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Siyum HaShas Draws More Than 90,000 To Meadowlands, Snarls NJ Traffic
08/01/12
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More than 90,000 people packed MetLife Stadium to celebrate the completion of the page-a-day Talmud cycle in the largest-ever Siyum HaShas.

The gathering Wednesday evening, which was simulcast to some 60 U.S. cities and more than 20 countries elsewhere in the world, marked the completion of the 7-and-1/2-year cycle it takes to complete the Talmud (known collectively as Shas) at the rate of a folio -- two sides of a page -- per day. The program, known as Daf Yomi, was begun by the late Rabbi Meir Shapiro in 1923, and the first siyum -- completion -- was celebrated in Lublin, Poland in 1930. This year's siyum -- the cycle technically ends on Thursday -- celebrated the completion of the 12th cycle since then.

"Fortunate is the person who sees, who experiences, this great gathering," said Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, the emcee of the event. "Try to visualize the singing and dancing that's going on right now in shamayim [heaven] watching tens of thousands celebrating the masechtos [tractates] they worked on so dilligently!"

The stadium event consisted mostly of speeches in English and Yiddish and short video tributes, including to the late Jermoe Schottenstein, to whom the event was dedicated and whose family sponsored the ArtScroll English translation of the Talmud.

Rabbi Malkiel Kotler of the Beth Medrash Govoha, a yeshiva in Lakewood, N.J., taught the final section of the Talmud to the crowd. Once the ceremony was complete, the crowd broke out in thunderous singing and dancing.

The new Daf Yomi Talmud cycle begins Friday with page two (all Talmudic tractates begin on page 2) of Tractate Brachot.

Traffic around the Stadium in New Jersey's Meadowlands was complicated by security arrangments which led to some lane closings and delays on Route 3 from the Lincoln Tunnel and on the New Jersey Turnpike. Some attendees said it took up to four hours to get there.

Last Update:

08/06/2012 - 12:20
Daf Yomi, Meadowlands, Met Life Stadium, New Jersey Turnpike, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, Siyum Hashas
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The event can't be considered relevant or uniting because it didn't attract enough Reform Jews?
There was a very visible contigent of Mexicans there that deserve to be recognized.
This isn't racial profiling- they were displaying Mexican flags.

Rabbi Malkiel Kotler of the Beth Medrash Govoha, a yeshiva in Lakewood, N.J.?

Just a Yeshiva in Lakewood, NJ.? How about the preeminent Yeshiva in the world with thousands of students, the "Harvard" of the yeshiva world.. and you call it a yeshiva in Lakewood, NJ? Your coverage of this most incredibly unifying event that brings together all strata of orthodox Judaism is at best a poor complement to the poorer reporting in the NY Times, that decided to portray the event as a "non politically correct" attack on women. Shame on you. Now i know why i dont read your paper.

So you have to follow the AP Playbook and bash us too? You couldn't write about the Daf Yomi (which you're own communities participate in) without saying we snark traffic? What about Obama? What about the Super Bowl?

Leave it to the Jewish Week to find a way to knock a beautiful event. Did they really need to say "snarl NJ traffic" in the headline. As a Jewish paper, maybe you should have said "90,000 jews united"...

That's your article? That there was traffic? Boy, talk about being relevant.

Oh, by the way, the biggest issue with traffic was a car fire near route three which backed up traffic into the city.

The people I know who came from Rockland made it from Rockland into the parking lot within 45 minutes. Coming from the city sat about 4:10 (before the accident) it took more time to get across town than it took to get to the stadium. Hardly huge snarls because of the siyum.

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