EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tens of thousands of Jewish people congregated Wednesday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to celebrate the reading of the entire Talmud in an event called Siyum HaShas — and drew a heavy security presence after recent anti-Semitic attacks in the area.

The New Year’s Day event celebrated the completion of the reading of the 2,711-page Babylonian Talmud, a process that takes 7 1/2 years. Similar events have recently been held in major cities around the globe, such as Mexico City, while others are scheduled in the next few weeks.

The Talmud contains discussions of Jewish law that guide every aspect of life.

“It’s an incredibly unifying force. Not only is it the personal accomplishment of completing the entire Talmud. But knowing you’re doing it together with everybody,” Lakewood, N.J.’s Dr. Isaac Perle told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.

“This leaves an impact in one’s brain, and it puts a certain beauty of Judaism inside the person’s soul,” added Sarah Schwab of Monsey, N.Y.

Rabbi Yosef C. Golding, an organizer, told The Record newspaper that he has worked with more than 50 law enforcement agencies on security for the event, and that more than 300 uniformed state police were in the stadium. The event was broadcast internationally.

Organizers expected more than 92,000 people to attend. The last event at the stadium in 2012 drew about 90,000, organizers told The Record. Wednesday marked the 13th time the event has been held since 1923, and it took place at a time when anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise and Jews are feeling less safe.

The Tri-State Area, in particular, has been rocked by recent attacks on Jews. On Dec. 10, two shooters targeted a kosher market in Jersey City, N.J., killing three people, and last weekend a man stabbed five people at the home of a rabbi in Monsey.

It’s something New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy touched on at MetLife on Wednesday.

“It’s our job to make sure we stand tall and strong and have the backs of our Jewish communities,” Murphy said.

There also have been several street assaults in New York City in recent weeks.

“I live in Pittsburgh and of course, just over a year ago, we had the massacre in Pittsburgh. We see what’s been happening here, all of the anti-Semitic attacks last week and on the streets in New York,” said Rabbi Daniel Wasserman of the Shaare Torah Congregation. “Whatever the reasons are, I’ll leave that to the political scientists. But the reality is that whether it’s ourselves or any ethnic group, we are here. We’re proud. We’re not going anywhere. And this is a perfect example of it.”

(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (20)
  1. dgbee b says:

    The head Rebbi in NY recently said that “It is the destiny of the Goy to become the Slave of the Jew.” Like any predator, you attack weakness, in this case ‘tolerance’, and then, like Wolves, circle, watch, attack and feast. Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands. The David and Goliath (that’s us btw) story is much more than a tale. I’ll never live long enough to see how Red China fares. A lip-smacking challenge if ever there was one. Geezuz !

    1. Zer says:

      The only society on this planet, besides the desert fools still living in the 12th century, that spends 30% of its citizens tax dollars on war and death is this country. Maybe the Jews are right to target you violent thugs for extinction.

    2. Jacob Belsky says:

      I wasn’t aware there was a head Rebbi in NY

  2. Paul DiBenedetto says:

    I’m interested in reading the Talmud. Is it available so I can read it on line? Jews need to promote and publicize the Talmud to non Jews, so they too can enjoy the wisdom of Jewish teachings.

    1. dbh says:

      It’s been published for many years everywhere, including online, for anyone to read, in English, French, Spanish, and many other languages. Try chabad.org, although I’m doubtful that you’re genuinely interested, but prove me wrong.

  3. dgbee b says:

    Like anyone actually follows those Stone Age rules???? Moses got so angry he smashed the Ten Commandments. Carry on, short value, squeeze the over-valued, and don’t forget that Year of Jubilee that you’re supposed to follow, too.

  4. Doug says:

    There’s no question that Jews have been expelled by more countries after having been given sanctuary than any other group excepting the Jesuits and it’s illogical that the reason is simply religious prejudice. I question the rationale that because it it alleged that 4000 years ago an invisible God promised 12 Tribes land in the middle east, that one tribe 4000 years later can claim it and the U.S. and Britain will militarily support removing the Palestinians in order to insert Jewish claimants.The legal premise to support this notion is the “Balfour Proclamation” which is nothing more than a deal cut between Lord Rothschild and Lord Balfour via a letter. Treating any group of people favorably in contrast to all others is wrong headed and un-American.

    1. Counsel says:

      Wow, a lot of hateful people here. You must have sad, meaningless lives to be attacking a nation and religion that mean nothing to you. Why do the many countries created by the slash of a pen by their overload nations have any more justification for being than Israel? Jordan itself, which was not included in the original partition plan, was created out of whole cloth because they needed to appease a Hashemite (Bedouin) king by giving him land.

      The entire history of world nations is one of inheritance and conquest. But, I know I’m wasting my breath on antisemitic haters. Facts just confuse them.

  5. dunce says:

    he said “we are not going anywhere” but spreading out and letting others get to know that you are decent people could help stop the hate based on lies about what Jews are and do.

  6. Easy Eight says:

    None of my business & good for them. I wish people would leave them alone.

  7. A Jew says:

    Why did the lede paragraph clumsily say “Jewish people” rather than “Jews”? To the author, is “Jews” a pejorative? If the gathering had been of Christians, would they have been called “Christian people?”

    1. Mark L says:

      To trully understand how deeply the river of anti-semitism runs in America, you only need to read the jew-hating vitriol posted, not just here, but in the comments following almost any internet article related to Jews, Jewish culture. Israel, or a Jewish personality.

      The ‘good” people absolve themselves of responsibility by ignoring the comments and buying the leftist propaganda that anti-semitism is strictly the currency of right wing extremists and neo-nazis. The lie is complete.

      It would be easy to dismiss this by saying the internet is a magnet for extremist beliefs and does not necessarily represent a cross section of American society but that would be wrong and inacurate. The majority of Americans now rcv their news online so it stands to reason that people posting comments do represent a wide swath of the population.

      Anti-semitic readers who might refrain from making face-to-face remarks to friends, family or coworkers are more likely to post comments online by hiding behind the cloak of total anonymity.

  8. jfm5959 says:

    It’s odd that they should be reading from the Talmud, the same book that creates its own anti semitism. Goys, that’s us, are cattle? What can else expect.

    1. Bert says:

      You cn read “Judaisms Strange Gods” by Michael Hoffman for an eye-openng introduction to the Talmud’s teachings.

      1. High Geerection says:

        Michael Hoffman, the Holocaust denier? You Moslem Brotherhood, bro?

    2. StaggerLee says:

      Any interned search will tell you “goy” means nation. As if you needed an excuse to hate Jews.

  9. Gem says:

    It should be published so the public can read and study. There is a lot of controversy that could be resolved.

    1. dbh says:

      It’s been published everywhere (including online) for a long time, in English, Spanish, French, and a host of other languages. Stop feigning ignorance.

  10. Buck Darling says:

    I heard that, to increase attendance next year, the Giants will read from the Talmud instead of playing the Cowboys.

Leave a Reply