A Worthy Milestone

Thursday, 5 September, 2019 - 6:00 pm

What are the average American youths looking forward to for their 21st birthday? Buying their first drink. Buying their first legal drink … Starting their senior year in college. Completing military service. Making more money to buy stuff that they want, like a nicer car or a better Wii or X-Box. Then there are the less common type of folks, who are focused and have already launched successful businesses, made a lot of money, have charitable interests, and so forth. But by and large, many young people are not all that driven at that age.  

In his book Hayom Yom, the Rebbe cites this passage as the daily wisdom for Nissan 9: “Jewish wealth is not houses and gold. The everlasting Jewish wealth is: Being Jews who keep Torah and Mitzvot, and bringing into the world children and grandchildren who keep Torah and Mitzvot.”

I am proud to share, that next week, on his 21st birthday, my nephew, Schneur Schapiro, will be making a Siyum HaShas – conclusion of the entire Talmud.

Just to put this in context. The Talmud consists of 20 volumes, containing 60 tractates and over 2,700 folios (double sided pages). That’s 5,400 pages of studying in Aramaic and Hebrew. Those that follow the daily cycle (Daf Yomi), require nearly 7.5 years to finish. For a young man, who started as a teenager, to be so driven and focused, is truly unique. This project required him to devote years of time to studying outside of school hours, while others may have been relaxing or pursuing other interests.

This is a milestone worth celebrating. I wish my sister and brother-in-law, Rabbi Mendy and Fruma Schapiro, along with the entire family, continued Yiddishe nachas and Jewish wealth as per the quote in Hayom Yom. May Hashem bless them with good health and the means to enjoy the nachas with which they have been gifted.

I would like to welcome Warren and Daniella Cohen to the community along with their daughter Maayan. Warren is a Tulane grad (08) and was the Tulane Chabad student board president when the Rohr Family Chabad Student Center was dedicated in 2007. We wish them much success in their endeavors here in NOLA!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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