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Jul 31, 2022

Interesting Psak: don't make a siyyum

Rav Dovid Yosef, Chief Rabbi of Har Nof in Jerusalem, said in his shiur that once a year we are told to not eat meat as part of our mourning for the destruction of the mikdash. It is inappropriate to make a siyyum specifically during this period just to be able to eat meat. We should make an effort, Rav Yosef said, to mourn for Jerusalem, as one who mourns for Jerusalem will merit to see its rebuilding.

Further, Rav Yosef said, there is an aberrant trend of people to hire yeshiva bochurim to make a siyyum in order to circumvent the prohibition of eating meat. Needless to say, Rav Yosef doesn't like this trend and tells people to stay away from doing this, and we need to show that we care about the mourning and just not eat the meat.
source: Actualic

Honestly, this is what I do and what I believe. I dont make siyyumim during this period, nor do I look for them. I do not think it is such a big deal to not eat meat for about a week.

That being said, it is somewhat funny to hear a rabbi tell people to not learn Torah (though to be fair he is sayign to not make a siyyum, not to not learn). I do think that it is somewhat pathetic to see people go crazy that they cant have meat for a week and try to find all sorts of ways around it. And I say this as someone who eats a fair amount of meat. 

On the other hand, it is hard to mourn for something that happened so long ago that we don't even know about firsthand, and not even tenth hand or a hundredth hand and it is only something we read about. I might not like to do it, but I understand why so many people don't feel the mourning at a level that avoiding meat is important. Many of the rules of this week feel like this whole thing is overdone. It is somewhat sad that this is all that so many of us are left with -a bunch of rules we don't really care about that are supposed to mean something we find impossible to actually feel, and think that anyone who does is really just playacting with behavior and emotions he thinks he is supposed to exhibit. 

Our mourning is really at most a learned experience, an academic one, rather than an emotional one, for many people.

Maybe if people don't actually feel, it, and avoiding meat does not bring them to such feelings any longer, so finding loopholes is maybe not such a bad thing - hey, at least people learn more Torah because of it (in order to make siyyumim)...

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  1. He did not say not to learn Torah, just don't make a siyyum for the purpose of eating meat.
    And BTW, how often do people eat meat when they make a siyyum not during the 9 days? If the rest of the year you are content with schnapss and rugelach, then why all of a sudden during the 9 days do you need meat?

    1. 1. I said that (in parenthesis)
      2. whenever I make a siyyum I make it meat. all my bris seudahs were also meat. I believe a seudas mitzva should be with meat

  2. There are parts of the siyum text (hadran) that sound a bit snobbish. Perhaps some of the readers picked up on this over the years.
    Maybe- and I am sure it is unintended- one benefit of not stressing siyumim during the nine days is to tone down the snobbery, despite the learning achievement. After all, according to chazal in Yoma:
    "מקדש שני, שהיו עוסקין בתורה ובמצות וגמילות חסדים, מפני מה חרב? מפני שהיתה בו שנאת חינם"


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