Shas Yiden – a Bracha Amidst a Pandemic – 853,965 blatt
Last week, sixty-three incredible young talmidei chachomim gathered in a hall in Beit Shemesh. Their wives did not attend this year due to the current health situation, which also prevented the 12 Shas Yiden avreichim geonimin London from attending. They were all celebrating their annual Siyum Hashas, having collectively completed 853,965 blatt of Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos!
Prior to the festive meal, the avreichim geonim underwent two hours of grilling questions on the entire Shas. The examiners are recognized as leading talmidei chachomim – Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Weiss, Rav of Beitar Illit and Maran Hagaon Harav Bunim Schreiber, Rosh Yeshiva of ‘Netiv Hadaas’. Both examiners are known as geonim charifim and bekiim in Shas. Without any papers or references on the table before them, they reeled off some 150 questions that included: asking for page citations, facts, logic and for detailed information that basically required knowledge of the Talmud by heart.
Note from Sar Hatorah to the 63 Siyumei Hashas
25 Marcheshvan 5781
(Note: The Nasi of Shas Yiden, Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, was unable to attend the Siyum, which he does every year, and penned a note to the Shas Yiden.)
In honor of the Siyum Hashas of the kollel avreichim geonim Shas Yiden under the leadership of our friend Hagaon Harav Avrohom Halevi Eisen, shlit”a.
It is difficult for me to participate on this Yom Tov of these tens of talmidei chachomim, gedolei Torah; they are all outstanding in Torah. They know the entire Shas on which I have personally tested them and saw that they are knowledgeable in the entire Shas.
I send my best wishes that they should acquire knowledge of the entire Torah to learn, to teach, to guard, to do and to fulfill all the words of Thy Torah in love. And may the Gaon, our friend (Rav Eisen) shlit”a, merit to open many more kollelim and to cause Torah to grow and be glorified.
The questioners were both amazed at the prowess of each of the avreichim geonim. Questions that were ‘thrown’ at the avreichim geonim received a thunderous response from all, simultaneously. (A video of the farher is available to be viewed on the Shas Yiden website www.shasyiden.com, which has videos of past annual farhers.)
Over the 12 years since Shas Yiden’s inception, its successful growth and the mastery of Shas by the avreichim geonim has captured the attention and imagination of the gedolei Torah all over, and who have been effusive in their praise at how they have made the idea of becoming a Shas Yid achievable and popular. After personally examining the Shas Yiden every year with searching questions, Maran Sar Hatorah, Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, exclaimed “Zei kennen Shas” (They know Shas!) and then agreed to become the Nasi of Shas Yiden.
Meeting the Challenge and more
The avreichim geonim effortlessly followed the questioners’ changing from masechta to masechta. Questions ranged from – how many times does such an expression or ruling appear in a particular tractate, to complex reasoning from one tractate to another. Someone unfamiliar with Talmudic study would have been very hard pressed to follow the pace of questioning and the complexity.
When Rav Weiss finished his testing of the avreichim geonim, he said that he very much regretted being unable to meet with the Shas Yiden on Shabbos, for dialoging with them would be the highest and most fulfilling oneg(pleasure of) Shabbos.
After concluding his searching examination of the Shas Yiden avreichim geonim, Rav Bunim Schreiber commented “I sat with them for a long time and discussed many subjects from all over Shas, and I am a witness that their mastery and incredible knowledge is unlimited. It was an inspiring and heart-warming sight to see tens of avreichim geonim rising to the house of Hashem to become great scholars in all of Torah.”
For more information and to donate to Shas Yiden, please call 718-702-1528 or write to: 1274 49th Street #562, Brooklyn, NY 11219.
Sample Questions from the Siyum Hashas Farher
To Watch the Farher click on: www.shasyiden.com
1. When Tannaim and Amoraim are about to lecture on a particular masechta, they have opening ‘styles’. How many are there for Maseches Megilla and where are they recorded?
2. Which similar sugya is to be found in Brochos, Shabbos, Eiruvin, Pesachim and Succah?
3. What was the name of Abaye’s father?
4. Where are to be found 2 chapters in 2 masechtos of 2 different orders of the Mishna, both in the same place in its Mishna, and they both begin on the same page number and the same side of the folio, in the same location and row number?
5. Who is the Amora who appears a few times in the Talmud, made a statement which was strongly questioned and he was shamed, and in the end it was known that he was correct?
6. Where in Shas are the sugyos that mitzvos require intent?
7. Where is the law of “Bari veshema” (“Clear and Perhaps”) to be found in Shas?
1. Fourteen – Megilla 11a, and according to Hagaos Habach and the Gra – another
2. Dmai ha lo chazi lei – is not suited for him, that if he wishes he can render his possesions hefker and he is rendered poor, and the dmai is now suited for him as it says in a Mishna – Brochos 47a
3. Keilil – Rashi, Zevachim 118b
4. Perek Keitzad, Yevamot 16 and Bava Kama 16
5. Rava – Gittin 29b, 77b, Bava Metzia 81b, 97a, Avoda Zara 22a; and also Rav Papa – Bava Metzia 81a
6. Brachos 13a regarding the Reading of Shma; Eiruvin 95b regarding Tefillin; Pesochim 114b regarding matza and maror; Rosh Hashanna 28b regarding shofar
7. Kesubos 12a and 16a; Bava Kama 35b and 118b; Bava Metzia 37b
Shas Yiden – the ‘Disruptive Technology’ of Torah Learning
“Shas Yiden is the ‘disruptive technology’ of the Torah world today,” exclaimed one of the most ardent monthly supporters of the Shas Yiden kollelim network in Israel and London, UK.
Disruptive technology is an innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, industries, or businesses operate, and sweeps away the systems or ‘habits’ it replaces because it has attributes that are recognizably superior, he explained.
“Ever since Shas Yiden came on the Torah scene 12 years ago, its impact has been felt throughout the Torah world. The five kollelim where 75 incredible avreichim geonim and baalei middos (people of noble character) are groomed, have become an integral part of the world Torah landscape.
“Every avreich completes the entire Shas five times each year (13,555 blatt), knows it b’al peh and they have regular public farhers. Thus, today such proficiency is not only acclaimed and accepted, but many across the Torah world are trying to emulate their example, boruch Hashem.
“Not only are they amazing, but I have never had such fulfilment from any of my charity giving. It hasn’t cost me a dime. Whatever I donate in any particular year, is returned from my investments, and more. For me, it is a ‘disruptive tzedakah’ as well. Thank you, Shas Yiden.”