is not just the simcha of lomdei Daf Yomi or lomdei Dirshu, rather it is a siyum in which all of Klal Yisroel are partners. Every Yid accepted the Torah on Shavuos and thus all Torah learning and certainly such a Torah accomplishment like a siyum on an entire seder has a direct positive impact on the entire Klal Yisrael!”
The entire assemblage then broke out in a spontaneous rendition of “Uvau chulam b’vris yachad…” while accompanying Rav Chaim Kanievsky with singing and dancing as he returned to his home and his Gemara.
The Importance of Toiling in Torah
All of the maggidei shiur and the members of Dirshu’s hanhala continued on to the large siyum in Beitar which was addressed by two of Beitar’s most senior Rabbanim, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Tzvi Ordentlich, shlita and HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Tupik, shlita. They both spoke about the importance of creating even more than the existing 30 shiurim in Beitar and gave special thanks to Dirshu and its Nasi, for being an organization at the forefront of promoting limud haTorah and accountable learning of Daf Yomi in particular.
Rav Dovid Hofstedter was then called upon to deliver a drasha. Rav Hofstedter explained that to achieve a true kinyan in Torah it is not sufficient to go through the Daf just to say, ‘I have another Masechta under my belt.’ In order to have a true kinyan in Torah a person must toil and work hard. This is what Dirshu Kinyan Torah learners have achieved. The only way we can fight against today’s considerable yetzer haras is through true yegiah in Torah.”
“Please Don’t Learn Daf Yomi Like One Learns Daf Yomi…!”
The main guest speaker was HaGaon HaRav Michel Zilber, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Zvhill and perhaps the most prolific Daf Yomi maggid shiur in the world. Rav Zilber smilingly told the assemblage, “I am asking you, please don’t learn Daf Yomi like one learns Daf Yomi, learn Daf Yomi in order to learn it and know it!” Rav Zilber went on to say that, “it is no coincidence that the siyum is being held on Isru Chag Shavuos. Certainly during the course of Shavuos all accepted upon themselves the mandate to add both quality and quantity to their limud haTorah. That will certainly manifest itself with even greater dedication to yedias haTorah in the course of Seder Nezikin.” Rav Zilber also urged all to make a daily seder in learning mussar and sefarim that encourage yiras shomayim, because that is the key to ensuring that one’s Torah will be preserved.”
“The Shaliach Sent by the Ribono Shel Olam to Strengthen Torah in our Times!”
Dirshu had the great zechus to have the participation of numerous Roshei Yeshiva and Admorim, including the Boyaner Rebbe, shlita, the Lelover Rebbe, shlita, the Zvhiller Rebbe shlita, the Nadvorna Rebbe of Beitar, shlita, and virtually every Rav in the city.
In his powerful remarks, the Rav of Beitar, Rav Ordendtlich, who came with mesiras nefesh, exclaimed with heartfelt emotion, “I think that never, in the history of Klal Yisrael, has there been an organization and program that has so brought bracha to Klal Yisrael such as Dirshu! Indeed, his words were reminiscent of similar words said by HaGaon HaRav Dovid Schustal,” shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, who was in Toronto the week before Shavuos to participate in the Lakewood-Toronto Shabbos of Chizuk. There he said, “Dirshu has been the shaliach sent by the Ribono Shel Olam to strengthen Torah in our times!”