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Deaf Experiences at Daf Yomi Siyum

My husband Samuel and I decided to attend the 11th Daf Yomi Siyum on March 1, 2005 in New Jersey. Every seven and half years, many Jewish people would come together to celebrate that they have finished one book of Gemora and can begin right away on the next one. It was not a simple idea by one Rabbi, Rabbi Meir Shapiro in Vienna in 1923, but that idea grew, and now this program is worldwide! It is simple to do only one page a day, and people all over the world can learn in class, one to one, or even by oneself and then be able to finish one book in seven and half years. If you travel to another city in another part of the world, you would find someone who would study the same page as you! This is an accomplishment since how many of us would be willing to make a commitment to learn something each day?

Chaim Tzvi Kakon, who is deaf, is the dean of Yeshivas Nefesh Dovid: International Yeshiva High School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Boys in Toronto, Canada. His grandfather, Rabbi David Rabinowitz is the first deaf Orthodox Rabbi ordained in the United States, inspired him to higher achievement in learning and starting the first yeshiva for deaf boys. Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Kakon has studied the Daf Yomi daily. He started to learn Daf Yomi with Dr. Leonard P. Siger who interpreted for him for over five years up to the 1997 Siyum at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Afterwards he continued learning Daf Yomi with another interpreter, Moshe Jacobson, until he moved to Toronto to start the yeshiva in 2001. In the yeshiva, they learn a specific gemora each year. Because this requires a great deal of time, they do not learn Daf Yomi.

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