England might not be the first destination Americans think of for the 4th of July, but that is exactly where a delegation from All Daf, the popular Daf Yomi app (alldaf.org) and a project of the Orthodox Union, found themselves.
Their reason for crossing the Atlantic? Two unforgettable daf yomi siyumim of maseches Yevamos. The siyumim, held on consecutive nights in London and Manchester, drew hundreds of local community members and were organized by All Daf, with the help of UK supporters and partners.Joining the All Daf team in the United Kingdom were Rabbi Moshe Hauer, EVP of the Orthodox Union and Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of OU Kosher, who also holds the distinction as one of All Daf’s most popular maggidei shiur. Throughout the trip, Rabbi Elefant was greeted by the many students who listen to his daily shiur from afar. One student, Ashley Cohen, had been listening to Rabbi Elefant’s daf yomi shiur for 17 years, before getting to meet his virtual Rebbe in person.
At the siyumim, Rabbi Elefant reflected on the gemara at the end of Yevamos, which tells the story of a shipwreck that Rabbi Akiva miraculously survived. When asked how he survived, Rabbi Akiva answered that a “daf shel sefinah appeared for me.” His literal reference was to a plank of wood from the ship but, as Rabbi Elefant explained homiletically, he was referring to his constant dedication to learning the Talmud – he clung to the daf of Gemara.
In that same way, Rabbi Elefant explained, those who learn the daf yomi each day are sustained by the Torah they learn on each page.
Rabbi Hauer noted the incredibly warm reception the All Daf team had received in the UK and underscored the fact that those gathered at the siyum were realizing the vison of the founder of daf yomi. Said Rabbi Hauer: “Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l had a vision of a daf yomi that would unite klal Yisroel as a path to geulah.”
Other distinguished speakers from the local UK communities included Dayan Menachem Gelley, rosh beth din of the London Beth Din and Rav Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, av beth din of the Federation of Synagogues in London.
“Meeting and greeting the people at our first-ever international All Daf siyumim, who shared their affinity toward our platforms and how it’s changed their lives, was an incredible chizuk for our whole team” said All Daf Director Rabbi Moshe Schwed. “Both our events in London and Manchester were beautiful, inspiring and uplifting – beyond my expectations.”