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Insights—The Sefer (in English)
Many times we hear about a
Siyum on some Mesachta of Gemara. Can a Siyum be made on other
parts of Torah as well?
One of the sources for a
Siyum is from Abaye—who was a Rosh Yeshiva—as
when one of his students studied an entire Mesachta, he would make a party for
all the students of the Yeshiva. This can’t be talking about
finishing a Mesachta of Gemara since they didn’t learn Gemara then as it was
before Ravina and Rav Ashi’s time. The Mesachta that was
finished was a Mesachta of Mishnayos.
What about making a Siyum on
a Mesachta Ketana? On Erev Pesach (when there
is a Taanis Bechorim) the Steipler was approached by someone who wanted to eat
but didn’t attend a Siyum. The Steipler advised him to make a Siyum on one of
the Mesachtos Ketanos so that he can eat.
The Pnei Mavin says that one
can even make a Siyum on a Perek of a Mesachta with a Hadran and Kadish. This
is why there is a Hadran after each Perek.
What about making a Siyum on
a Sefer of Nach? According to the Pnei Yehoshua, when R’ Yochanan would
finish Sefer Iyov he would make a Seudas Siyum. In his ruling on what
constitutes a Seudas Mitzva to exempt firstborns from fasting Erev Pesach as
well as eating meat during the nine days R’ Moshe Feinstein writes that if one learns
Sefarim of תורה שבכתב in-depth, the Siyum is considered a Seudas
Mitzva. It doesn’t have to be for a Mesachta, rather there is a Simcha upon the
completion of any Mitzva that takes a period of time.
R’ Moshe Feinstein once attended a Siyum of an
elderly Baal Teshuva from Russia, who was making a Siyum on one Daf of Gemara
(the first Daf he ever learned). Soon after the Siyum, this man passed away. At
the funeral, R’ Moshe said that יש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת, some
acquire the world to come in one moment, but others acquire it בדף אחת, with one page of Gemara.
merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close
to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt
has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives
with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes
and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.