All those who participate in the limud of Daf HaYomi can attest to the joys and challenges of learning the daily Daf. The dedication and commitment required to complete a mesechta in regular circumstances is impressive, but in the COVID-19 era it is nothing short of exceptional.

 

This past Tuesday, August 11th, Agudath Israel’s Daf Yomi Commission hosted a Siyum celebration devoted to these unsung heroes of our communities. These are Daf Yomi learners from across the world, who despite the difficulties that presented themselves over the past few months, continued to forge ahead and stay on track during one of the most difficult periods in Daf Yomi history.

“What we must all bear in mind,” explained Rabbi Eliyahu Simcha Bamberger, National Director of Agudah’s Daf Yomi Commission, “is that meseches Shabbos began right at the onset of COVID-19. The introduction to this challenging Masechta was followed by shul closures, remote shiurim and all-around uncertainty.”

 

That was the focus of the keynote address by Rabbi Sholom Kamenetsky, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva of Philadelphia. Rabbi Kamenetsky spoke about the true heroism displayed by the Lomdei Daf HaYomi during this period. He also spoke about how the completion of maseches Shabbos was a formidable achievement for even the most experienced Daf Yomi learners. At the siyum, Rabbi Eliezer Feuer, Rav of Young Israel of Bayswater, NY, and Learning Director in Camp Agudah, said the Hadran of Maseches Shabbos.

 

The chosen location for this Siyum was the Masmidim Program of Camp Agudah. The Daf Yomi Commission chose this site for its connection to the theme of dedication, as the Masmidim program, led by Rabbi Dovid Frischman, is a wonderful collection of serious Yeshiva bochrim who spend their summer months committed to learning and shteiging.

 

This Siyum was truly a coast-to-coast celebration, with many communities, including the Agudath Israel of California, directly participating in this event while hosting their own satellite Siyum with a live-hookup and unique program.

Rabbi Bamberger concluded, “This Siyum’s purpose was two-fold: it was a display of unity and a show of strength- strength that lomdei Daf HaYomi can be proud to have upheld throughout these trying and challenging times.”

You can find the recording of the event below as well as pictures from the program.