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.
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.