‘Unity’ was a key mantra at the recent celebration of Daf Yomi. But it poignantly highlighted the growing gulf between the Orthodox and the more liberal Jews.
Over the past 7 years and 5 months, Orthodox Jews from around the world have committed to reading a page every day of the Talmud, a process known as Daf Yomi. In the US state of New Jersey, an astonishing 90000 have squeezed into the MetLife stadium to celebrate the completion of the latest cycle. Daf Yomi was started by Rabbi Meir Shapiro in 1923 to make the study of Torah accessible, and as a way of uniting Jews around the world. Each Siyum HaShas celebration has been bigger than the last and this one is certainly no exception.
Despite rain and traffic jams, the mood was jubilant as some 90,000 Orthodox Jews gathered to celebrate the completion of the study of the Talmud.