By Chaim Gold
In an unprecedented outpouring of chizuk for the Torah world, a gathering of venerated Gedolei Yisrael from across the spectrum plan to gather on Sunday, 15 Tammuz/June 23, at the massive Binyanei Haumah Convention Center to celebrate the Dirshu siyum on Masechta Eruvin; mark the first yahrzeit of the posek hador, HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt’l; and infuse the Torah world with chizuk at a time of great peril.
Masechta Eruvin, which our sages have called one of the most difficult masechtos in Shas, requires tremendous perseverance to complete. Even more difficult is to complete it in a fashion where one is ready to be tested on it. Such a feat requires a profound sense of dedication to limud haTorah! It demands perseverance, hasmadah (diligence), and yegiah (toil). The gedolei Yisrael felt that an event such as this will serve as the ultimate venue wherein we, as a nation, have the opportunity to publicly declare and display the supremacy of Torah in our lives.
That the first yahrzeit of HaGaon HaRav Elyashiv, zt’l, is rapidly approaching gives added meaning to the event at which our Torah leaders will share their memories and the lessons learned from him that apply to today’s beleaguered Torah community.
Those of us old enough to remember, nostalgically recall how the gedolei hador of previous generations utilized a Torah maamad, an event such as an important siyum, to address and impart da’as Torah regarding vital issues facing Klal Yisrael. They felt that an event which celebrates Klal Yisrael’s dedication to limud haTorah is the optimum time to impart guidance in confronting the crucial issues facing Klal Yisrael.
Thousands of bnei Torah from across Eretz Yisrael are expected to flock to Binyanei Haumah to participate in a Torah gathering of a magnitude that has not been held in Eretz Yisrael since the historic Dirshu World Siyum marking the previous Siyum HaShas. In addition, many thousands more will participate via live video hookup, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In Brooklyn, the live video hookup will be held at Beis Medrash Birchas Avraham; in Lakewood at Cheder Bnei Torah; in Monsey at Hamaspik Terrace; and in the Catskills at the Raleigh Hotel in South Fallsburg. Advertisements in local publications will delineate the times and the places of the live hookups in other cities in America and across the globe. One of the participating senior gedolei hador urged the leadership of Dirshu to arrange hookups throughout Eretz Yisrael and the rest of the Jewish world so that the maximum amount of people could participate. A live/radio stream of the entire program will also be available in Brooklyn on 97.5 FM. In addition there will be a live telephone hookup available of the event and the important messages of the Gedolei Yisrael, that can be heard throughout the United States and Canada on Kol Halashon. Other live telephone hookup coverage can be heard at FNW of Lakewood and Radio Kol HaTorah of Brooklyn.
One rosh yeshiva noted, “If a person is still learning and being tested on the daf yomi through Masechta Eruvin, he has shown that he is on the way to completing the entire Shas. Masechta Eruvin is the demarcation line that shows that one is truly a potential Shas Yid.”
Rav Shlomo Rozenstein, Dirshu’s director of public affairs, related, “The Gemara teaches us that before a person enters the beis medrash to learn, he must give thanks to Hashem for His past kindness and he must also beg and raise his voice in prayer for the future. This historic asifah and siyum at Binyanei Haumah is a manifestation of this ideal. As we celebrate the completion of Eruvin, a milestone that displays and symbolizes the Torah world’s dedication to serious limud haTorah, we will thank Hashem for the flourishing of the Torah community over the past decades. Simultaneously we will be raising our voices in heartfelt prayer that He should continue to shower His blessing upon us and that no force in the world should hinder the continued growth and accomplishments of the Torah world.”
Rav Avigdor Berenstein, a senior member of the hanhala of Dirshu, points to another aspect of the event, “This momentous event at Binyanei Haumah celebrating limud haTorah will also demonstrate achdus. The fact that so many gedolei Yisrael representing the entire cross-section of the Torah community will join together under one roof to encourage and celebrate the continued viability and flourishing of the Torah community will profoundly impact all Jews to whom Torah learning is dear. Not only the gedolei Yisrael but Jews of all types and stripes, who are united by their limud haTorah—the ultimate binder of Klal Yisrael—will join our leading Torah sages in declaring, ‘Torah is the most important thing in our lives.’ In difficult times such as these, it is a most beautiful thing to celebrate a true simcha together with achdus. In this way we will show ourselves and the entire world that ‘netzach Yisrael lo yishaker’—the eternal nature of Klal Yisrael as a Torah nation will continue unabated.” v