On Sunday, 17th Sivan, Tomchei Tmimim – Chovevei Torah in Crown Heights will celebrate the Siyum Hashas of a 19-year-old student of the Yeshiva together with the community.
This is not the first time the Yeshiva is celebrating the Siyum of one of its graduating students. Two years ago, Jewish news sites were abuzz over the accomplishment of the then 19-year-old Shaya Zirkind when he completed the entire Talmud.
Yeshiva principal and director Rabbi Mendel Blau notes that over the last 24 months he has learned of more and more bochurim that have undertaken the audacious task of completing the entire Shas while still in Yeshiva. They commit hours that are usually untapped by the ordinary bochur, like parts of their breaks and early morning and late night hours.
Rabbi Blau adds, that while celebrating a siyum is well sourced in Gemara, most Lubavitcher talmidim would naturally prefer to remain anonymous and “below the radar.” However, the Rebbe on many occasions spoke of the significance and importance of publicizing good deeds and celebrating spiritual accomplishments. One such occasion was the famous Purim Farbrengen in 5722, when the Rebbe decried the (then) common phenomena of celebrating secular academic achievements while failing to celebrate religious achievements in an appropriate and deserving manner.
The Siyum will take place in the newly renovated Beis Medrash at 12:00pm, with a catered sit down meal. The Siyum will be graced with the presence of prominent rabbonim and roshei yeshiva, including the roshei yeshiva of the Lubavitcher Yeshivah of New Haven where the talmid learned for many of his yeshiva years.
The Yeshiva will also introduce a new recognition, entitled the “Butzin Butzin Award,” for two young student scholars who have each independently composed more than 100 pages of notable Chidushei Torah during the year. The award is modeled after and inspired by the famous passage in the Talmud (Berochos 48). The Gemorah notes that Rabbah noticed the budding greatness of Abaya and Rava while they were still very young and commented that they are destined to become great sages. The Gemara comments with the popular Aramaic saying “butzin butzin mikatfeh yediah,” meaning a pumpkin (cucumber) can be recognized from its blossoming stage.
Nissi Eber, a student at the Yeshiva, shared how he had personally grown in his own learning after witnessing what can be accomplished by devoting and utilizing every minute one has in Yeshiva. He expressed his excitement, remarking, “This is the best way to celebrate the concluding week of Yeshiva!”