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Thursday, March 03, 2005


I must say for a hard-boiled type, the Siyum HaShas really affected me. This is the fourth siyyum I've attended, and one of the best.

Rav Yissochar Frand’s speech was truly a masterpiece. The two 'book-end' stories, and the conclusion of "It’s never too little, it’s never too late, it’s never enough" will go down the years from mouth to mouth like "mshvochos shel Aharon shalo shina" from the Satmar Rov’s hesped for Rav Aharon Kotler. In addition, he obliquely referred to the 'distractions' of today's world, a concept which readers of this blog will appreciate and suggests a contructive approach.

Rav Mattisyahu Solomon gave a summary of the meaning of gemora as if speaking to a maskil. Like it or not, it is "faith based learning", indeed, because eventually there is no other answer. Yet it is learning, with the full attempt to understand whatever possible, not isolated faith as in some venues.

I heard that a certain Rosh Yeshiva who is a 'kanoye' about the BP eiruv objected to the Aguda scheduling one speaker at the siyum who endorsed the eiruv. The Aguda called R’ Moshe Feinstein’s son, R’ Dovid as the spiritual heir of the author of the most respected responsum against a New York eiruv. He replied like a true gadol - answering that his father knew and respected this particular speaker, and that his father wrote in his responsum on the subject of the eiruv that others may disagree. The speaker was on the program. R' Dovid did not just remove himself from commenting on the speaker out of misplaced respect for his father, or worse still rely on the old standby, 'der tate hat nisht gehalten azoi' (my father did not agree). He answered in a manner that raises respect for both R' Moshe and himself, and R'Dovid Feinstein attended the siyyum.

My neighbor in Bais Medrash refers to the psychology of Daf Yomi as the 'terror of the daf'. No Shabbos, no Tisha B'Av, no vacation. Always with a gun to the head.
As a sometime learner, I am overwhelmed with the serious Daf Yomi learner’s dedication.
A friend of my son's who is about 25 years old made a seuda as a Siyyum HaShas Sunday night, before the major event. He learned Daf Yomi through a serious eye operation, even when incapacitated.

The Daf Yomi students deserve their honor, and more.


What does all of this have to do with this blog? The Novominsker declared at the siyyum, "Torah can and will be advanced on all frontiers of Jewish life". All frontiers must by definition include the technical frontiers, where the need is urgent.

The technological arrangements for the siyyum were impressive, and though there were some hitches, largely successful.

And how did the siyyum reach the 40-odd locations were crowds gathered on four continents, as well as the primary locations?

Through the internet, of course.

We rest our case.

Mazel-Tov !


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I think they used satellite exclusively.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Leapa said...

Despite the exclusive reference to satellite, the local feeds were internet supplied with a password.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

something is profoundly askew when needing to validate the authenticity of perhaps the leading posek in America on the internet.
i hate to get into the horse metaphor again but even if the horses were let out of the barn it seems we are beating a dead horse by somehow thinking the radical right of Jewish thinking that would be those who identify themselves as Orthodox Jews, will publicly endorse the internet. the frum world has changed so much in the last forty years a metamorphasis that would make Kafka blush and chuckle with a cathartic laugh. but when the laughter subsides the tragedy sometimes is too unthinkable to think about.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Leapa said...

It wasn't validation. It was something which can be learned from a gadol.
Maybe we are beating a dead horse. But then the isurim and the widespread use will both remain in place, and with no provision for ourselves and our children.
Does that make sense?

10:23 AM  
Anonymous kendall deerson said...

and now we come to the crux of the issue. what is a gadol? the answer is a moving definition. by putting our leadership for the next generation on a level of pontific infallability is not Jewish but catholic. heroes and saints are greek and christian, alien concepts to the mesorah. i see no heresy in the statement that a Posek may have less creditable on a question of chinuch than a melamed or some other field of expertise outside of his realm. this statement is open to misunderstanding and needs extensive qualification but without obfusication of intellectual sophistry the matter boils down to common sense. no one has all the answers.
we must demystify this discussion and stop using code words such as Gedolim as a catch all phrase which is intellectual laziness. the heart of the matter is to translate the american experience into authentic link in the mesorah from Har Sinai.

1:21 PM  

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orthodox jews and the internet.