Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Teves 5766 - January 25, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











North West London Unites in Torah!

By Simche Goitein

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Yet how many words does it take to paint a picture? As the sights and sounds of the joint North West London Daf Yomi Siyum continue to spin around in my head, I still struggle to find an answer.

Last Wednesday night (18 Teves) saw the coming together of Daf Yomi Shiurim from Golders Green, Hendon and Edgware en masse. Participants, maggidei shiurim and rabbonim from all streams were present. It was achdus in all its splendor.

Entering the Hasmonean Boys School, I found the main hall to be already packed to capacity. A ma'ariv was just finishing as we took our seats. Rows of chairs were laid out to accommodate the participants who numbered over 700. Each chair was equipped with a small box providing sandwiches, cake, and a small bottle of grape juice.

The Siyum began with an introductory address by the evening's chairman, Reb Mendi Bude, maggid shiur of the Yungerleit's Daf Yomi at the Beis Shmuel Beis Hamedrash. Welcoming all the rabbonim, maggidei shiurim and lomdei hadaf, he commented on the tremendous kvod HaTorah and kvod Shomayim this event afforded. He also mentioned a special thank you to all the ladies who sacrificed their own time to allow their husbands to attend the Daf.

HaRav Y. Hager and HaRav Y. Royde recited Tehillim, after which HaRav S. Weingarten was honored with the Hadran. Upon completing the final lines of Eruvin the music started and the satisfaction that comes with completion and achievement washed over us. It was indeed a feeling of great pride to have completed a masechta of this magnitude, one of the three most difficult masechtos in Shas.

After this short interval, HaRav A. Bassous began the fist mishnah of maseches Pesochim. Both he and HaRav Weingarten before him echoed the thoughts of all those present: the evening provided a perfect forum for achdus. Looking around the hall, I saw that this was indeed the case. The completion of maseches Eruvin had brought everyone together. All had joined hands for the glory of Torah.

Dayan Abrahams was the evening's guest speaker. In an animated and lively fashion that is all his own, he explained how daily learning of Torah changes a person's view of the world. When a person dedicates himself, day-in and day-out, to learning Torah, it provides him with a whole new perspective on life. The Daf Yomi gives Yidden this opportunity — to gain an insight in how to accurately view the world and live like a Yid. The Dayan finished his droshoh to thunderous applause.

There was now just one more speaker left. The hour was already late, but nobody left the hall. In an atmosphere tense with anticipation Rav Dovid Halpern introduced the guest of honor, the Admor of Sanz. As he rose to speak a hush fell across the hall. Some in the audience had heard him speak before; others hadn't. You couldn't tell the difference.

The Rebbe proceeded to deliver words of chizuk that quite literally mesmerized us. He forged a trail through Shas, Rishonim and Acharonim to do what is so vital to all Jews: inspire them anew in their Yiddishkeit. He spoke of how a Yid must live with a simchah in ruchniyus, with a thirst for Torah and mitzvos. He stressed that the only guard in today's world of heavy nisyonos was for children to witness their parents enjoying Yiddishkeit, enjoying Torah.

It was as if a new and fresh spirit permeated our souls. We hung onto his every word. He lifted us up and painted that brighter picture so many of us spend so much time looking for. He spoke for over an hour, yet it seemed like it was all over in five minutes. The resounding shkoiach he received at the end reflected exactly the audience's appreciation of his message.

Leaving the hall at the end of the Siyum I found myself standing next the sole organizer of this momentous event. R' Chaim Mordche Curtis, known to most of us as Mark, is owed a tremendous debt of gratitude for this fantastic achievement. May this zchus stand him in good stead for many years to come.

In reaching the end of this article I find myself asking the same question I started out with: how do words do justice to an event of this caliber? How can one, in mere sentences and paragraphs, capture the essence of the achdus that took place that night?

The truth is I do not know. In fact, perhaps they can't. Perhaps they can only provide a mere glimpse of this wonderful occasion. But there is one thing I do know. The evening might have ended after only a few hours, but its memory and, more importantly, its message, remained with us all long into the night.

Simche Goitein is a freelance writer based in London. He can be contacted at


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