In 5770 (2009) six gifted avreichim were handpicked to become part of a new vision, the first of its kind ever in klal Yisroel - to train and develop Shas Yiden! Traditionally, the title Shas Yid has been one of rare distinction - someone who has truly ‘mastered’ the entire Talmud. The founder of the program, Harav Avrohom Halevi Eisen, the Pozna Rov, shlit”a, wanted Shas Yiden to become a central feature of the Torah-world landscape. And he has succeeded! Since then, Shas Yiden has been acclaimed by leading gaonim and talmidei chachomim.
Entire Shas Once-a-Year
A unique and carefully structured program was developed to guide systematic annual study of the entire Shas with the aim of knowing Torah she’be’al peh – by heart. The talmidei chachomim would be paid respectable stipends to help relieve them of pressing financial worries so that they could dedicate themselves each-and-every day of the year to the study of Talmud Bavli. They would sit for regular detailed tests – oral and in writing – given by leading scholars in the Torah world. They would have a kinyan (bond) with, and detailed knowledge of, every single page of the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfos.
Since its inception, the group of scholars has grown steadily and Shas Yiden is to be
found in four locations – Yerushalayim (14), Bnei Brak (16), Beit Shemesh (21) and
Beitar (11). Each is an exceptional scholar with a keen intellect, and they represent the best of the Torah community of our day. While the talmidei chachomim hail from across the Torah community spectrum – Litvish, Chassidish, Ashkenazim and Sefardim - they have one common aim - to know the entire Shas comprehensively by heart.
While there are many applicants to join the program, acceptance is only after a two-month trial period of maintaining the very demanding daily regimen and followed by rigorous examinations of 450 blatt (Talmud folios). Even though the study of the Talmud has grown in popularity throughout the Jewish world, and many thousands participate in the Daf Hayomi and attend the siyum of the seven-year Shas study cycle, finding a true Shas Yid continues to be a rarity.