Rabbi Lerner to Make Haschalah at Today’s 12th Annual Igud Siyum HaShas Convocation


rabbi-pesach-lerner1In 1997, Rav Meir Shapiro, zt”l (1910-1998), late chief rabbi of Buenos Aries and chairman of the Igud Horabbonim, launched the yearly Siyum HaShas by members of a national rabbinic organization. Regrettably Rabbi Shapiro did not live to share in the joy of the Igud’s first Siyum HaShas. Rav Shapiro passed away on Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, 1998, the very year of the Siyum’s establishment.

Today, more than 100 local rabbonim, roshei yeshiva, chassidishe rebbeim, and leaders of Jewish religious and social organizations, will gather for the singular goal of celebrating and glorifying the study of Torah, a truly special event. The 5770 Siyum HaShas Convocation of the Rabbinical Alliance of America – Igud Horabbonim, will celebrate this year’s combined annual completion of study of Shas by member rabbis of the Igud Horabbonim.

Remembering Rav Meir Shapiro, zt”l

The Annual Siyum HaShas Convocation will take place this year in the beautifully renovated and enlarged Edmundo and Raquel Safdie Ballroom of Kahal Kol Eliyahu, the Sephardic Lebanese Congregation (SLC) on Avenue T at East 8th Street in Brooklyn, which will, as in years past, magnificently host the event. The banquet dinner – seudas mitzvah – is graciously sponsored by the Shapiro family led by Rebbetzin Pearl Shapiro, rebbetzin of the late chief rabbi of Buenos Aries and their worthy son, noted Torah activist Pinchas Shapiro.

Elul, Gateway To The New Year

The Igud Annual Convocation is always scheduled in Elul, the month of introspection and reflection preceding the High Holy Days, so that participating rabbis would have the opportunity to share insights gleaned from their Shas studies. Speakers at the Convocation are universally recognized rabbinical leaders and respected Torah scholars.

The Convocation consists of two sessions. The first session is devoted to homiletic material presented as a High Holy Day resource for rabbis to draw upon. The session will be chaired by Rav of Congregation Achi-Ezer, Rabbi Chanania Elbaz, Brooklyn, N.Y. Speakers will be: Rav of Mount Sinai Congregation, Ivy Hills, N.J., Rabbi Shmuel Bogomilsky; Rav of Beth Israel Synagogue, Norwalk-Westport, Conn. Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht; Rav of Beis Medrash Bnei Matisyahu and Torah Editor of The Jewish Press, Rabbi Yaakov Klass; and Rav of Khal Adas Yeshurun and columnist at The Jewish Press, Rabbi Avrohom Stone; each of whom will deliver an emotional introspection in preparation for the Yamim Nora’im. They will speak as if they would be addressing their own congregations on Rosh Hashanah, before Tekiyas Shofar or Kol Nidrei, knowing, however, that their listeners are learned rabbis.

Learning All Of Shas

The second session will be devoted to the formal completion and reopening of the Shas study cycle. Rav of Trenton, N.J., Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Zvi Leizerowski, will serve as chairman. Rabbi Leizerowski is the son of legendary Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Leizerowski, zt”l (d. 2000), late chief rabbi of Philadelphia and Igud Rosh Beth Din. Rav of the Sephardic Lebanese Synagogue, Rabbi Eliyahu Elbaz, will extend a welcome on behalf of the host Sephardic Lebanese Congregation.

Siyum HaShas

Rav of Beis Medrash Nitei Gavriel in Brooklyn, acclaimed author of Nitei Gavriel, in 30 volumes, Rav Gavriel Zinner, will conclude the Shas cycle and read aloud its formal close. Pinchas Shapiro, son of the late Rabbi Meyer Shapiro, will recite the unique Kaddish of Siyum HaShas.

Rabbi Zinner, talmud muvhak of Rabbi Yosef Greenwald, zt”l (1903-1984), Pupa Rav, has published 30 volumes of his exhaustive halachic work Nitei Gavriel on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Chanukah, Purim, Pesach, Sefirah, Shavous, Marriage, Aveilus, Three Weeks, Tisha B’Av, Yom Tov, Hachnassas Sefer Torah, etc., and most recently, Shidduchim. Nitei Gavriel is an interpretive compilation of halachic decisions through the centuries, highlighting prevailing practices of major communities around the world.

This year’s Haschalas HaShas will be given by Rabbi Pesach Lerner, renowned executive vice president, National Council of Young Israel. On every battlefront of contemporary observant Jewry, Rabbi Lerner will be leading the charge. The intensive ongoing efforts on behalf of Gilad Shalit, Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, and Gush Katif, all have Rabbi Lerner’s leadership. Directing more than 200 shuls in America and in Israel brings Rabbi Lerner in frequent contact with Gilad Shalit’s family as well as with the families of Gush Katif.

Despite of his overwhelming schedule, the indefatigable Rabbi Lerner is respectfully noted for his daily Daf Yomi shiur given on the 7:53 a.m. Long Island Railroad leaving from the Inwood Station. The management of the Long Island Railroad joined in the Siyum HaShas celebration of that daily shiur together with the shiur’s many participants, including some non- Jews who occasionally listen in.

Committee Members

Rabbi Saul Eisner and Rabbi Joseph Salamon, chair the convocation committee. Members include Rabbi Moshe Abramov; Rabbi Noach Bernstein; Rabbi Pinchas Kar; Rabbi Yehuda Levin; Rabbi Tzvi Mandel; Rabbi Shlomo Chai Niyazov; Rabbi Hershel Pollak; Rabbi Yehuda Leib Posner; Rabbi Harry Rabinowitz; and Rabbi Joseph Rosenbluh.

Rabbi Spivak To Speak At The Rebbetzins’ Session

As in years past, the rebbetzins of the Igud will meet separately paralleling the session on homiletics. This year, the Rebbetzins’ Session will be addressed by Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, who will discuss “The Shidduch Crisis: Who Is Marrying Who?” Rav and Rosh Kollel Ayshel Avraham of Monsey, N.Y., Rabbi Spivak, is a noted media personality and serves as the rabbinic administrator of United Kosher Supervision.
Rabbi Yaakov Spivak

Honorary chairpersons are Rebbetzin Chaya Rivka Leizerowski and Rebbetzin Pearl Shapiro. Chairlady is Rebbetzin Shifra M. Stone, co-chairpersons are Rebbetzin Shany Fasten and Rebbetzin Sarah Tannenbaum and committee members are: Rebbetzin Adele Bernstein; Rebbetzin Libby Brisman; Rebbetzin Sara Elbaz; Rebbetzin Suri Elbaz; Rebbetzin Shany Fasten; Rebbetzin Frieda Hecht; Rebbetzin Malka Josephy-Wernick; Rebbetzin Chaya Kurzrock; Rebbetzin Esther Leizerowski; Rebbetzin Esther Lustig; Rebbetzin Chaya Shaindel Mandel; and Rebbetzin Zippora Salamon.

{Machberes-Rabbi G. Tannenbaum}