Farher 5778


Hagaon Reb Mechel Zilber ‘Challenges’ Shas Yiden Avreichim

By Eliezer Sandler

Recently, the internationally acclaimed Shas Yiden Kolel Network in Israel under the leadership of Maran Sar Hatorah, Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, celebrated its 9th Siyum Hashas and completion by each avreich of 13,555 blatt-per-year. One of the central highlights was the oral farher of all 42 geonim avreichim by the world renowned Daf Yomi Magid Shiur, Hagaon Harav Mechel Zilber, shlit”a, Rosh Yeshiva Zevil, Yerushalayim.

The build-up over the last couple of months to the intense farher was ‘pressure-filled’. Rav Zilber is well-known for his searching and wide-ranging complex questions from the length and breadth of Shas, with many potential pitfalls. They are not merely “Where is it written – page number and location on the page?” Even such a quiz would be a colossal feat. However, Rav Zilber presses for multiple answers, locations, as well as the Rashi’s and the Tosfos!

The battery of avreichim faced off against Rav Zilber. What began as question and answer, soon became a multi-pronged thrust and parry from both sides. The more that Rav Zilber tried to enmesh the avreichim, the more he found himself challenged. As one of the guests exclaimed – “this was like a Torah fireworks display.”

Example of questions:

Where in Shas is Eliyahu mentioned and it does not refer to Eliyahu Hanavi, and who is he? Immediate responses: Kiddushin 70a – Anyone who marries a woman not suited to him from an inappropriate lineage, Eliyahu binds him… Rashi comments that it was another angel named Eliyahu.

Where in Brochos does it refer to Shabbos, and where in Shabbos does it refer to Brochos?

Immediate Responses: 15 places in Brochos: 6b not to run on Shabbos, 8b Shnayim mikra, 18a Mourning on Shabbos, 20a Kiddush on Shabbos, 27b Shabbos prayer, 39b lechem mishneh etc.

References to Brochos in Shabbos: 23a Blessing for lighting Chanukah candles, 119b the blessing vayechulu, 116b blessing for bris milah

Rav Zilber’s Brocho

In a letter penned in the evening following the farher, Rav Zilber wrote the following:

“My eyes saw wonders, the preciousness of the proficiency of these incredible scholars… Through their great love of Torah they merit to ‘wander’ through the entire Shas… acquired all-encompassing knowledge of Shas…

“To acquire such pansophic knowledge in every aspect of Shas is not possible through only effort and intense study. It is through minimizing sleep, curtailing idle talk and chatter and to separate from worldly pursuits – and to toil in Torah by day and by night…

“May they be blessed to do the same in Talmud Yerushalmi, the Shulchan Aruch etc… to acquire kinyanei Torah with their blood and souls to the glory of the all the House of Israel.”

The incredible study regimen of each avreich includes 13,555 blatt per year and 160 study days more than other kollelim around the world. For details of the regimen and a video of the farher and the siyum with Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, please click on https://shasyiden.com/farher/