Residents of Beit Shemesh thought the Siyum HaShas held on Wednesday, 28 Menachem Av 5772 would be a respectable Torah event but it appears that according to many participants, the event was “political and commercial”, leaving participants with a feeling of disappointment and anger.
The industrial area was utilized to accommodate the expected large crowd, and the area was shut down during the afternoon hours in cooperation with local police and Beit Shemesh City Hall. Participants were told that Maran HaGaon HaRav Aaron Leib Shteinman Shlita and the Vishnitzer Rebbe Shlita would be present but this too did not occur. The dais served the local rabbonim but no admorim or other gedolei yisrael as promised. The entertainment was also a disappointment as Chazan Meir Helfgot did not arrive as promised.
Some participants expressed outrage, explaining they were “cheated” and “duped” by organizers who simply used names of prominent rabbonim and entertainers to fill the event when in fact they knew the real deal was a far cry from the advertisements.
Speakers promoted their own commercial agenda rather than filling the air with divrei Torah, and the event rapidly turned sour as those present felt organizers took advantage of them.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)