Capitalizing on the excitement of the Siyum HaShas that inaugurated the 14th cycle of Daf Yomi since the program’s inception, Chazaq teamed up with Agudath Israel of America to maintain the momentum. “It’s my third time trying. We should be together seven and a half years from now,” said Chazaq CEO Rabbi Yaniv Meirov.

The first tractate of the Talmud Bavli covers the blessings that Jews recite as part of their daily services, on food items, and at special occasions. It covers in detail how the liturgy came into form, and the alternative formulas proposed for various occasions.

“The Gemara and the Zohar write that every Amen is higher than the brachah that was said. We start our daily brachot by saying thank you to Hashem,” said Rabbi Jacob Nasirov, who was among the local rabbis at the B’rachos siyum, which took place last Motza’ei Shabbos at Yeshiva Ohel Simcha.

Rabbi Igal Haimoff spoke of Torah learning as a defense against Amaleik. “When we are weak in Torah, Hashem gives the brachah to Amaleik. What we are doing here tonight is helping to wipe out Amaleik.”

Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum delivered a lengthy encouragement to the participants, as the second tractate, Shabbos, is known for its complex intricacies of identifying the prohibited m’lachos. “We now have the impetus, the drive, the motivation to begin Maseches Shabbos. The world was created for the study of Torah. There must be Torah being learned somewhere in the world.”

Rabbi Oelbaum spoke of the Torah as water, but one does not make a brachah on water if one is not thirsty. “You have to have a thirst for Torah to be matzliach in Torah.”

Rabbi Aharon Walkin, Rosh HaYeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedolah Beis Nosson Meir of Queens, recited the Hadran on behalf of all the participants. “Now starts the difficult part. B’rachos was beautiful, interesting. Shabbos is not going to be that easy. To be kovei’a itim, that’s consistency. That’s the test of how much you want to learn. That takes m’siras nefesh. Be strong. We’re all soldiers.”

 By Sergey Kadinsky