Well I just had a Rabbinical school FIRST! A SIYUM!
A Siyum takes place when an entire volume of text has been completed – and to honor the students’ studies, it is custom to celebrate this accomplishment by food, friends and spirits - and prayer of course!
So…today, our group completed the Mesechet (tractate or volume) for Rosh Hashana. Over the last six months, we learned about ancient practices of announcing the new month (“Did [the moon] look like this? Or like this?”), proper ways one used to announce the new month (up on each mountain with homemade fire signals), and of course, the sounding of the shofar (when to blast, when not to, who can, who can’t…).
Honestly, that I can pick up a Mishne, read it, and engage with our Sages is incredibly exciting! Not to mention, the ability to identify every single type of verb! So exciting….
“We shall return to you, Tractate Rosh Hashana, and you shall return to us. Our thoughts are on you, Tractate Rosh Hashana, and your thoughts are on us. We will not forget you, Tractate Rosh Hashana, and you will not forget us – neither in This World, nor in this world to come.” -Hadran
There was not a full minyan present at our Siyum today, but had there been we would have said a special type of Kaddish only said at an event like this, or…interestingly enough, at a funeral. Powerful to see that connection there…
Well, the month of Adar is turning out to be full of simchas! 100+ Mishloach Manot bags were made today for all Grad students at AJU (my first project for the (re)new(ed) Graduate Student Association)…and the Purim Carnival that I’m co-chairing at Ikar is on Saturday night (www.ikar-la.org)! Oh! And we have big news! Check out the upcoming blog to find out more….
Chag Purim Semach!!