A (Daf Yomi) Tale of Two Cities
(Note: For anyone interested in a bit of commentary on the Supreme Court’s Ten Commandments rulings, which haven’t been addressed on this site, see my piece today on Jewish World Review.)
Boy, does that Daf Yomi juggernaut have power! Until this morning, the next Siyum HaShas (celebration of the conclusion of the seven-and-one-half year, page-a-day cycle of Talmud study), set to take place, G-d willing, in the summer of 2012, was on a collision course with the 2012 summer Olympic Games, both vying for the use of the same New York- area stadia.
So what happens? First, a religious Jew single-handedly stops the stadium-building effort on which New York’s bid for the Games seemed to hinge. (Interestingly, only days before New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver put a halt to the proposed West Side stadium project, it had gotten a green light from another religious Jew, this one a New York State Supreme Court judge who rejected last-ditch legal challenges to NYC’s sale of the stadium site to the Jets — those [frum] Jews really do control everything, don’t they?!)
But, Mayor Bloomberg (not a Daf Yomi learner yet, so far as we know), forged ahead undeterred with the city’s Olympic bid, pulling out all the stops, enlisting big-name politicians and athletes, wining and dining the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision-makers, and, indeed, it seemed as if the force, if not the Force, was with the Big Apple.
Until today, that is, when the IOC announced that since New York will host the Siyum HaShas that summer, it’s only fair that London be given the consolation prize of hosting the 2012 Olympics. OK, so maybe they only made the second part of that announcement; let’s not be so particular.
But, dear reader, while all of this seems to indicate that the Daf Yomi has some Big-Time protektzia operating in its favor, where, I ask, is the flaw in my reasoning? (First give it some thought and only upon drawing a mental blank should you proceed to the next paragraph.)
Where, pray tell, will the next Siyum HaShas celebration for all Jews be held, if not in Yerushalayim Ihr HaKodesh?! Ayayay, as my mashgiach in yeshiva might say, how deeply engrained in us is our galus mindset . . .