The world of orthodox Jewry is small and connected. Within it is a smaller world of those who study a prescribed page of the Talmud a day (Daf Yomi) over the seven-plus years it takes to complete it. Several siyum or completion celebrations were held last week. One such event was held at London’s Wembley Arena. JC.com’s Simon Rocker posts this brief account:
Wembley Arena said it was “blown away” by the Talmud celebration it hosted earlier this week.
More than 6,750 people attended the siyum on Tuesday to mark the completion of the 13th cycle of the Daf Yomi programme, in which participants cover the whole of the Babylonian Talmud by studying a folio a day over the course of seven and a half years.
Writing to the organisers, Becky Syrett, operations manager of the SSE Wembley Arena, said there was “not a single incidence of drunkenness, boisterous or rowdy behaviour. Not a single one”.
She said: “I have been at the Arena for 28 months and accommodated over 300 events in that time. Never have we had no incidence.”
The event has a security cupboard where guests can leave anything deemed inappropriate or dangerous. While normally for an event of that size, some 700 to 1,000 items would be deposited, she explained, in this instance there was nothing.
The Arena staff were also “blown away by the [amount] of thank you’s” they received from participants at the end of the evening.
The event – organised by Agudath Israel – was a “delight”, she said, and she was “devastated” it took place only once every seven years.
A more detailed account is posted along with several photographs here. I am told that the letter from the “Wembley team” to the organizers has gone viral in the world of those observing the event around the world. I’m posting the screenshot below.
Quotable quote: “All the team were blown away by the amount of thank you’s that we received at the end of the evening. I actually thought everyone had been instructed to do this!”