The Palace in Borough Park was the site of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of America’s 47th Annual National Siyum Mishnayos, al sheim Horav Yehoshua Silbermintz, z”l.
On Sunday April 25th, Pirchim from throughout the tri-state area converged on The Palace Hall. Buses filled with excited pirchim arrived from Lakewood, Monsey, Passaic, Scranton, South Fallsburg, Staten Island, Washington Heights and Waterbury.
Part of the “entrance fee” for participation in the gala gathering was having learned perakim of Mishnayos in honor of the siyum. Many boys also took part in a special hasmodo contest that culminated at the siyum and yielded major prizes for winners.
The actual siyum was conducted by over thirty five bochurim who took on the monumental project of learning through the entire Shisha Sidrei Mishna in honor of their Bar Mitzvah. Many of them were inspired by previous siyumim. These mesaymim arrived at the hall an hour before the event officially began in order to receive an informal “farher” from Rabbi Yehoshua Grunfeld, Rosh Kollel, Beis Medrash Iyun HaTalmud of Monsey.
Excitement mounted as the doors opened and the boys poured en masse into the large hall and proceeded into the ballroom to find their seats.
The program began with the heartfelt recital of Tehillim led by Rabbi Grunfeld. Rabbi Fishel Shachter, rebbe at Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, chaired the event, mesmerizing the boys with his amazing storytelling and keeping his listeners at the edge of their seats with suspense. Rabbi Ephraim Levi, national director of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of America, welcomed the pirchim and noted that not only were the mesayemim to be lauded but that all those attended and learned mishnayos for the event deserved great credit.
The kovod haTorah was evident as Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker rebbe and Rosh Agudas Yisroel, entered the large hall to the spirited singing of “Yomim al yemai melech” as many of the participants tried to get near enough to “give sholom” to the Rebbe. Rabbi Perlow delivered divrei brocho, explaining that the memories gleaned from an event like the Siyum Mishnayos can be compared to the inspiration of Maamad Har Sinai.
Agudas Yisroel of America executive vice president Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel offered divrei chizuk to the participants as well. The Siyum was graced, too, by the presence of Rabbi Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld, the Mattersdorfer Rav. Also in attendance were Rabbi Dovid Gibber, Rabbi Elazar Yona Ginzberg, Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Rabbi Shlomo Mandel, Rabbi Avrohom Nissan Perl, Rabbi Meir Platnik, Rabbi Yisroel Plutchak, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger and Rabbi Avrohom Nesanel Zucker.
The excitement was palpable as the time arrived for the actual siyum of Shisha Sidrei Mishna. The last mishna of Shas, the hadran and the first mishnah of a new cycle of Mishnayos-study were each recited by a different member of the group of mesayemim.
Kaddish was recited by Mr. Abe Eisner, a long time benefactor of Pirchei Siyumei Mishnayos. The walls of The Palace reverberated with the large crowd’s resounding “Amein! Yehei Shmei Rabba…!”
Amid shouts of “Mazel Tov!” the boys and adults present all joined in the singing of “Siman tov u’mazel tov…”
In appreciation for provision of the venue, Mr. Gedalia Jacobowitz of The Palace Hall received the Rabbi Moshe Sherer zt”l Hakoras Hatov Award.
A hush came over the audience as the lights dimmed for a video presentation about the great Torah Vodaas Rosh HaYeshiva and Chaver Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah HaRav Avrohom Pam, zt”l. The boys were inspired by the glimpse they were afforded into the life of one the most beloved gedolim of our generation.
“Adults today still carry with them warmth and hisorirus from the siyumim they attended when they were children,” noted Rabbi Labish Becker, executive director of Agudath Israel. “You can see in the eyes of these youngsters that they, too, will carry the memories of this Siyum well into their own futures.”