The Denver Community Kollel held its 2nd annual Learn-A-Thon on Sunday, May 28th, 2017. The concept is simple: Jews gather to study, individually, with a chavrusah (study partner), or in groups for one hour, usually with the goal of finishing a specific part of Torah during the study session.
Nearly 125 Jews from across Denver and Boulder participated in the Learn-A-Thon. Men and boys were given a folio of Tractate Kiddushin to learn, while women studied a prepared curriculum in small groups led by Kollel women.
Following the learning session, a siyum (completion ceremony) on Tractate Kiddushin was held. Kollel Senior Educator Rabbi Mordechai Fleisher made the siyum.
In his remarks, Rabbi Fleisher focused on the final passage of Tractate Kiddushin, which discusses Torah study as being the ideal profession a person ought to teach his son. Rabbi Fleisher discussed, based on the words of the Brisker Rav (Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik), that there is a Talmudic dispute whether one ought to be fully engaged in Torah study to the exclusion of all other endeavors, or whether one must also devote some time to earning a livelihood. Rabbi Soloveitchik explained that there are individuals who merit complete immersion in Torah study, but most people need to spend some time making a living. Rabbi Fleisher noted that regardless of which group one is in, Torah study is the focal point of one’s life, while one’s mundane profession is of secondary importance. The large crowd present at the Learn-A-Thon, he continued, is evidence of the primacy Denver Jewry places on Torah study.
Following the siyum, participants celebrated with music and dancing, followed by refreshments in honor of the siyum.
“The learning of Torah is at the core of our individual and collective Jewish identity,” said Rabbi Michael Sunshine, director of the Jewish Student Connection in the Denver/Boulder area.
“Walking into the Learn-a-Thon, I was immediately taken aback by the large group of people, from numerous parts of our community, engaged “today” in learning and discussing the Talmud – bridging the years and millennia of our people. It is an amazing experience to participate in the Learn-a-Thon.”
To see more pictures from the Learn-A-Thon, click here.