The excitement began when the Rabbis discussed the plans for the big evening. The atmosphere was charged, the boys were psyched! Those who’d already experienced the sheer thrill of Lev’s all night Superbowl seder were enticed to do it again, and those who had never tasted the sweetness of late night hours immersed in intense Torah study were inspired, encouraged and enthralled.
This time, there were numerous shiurim led by different Rabbis and two tracks. Those who wanted to watch the game started their seder at eight in the evening, only finishing at 1:30 a.m. They learned S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T! Like a pregame surge of spiritual energy. The other group decided to forgo the game and spend the night following the age-old words of the Gemara…play by play!
They were off…….and they did it!
It was intense, draining, a challenge requiring heart, mind, and soul….but they passed with flying colors! Their faces and their radiant smiles said it all.
The Rabbis and boys are especially grateful to the group of generous sponsors who paid for the Gemarot as well as to Martin and Ikey Erani for donating the delicious spread that kept the boys going throughout the night.
Usually, in honor of the boys and the Torah they learned, we celebrate
the siyum in an elegant restaurant or catering hall. Unfortunately, due to the corona lockdown, such a thing was unfeasible. Instead, Rabbi Laniado hired an exclusive party planner and caterer to take the in-house siyum to a different level. The yeshiva dining room was totally redone, with silk lined chairs, elegant tableware, waiters, music and a menu fit for kings.
This would be an evening to remember. Each group recited the Hadran with their Rabbis and the boys erupted into spontaneous dancing. The festive atmosphere could only be
compared to Simchat Torah! It was lively, exciting, and full of Lev Aharon spirit! They each received a special certificate marking their phenomenal achievement and throughout the evening, the yeshiva raffled off a few “mini-Shas’s.” In a riveting display of their cherished connection to the Mesechet they’d just completed, they fielded questions from the Rabbis covering the entire gamut of Mesechet Tamid! And they knew it cold!
Perhaps the most exciting and sentimental moment came as Rabbi Laniado prepared to pick a number for the first raffle. There was a murmuring amongst the boys and suddenly , numerous voices began protesting. “No! Let's do a raffle like the “goral” we learned about in the Mesechet!” The Gemara
discusses how the Kohanim held a “raffle” to see which one would merit doing the holy service in the Beit Hamikdash. They would form a circle, each one sticking out one finger, and the Kohain would pick a number and count fingers until he reached the Kohain with that number. The boys wanted to reenact this sacred raffle. They formed a circle and held out their fingers, Rabbi Laniado picked a number and Rabbi Lewenstein counted until he reached…… Bruchi Shabbot! He surprised everyone with an announcement. “I just got my own mini-Shas a week ago, so I am donating this one back to the Yeshiva for another raffle!”
Mr. Ronnie Levy and his 9-year-old son took part in Rabbi Malka’s pregame learning program and made their very first siyum together. To honor the occasion, Ronnie bought each of the boys in Rabbi Malka’s group their own mini-Shas.
Music and dancing continued throughout the night and the special atmosphere of Torah, simcha and comradery pulsated the air. Even as the boys headed off to bed to get the rest they so deserved, there is no question that the words of the beloved Mesechet Tamid and a deep-seated feeling of accomplishment hovered over them as they closed their eyes.