Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Siyum – Postscript and Poll

A quick review of the Chicago Daf Yomi Siyum. It began a bit late but finished in a more or less timely fashion. Maariv was concluded about about 10:15 PM CDT.

The dais included Chicago’s two premiere Z’Kenim.  Rav Avrohom Chaim Levin, Rosh HaYeshiva of Telshe did the ‘Hadran’ after reading the last lines of Talmud Shas Bavli. Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Bet Din of both the RCA and the CRC  began the new cycle by reading the first Mishnah in Brachos.

The rest of the dais included of Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel of both the Lakewood variety and the Yeshiva University variety. It also included various Shul rabbis and Kiruv professionals.

In addition to the speakers in Chicago we heard 2 of the speakers from MetLife who were broadcast via a video feed: Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky and the always riveting Rabbi Yissachar Frand.  In my view the highlight of the evening was a brief but inspiring  video of the history of Daf Yomi from its inception at the first Agudah convention until the present. Over all, The Siyum was  a job well done I thought.  At least here in Chicago.

Except for Rabbis Kamenetsky and Frand, I have no clue how the “Big One” at MetLife went.  I would therefore love to get some input from anyone who was there. Please feel free to share your thoughts – pro or con about how the evening went there.  Who sat on the main dais? Was Rav Hershel Shachter there? Was there anyone from YU on the front Dais? Please let me know. How good were the speakers? Did anyone stand out? How much of it was in Yiddish?

In that vein, I am doing a poll which is located at the top right margin – just below my “Donate” button. I would greatly appreciate your participation. Please click on the answer that best applies to you. You may choose more than one answer. And if you are so inclined you can add an explanation in the comments section of why you voted the way you did.

I will start things off with a comment by someone who expressed his impression of the Siyum early this morning on the previous thread: 
Just got home (@ 2am).The event was AWESOME! Tremendous achdus. Much more "color" than the asifah. It really was a cross-section of Am Yisrael. Rav Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel and current Rav of Tel Aviv spoke to some of the loudest applause. So I think they did get the mix right, despite R"H Schachter not speaking. 
Was this your experience?

Update: An Agudah critic’s view of the Siyum: A Magnificent Evening