Tuesday night, Dec. 15, will mark a milestone in Atlanta’s growth as a center of Torah observance and Talmud study.
The Daf Yomi Commission of Agudath Israel of America will bring its celebration for the completion of a tractate of Talmud to Congregation Ner Hamizrach at 1858 LaVista Road in Toco Hills. (The event is one night later than originally scheduled.)
It will be the commission’s first siyum, or celebration of completion, in Atlanta, and there’s no telling when the next one will be here because so many cities want the honor of hosting, said Rabbi David Kapenstein, the executive director of Kollel Ner Hamizrach.
“We’re really very excited,” he said, noting that in addition to an anticipated capacity crowd at Ner Hamizrach, thousands will participate at sites in other cities or watch online.
The Daf Yomi Commission organizes the daily study of one page, or daf, of Talmud. Every day, including holidays, people worldwide spend an intense 45 minutes to an hour to study the same page. Atlanta has at least four daf classes.
By sticking to the rigorous schedule, participants complete the Talmud in 7½ years, leading to a grand siyum; the last one drew 98,000 people to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Smaller celebrations are held when each tractate is finished every one to four months.
Dec. 14 will mark the completion of the Gemara’s Tractate Sotah, focusing on adultery and the potentially fatal test a woman suspected of cheating could be put through.
Part of the excitement for the event, which is free and open to the public (men and women), is that Rabbi Eli Mansour from Brooklyn will be the speaker.
“We’re really honored that he’s coming to Atlanta to speak,” Rabbi Kapenstein said. “He’s always very entertaining, and you really walk away with something very meaningful.”
The event will start at 8 p.m. with a 10-minute ceremony to mark the end of the tractate, then Rabbi Mansour will speak for about 45 minutes, with Ma’ariv to follow.