When we finish learning a significant chunk of Torah – like a tractate of Talmud, or one of the six Orders of the Mishnah – we make what is called a siyum, a celebration of the completion. Near the close of the school year, Yitzi’s class made a siyum on Sefer Bereshis (the Book of Genesis), which they’ve been learning all year and now know essentially by heart. They made a really big deal out of the siyum, and it was really something. The results are perhaps too adorable for consumption by anyone but grandparents, but here we go.
The boys gathered up in front of the school, at Beit Rothschild:
When they got there, they started with a big song & dance number, then filed into their seats on the dais, looking like the typical VIP section of an Orthodox assembly:
After some singing and speeches, the class was mesayem (completed) Sefer Bereshis, reciting the last few pesukim (verses) of the Sefer, followed by “chazak! chazak! venischazeik!” (“be strong! be strong! and may we be strengthened!”) which is traditionally said during the Torah reading in shul on Shabbos when one of the five Sefarim of the Torah is completed, albeit without the arm pumping that you see here. They then immediately went into the first pesukim of Sefer Shemos (the Book of Exodus) – the quintessential Jewish approach, in which (a) learning is never finished; and (b) even as we celebrate what we’ve accomplished, we’re looking forward to what’s coming next. And then there’s the singing:
I didn’t intend to film that much of the siyum, but the boys were just too cute. I wound up burning through the camera battery, and had to film the part where Yitzi got his certificate with my iPhone. Here are some pics & videos of the rest: