Aug 1, 2012
The Rabbinical Council of America congratulates all those who completed the 7 year cycle of the Shas, the entire Talmud, both the teachers and the students. We congratulate all the members of the RCA who lead daf yomi shiurim.
This great effort, to unify all Jews through the daily study of Talmud, the daf yomi, initiated by the great Rabbi Meir Shapiro, has played a great role in the flowering of Torah in our time. We applaud all the siyumim, which honor the study of Torah, whose participants number in the tens of thousands, thank G-d. And we take special note of Agudath Israel at whose “kenesiya” the idea of daf yomi was first introduced and who has faithfully shepherded this project for more than 8o years.
Only days ago on Tisha B'Av, we recited the words of the Maharam of Rothenberg who witnessed the burning and desecration of cartloads of Talmuds, asking the burnt Torahs to beseech G-d on our behalf. What a wonderful postscript to Tisha B'Av to see the banner of Torah held high in stadiums from Jerusalem to New Jersey. In a society which rarely gathers to celebrate the mind, tens of thousands of Jews will gather to celebrate the centrality of Torah study in our lives, to celebrate the discipline and the learning of thousands in their daily study.
Many things have changed drastically in both the Jewish world and beyond since the first Siyum Hashas in 1931 in Lublin, and many of those in attendance no doubt eventually perished in the Holocaust. However, one thing has remained constant and will always stay that way; the centrality of Torah study in Jewish life. Torah continues to bring Jews together and Torah is that eternal link of all Jews together.
The daf yomi has set a new bar for Torah study and for what it means to be conversant in Torah. We hope and pray that this global event will serve to increase the prestige of Torah, will encourage more people to study Talmud, whether daf yomi or otherwise, and will continue to be a great source of unity of purpose for all Jews. We encourage our membership to continue to spread Torah in every way possible.