The Siyum in Verse, Twice

By Yossi Huttler

Daf Alef

to be found
only in yeshiva
shel ma’alah

where neshamos
unfinished corners
are completed
by the Teacher of teachers
who fills in
the unknowable
of this world

(Daf) Alef

hidden like the end
of the very first word
in Sefer Vayikra
reminding us
how little
we are
ever to know
b’olom hazeh

Yossi Huttler is the author of LaKol Z’man: A Poetical Journey Through the Jewish Year. His poems and essays have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Observer, the Forward, Jewish Action and Midstream

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2 Responses

  1. micha says:

    But daf alef is easy to find. It’s pretty too. It beckons you to pass through the gate of knowledge. [Ed. It is known as the shaar blatt, because it includes a depiction of an ornate gate.]

    Interestingly, when the Vilna Yerushalmi was published, they didn’t count the title page, and so Berakhos 1:1 (“Me’eimasai”) does appear on daf alef, amud alef.

    My heartiest mazal tov to all the mesaymim!

  2. Nachum says:

    To the editor’s note: Wouldn’t the “shaar blatt” be the page *before* daf alef, with daf alef being the one that lists all the perushim? I suppose that as our dafim are those laid down by Daniel Bomberg, we’d have to consult his edition to see how many pre-daf bet pages he has, but I can’t find images online.

    I sometimes wonder if back in Bomberg’s day this was a common publishing practice that he adapted to his Jewish works.

    I once heard that Chabad chasidim actually learn the title page of Tanya as part of the cycle. Is this true?

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