Reader Submitted: The Aguda Makes MILLIONS, While I – a Misayem – Can’t Afford a seat for the Siyum Hashas

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Business or Kovod Hatorah? If the price is an indicator, it’s the former.
It happens once every seven and a half years. Tens of thousands of Yidden finish Shas. A massive achievement and Kiddush Hashem.

The Gedolei Hador, Roshei Yeshiva, Rebbes, and Sefardic Rabbanim stand side by side to honor the Torah.


However, the price tag on seats questions the motives of the Agudath Israel Of America – the Organization arranging and profiting from the Siyum.

Yes, there were $36 tickets, but those were sold out months ago…


While I don’t doubt Aguda‘s work, both locally and Nationally, (in Lakewood they are less of player though, due to the ‘broad scope’ of the Lakewood VAAD.) it’s hard not to question the Aguda.

The Siyum Hashas has roughly 100 VIP suites selling at 100K apiece. That amounts to a whopping 10 Million dollars. Let’s assume half filled, that’s $5 Million dollars.

Additionally, the Siyum is on an off-peak day ensuring the stadium is available at a lower price. There are roughly 82,000 stadium seats and Daf Yomi Magidei Shiurim receive free seats – on the grass. So there are about 70K paid seats.

Cheaper tickets are sold out, so it’s $100 per seat for men and $180 for Women – the average person can not afford to bring his children.


In summary: Wealthier people can attend with their children and grandchildren, while some people making a siyum, need to pay $100 and can’t afford to come themselves or to bring their children to the huge maamad kiddush hashem. Why? So the Aguda can profit MILLIONS of dollars on the backs of us misaymim.

There are plausible options: A) The siyum should be ‘cost price’ with closer seats more expensive to cover the ‘regular people.’ B) Free for misaymim. (A vetting system would be needed but it is not too complex – similar to BMG – where the Maagid Shiur lists who is in his group…) as well as other options…


What gives the Aguda the right to hijack the Siyum Hashas and profit off it. If it was cost price, beautiful, but to prevent misaymim from attending with a high entrance fee, is not what a Torahdik organization does.

Yitzchak – a Misayem.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of GreaterLakewood.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Issues seems like you were too late to the purchase. Why is this any different than booking a flight and all sold out but first class. There were many inexpensive seats available immediately and everyone knew about it early on. In general though, yes all ticket prices should have had lower entry points. That I agree with for sure. And no the siyum should not belong to one organization.

    • “And no the siyum should not belong to one organization.”
      Well they did come up with the huge siyum idea…
      But it’s okay, because Dirshu has a siyum a month later. Although i don’t know why they feel the need to copy Agudahs.

    • It’s not different at all. Nobody questions the fact that the airlines are there to make a profit and that their goal is to get as much money out of you as market dynamics allow. People are only upset when fundraisers are masked as altruistic endeavors and kavod hatorah. Personally, I don’t feel the pull to attend. I’d rather make a siyum myself than attend an over commercialized fundraiser, whether or not there will be 100k people there. Yes, it’s a tremendous Kiddush Hashem, but so is an anonymous Jew who sees someone who delivers a tomchei shabbos package in the dead of the night and runs in order to preserve the recipients dignity.
      כל מקום שאתה מוצא גדלותו של הקב’ה שם אתה מוצא ענוותנותו…

  2. While I got a $36.00 seat, I agree that it’s become a “kardom-lach’por-boi”.
    Dos iz nisht vor Reb Meir Shapiro hut gemaint, chas vi’shalom.

    Each shtut should make their own sium.

  3. Most people are well aware that it is a fundraising event, no different than the Dinner. They aren’t hijacking an event, it is their event. No one is forcing anyone to go, no one is forcing anyone to donate to them.

    • if only that were true. dirshu got into big trouble for just just planning to do their event on the same day as agudah. and so would any any other mosid big like dirshu. so sad fact is, that agudah has hijacked “the siyum”.

  4. Agree with this. There is no way to justify the high ticket prices.
    Clearly the agenda is not torah – which questions if their masisive ad campaign to join the siyum and finish masechtas are all about finishing, and going to the Siyum Hashas so they can profit!

  5. Written perfectly. I know of two people who finished and learns the entire SHAS this cycle but cannot afford $100 for them and their two or three sons and are skipping it.

  6. They should not host it if they don’t have the right intentions. This is terrible! I wonder what they’re rabbonim and say about this or if they even asked them…..

    • “Right intentions”?
      “I wonder what they’re rabbonim and say about this or if they even asked them.”
      Well R’ Dovid Fienstien said all should go, is he big enough for you?

  7. Totally agree. There should be a venue in every big city such as Lakewood. There are thousands of poor families in Lakewood that cant pay their discounted tuition. Many struggling to buy food.They certainly dont have the gelt for these insane prices.

    • Part of being a KollelMon is not being able to afford certain luxuries, that’s why it’s considered so chashuv. And yes, going to Agudah’s siyum is a luxury.

  8. If they would make a siyum in Lakewood it would be hijacked by BMG who would then charge high prices, and we would all complain. Next you’ll be demanding that each development make their own siyum.

    I know many people who got $25 tickets for their entire mishpacha.

  9. 1. Right now there are only the closer seats available. You seem to agree that those should be more expensive.

    2. Being on Jan does not really mean it should be cheaper. What is peak regarding renting a stadium during daylight hours?

    3. Being Jan 1 makes the cost of personnel significantly higher for stadium staff as well as all security and police staff and others.

  10. You are correct. It is 100% wrong and I feel so strongly about it that if I were mesayem I wouldn’t even want to celebrate in such a way. With that said, it would be an honor to pay for you and a few of your children to go. If you are interested GL could provide my contact info.

  11. 1) Anyone who is being Mesayem Shas should get a discounted ticket.
    2) We have no idea what the true cost of the Siyum is. Renting Metlife, all the ads, the security, all the salaries, and probably hundreds of other expenses. That being said, Agudah should be more transparent here with the finances. I agree with the reader above, after all the corporate sponsorships, all the Suites, all the $1800 seats, the $600 seats, the $360 seats, and 70,000 regular seats, Agudah is making a mint on this.
    3) If the above is true, I’m sure Reb Meir Shapiro is turning over in his grave.
    4) Does anyone remember the prices from 7 years ago?

    • 4. $10

      Truth is, this event should be free.
      But charging $10 is an efficient way of keeping out undesirables
      The bigger problem is parking, etc.
      There are a number of gvirim who’ve financed this in the past, I assume now too. The rest is gravy to Agudah.
      Why do RY get in free? Were they magidei shiur? Let them get in free for the LSC event tonight. Their children don’t have to worry about inferior education, their children will marry fellow RY with money or gvirim.

  12. You all seem to be forgetting a few things:
    #1) Agudah is a Not For Profit Organization. That means that the proceeds from this siyum are helping to pay for anything the Agudah needs.

    #2) I believe all the official Daf Yomi shiurim recieved an option on the tickets before they were released to the public. If you chose not to buy at that point you have only yourself to blame, just like by a plane ticket.

    #3) If you were learning by yourself or with an unaffiliated shiur just go to the Dirshu one. you’re not entitled to the Agudah siyum.

    • zeeskeit, the directors of any orginization in klal yisroel from hatzolah to BMG, yes have personal negios that their lifes works should be succesful. some – sometimes even at the expense of others.

  13. To those who are saying that people knew about the lower priced tickets months ago, that’s not necessarily true. I know someone who’s not the type to know what’s going on all around. His head is just in learning. Needless to say, he does not access the internet either. He did not know about the lower priced tickets when they went up for sale. Now he can’t afford to attend the siyum. This is exactly the type of person who SHOULD attend!

  14. See rebuttal here https://greaterlakewood.com/reader-submitted-i-hope-the-aguda-makes-more-than-10-million/
    A. If you are a mesayem then paying a few more dollars for a siyum should be b’chavod. Besides, you were “farshlepped” getting your act together and deciding to get your tickets, so the cheaper tickets sold out.
    B. The “Millions” Agudah is “pocketing” is going to represent you and your children for far more then your $180 seat that you have to nebach buy.
    C. How many of you commenters have never bought a seat/airline ticket/circus./vacation and maybe even c”v sports etc. tickets for your entertainment, but for Agudah that has been there for klal yisroel for 100+ years, no!
    D. The millions spent on being marbitz torah for this siyum and beyond as well is a nice chunk of your terribly expensive $180 ticket.
    E. If all else fails, stay home!!
    F. Get a TorahMate and Oorah will give you a free ticket, like this you will be doing for Klal Yisroel at the same time. Win-win.

  15. Kinderlach, kinderlach, stop your squabbling. You’re only making the R’bono Shel Olom and R’ Meir Shapiro Z”L cry. Anyone who cannot afford to go to either of the siyumim should make a Siyum at home with some friends. Be in ecstasy that you were born a Yid and were ZOCHE to complete The Eibishter’s Shas. Dance around the table with your Seforim held high above your head together with your children. Sing Anah Avdecha D’kudesha Bruch (Brich) hu…. sing Yisroel V’oraysa V’kudesha Bruch (Brich) Hu Chad Hu. Take videos and pictures. Enlarge your best picture to 30 inches wide. and hang in your dining room. Your children will relive and remember true Simchas HaTorah their entire lives.

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