On Sunday July 7th, Yeshiva Gedolah of South Bend welcomed community members, alumni, and friends of the Yeshiva into their Beis Medrash for a communal siyum of Maseches Kiddushin. The talmidim of YGSB spent many months delving into the masechta b’iyun and were ready to make a siyum, but wanted to give the community a chance to join in their Simchas Hatorah. 162 Lomdim, or 81 chavrusa pairs, gathered in the Beis Medrash, each undertaking to learn one of the 81 blatt in the hour preceding the siyum. In addition, community members and alumni were offered the opportunity to sponsor lomdim, thereby participating in their limud haTorah.
The event began with divrei bracha from Rabbi Meir Bulman, Mara D’Asra of Hebrew Orthodox Congregation, who discussed the remarkable growth of the Yeshiva, and how it adds so much to the community. Harav Dovid Zucker of Chicago then addressed the Lomdim, noting the importance of maintaining the event’s chizuk by transferring it to our daily lives. The learning of the 81 chavrusos then began full force; the Kol Torah was tremendous and the entire Masechta was completed.
Lomdim and their families were then welcomed to a beautiful banquet to celebrate their accomplishment. Spirited dancing followed a dvar Torah and official siyum made by talmidim. Harav Uri Deutsch of Forest Park Shul then offered divrei bracha, addressing the more than 200 community members who participated in this monumental Kiddush Hashem. Harav Deutsch discussed the concept of a communal siyum, noting that while the typical siyum involves one person finishing the masechta by himself, a communal siyum contains the additional feature of achdus between the various learners, as it incorporates the unique derech HaLimud of each participant.
The event concluded with the menahel, Rabbi Ami Zeiger, who quoted the Gemara in Kiddushin Daf lamed, which discusses how milchamta shel torah, or disagreements that revolve around understanding Torah, ultimately result in shalom between the involved parties. He tied this to the siyum by noting the cohesiveness of the South Bend community in its recognition that Torah is our guiding light and our talmidim are our future.
The display of achdus, both from the lomdim, as well as from those who sponsored their learning, was mechazeik the Yeshiva and the entire community.