A New Jersey state trooper, impressed by the exemplary behavior of over 93,000 Orthodox Jews at the Talmud study event at MetLife Stadium, asked the driver, “Have you done your page yet today?”
Close to 100,000 people on Wednesday – New Year’s Day 2020 – packed the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to celebrate the herculean task of completing the entire Babylonian Talmud, called “Siyum HaShas,” which takes seven-and-a-half years of study, with a page each day.
The event saved a Jewish driver from a moving violation the next day, reports Yeshiva World News (YWN), a US-based orthodox Jewish news site.
The driver was stopped on the Garden State Parkway for a traffic violation, and when the trooper noticed the skullcap on his head, his first question was: “Have you done your page yet today?
When the driver responded that he had not yet done it, the report continues, the trooper said, “If you promise to do it today, I will let you off with just a warning!”
The trooper then told the driver that he was working at the stadium on the day of the Siyum HaShas and was highly impressed by the behavior of the participants, according to the report. He was amazed that out of 93,000 people, there was not one intoxicated or disorderly person.
Rabbi Abe Friedman, the New Jersey State Police Chaplain, told YWN that there were 370 state troopers at the stadium that day, working the nearby exits, directing traffic, as well as securing the actual stadium. This does not include the FBI, DHS, local police and many other law enforcement agencies, the report notes.
Also present at the event were the NJ State Police Superintendent and NJ Governor Phil Murphy, who received a standing ovation from the crowd.
In video above (courtesy YWN), New Jersey Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan speaks to colleagues and participants at Siyum Hashas event.
A smaller Siyum Hashas event took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. At both events, tens of thousands entered security in an orderly fashion and were extremely polite, including saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to staff and wishing them a Happy New Year.
At Barclays, YWN reports, Charles Scholl, the New York Police Department’s Deputy Chief of Patrol Brooklyn South, said that never before had he witnessed such courtesy and cooperation.
Commenting on the event, many religious Jewish observers describe the admirable behaviour of the Siyum Hashas participants as a Kiddush Hashem – literally a sanctification of God’s name – by bringing honor, glory and respect.