“The glue that will hold Klal Yisroel together.”
In 1923, Vienna, Austria, was the site of the first Knessiah Gedolah – the first public gathering – of Agudath Israel. One of the youngest Rabbanim in attendance was HaRav Meir Shapiro zt”l, the 36-year-old Rav of Lublin. HaRav Shapiro wanted to suggest that the best way to unite Jews the world over was through Torah – for all of them to learn, and be able to discuss, a common Daf Gemara each day.
The Chofetz Chaim zt”l was so enamored by the idea that he made sure to rise when HaRav Shapiro, many decades his junior, walked into the hall. The other Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshiva took note, and thus gave HaRav Shapiro and his revolutionary idea the proper reverence.
The rest is history. Despite the unspeakable destruction and societal changes that Klal Yisroel would experience in the years that followed, HaRav Shapiro’s vision was validated more than anyone in the hall could have envisioned.
Daf after Daf, in country after country, the Agudah promoted this limud. Indeed, today, yidden around the world learn The Daf each day in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Spanish, among many other languages. The concept of Daf Yomi has also led to countless other shiurim and limudim that serve as the “glue” of kehillos and neighborhoods throughout the world.
When over 350,000 yidden around the world will iy”H unite to celebrate The Siyum HaShas of Daf Yomi – forming the largest Torah gathering in contemporary history – the power of the Torah learning to unite Klal Yisroel and reach every heart and neshamah will be plain for all to see – leading to the continued realization and growth of HaRav Shapiro’s vision in the years to come.