It was a fitting punctuation mark – an exclamation point would be an apt description – to last month’s gathering of over a thousand boys to Williamsburg Brooklyn for Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of America’s 46th Annual National Siyum Mishnayos, al sheim Horav Yehoshua Silbermintz, z”l. This past Sunday’s event may have been smaller, but was deeply impressive in its own way. Forty boys, 26 of them with family members, gathered at Agudas Yisroel Beis Binyomin in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to be recognized for having completed the study of the entire Shisha Sidrei Mishneh in honor of their Bar Mitzvah
The boys, who hailed from a variety of communities not only throughout New York and New Jersey but in Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania – not to mention Canada – each received a Shas from Pirchei Agudas Yisroel in recognition of their impressive accomplishment.
The boys and parents were warmly welcomed by Rabbi Ephraim Levi, national director of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel. Divrei chizuk were offered by Rabbi Eliezer Ginsburg, Rav of Agudas Yisroel Zichron Shmuel and Rosh Kollel, Mirrer Yeshiva, who challenged the mesaymim to go further and begin the study of Shas Bavli with the intention of finishing by their chasunos.
Greetings followed, extended by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president, Agudath Israel of America, who commended the boys for their monumental undertaking and extolled the boys’ drive and dedication that had allowed them to attain the siyata d’Shmaya to accomplish their goal.
Rabbi Yeshoshua Grunfeld, Rosh Kollel, Iyun Hatalmud – who had farhered the mesaymim at last month’s siyum, offered divrei brocho. He praised the boys for how well they knew the mishnayos and predicted that their having studied them so well as so young an age made it more likely that they would retain what they had learned – although they needed to hold tight to what they had learned, reviewing it regularly over years to come.
In addition to the Shas, each boy received a striking commemorative color certificate designed by renowned artist Yonah Weinreb.
After the presentation, Rabbi Levi noted how past such presentations have inspired boys, and likely many of this year’s mesaymim, to undertake their own goal of completing the study of Mishneh by their Bar Mitzvah.
“Just think of boys who will hear or read about today’s event,” said the Pirchei director. “I think many wonderful resolutions will be made out there. May they be a great z’chus for Klal Yisroel.”