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I have notcied that at my shul, whoever gives the siyum on the fast of the first-born each year before Pesach is always a first-born himself. Is this a generally practiced custom? I cannot imagine a reason why this would have to be the case.

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I'm pretty sure I've seen such a siyum presented by a non-bechor. –  Isaac Moses May 9 '13 at 18:39
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I recently heard that Rabbi Elyashiv Zatzal always made a Siyum on Erev Pesach. Once a fellow asked him that he was not a Bechor as his mother had prior miscarriages so why does he make a Siyum every year. He said he knows he is not a Bechor he does it since the Rav is supposed to make a Siyum.

It is quite likely that often a Bechor makes the Siyum since he requires it.

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someone who would otherwise have to fast has more incentive to learn a masechta, and therefore more often is the one making the siyum. –  Menachem May 9 '13 at 20:36
    
I don't understand your final sentence - doesn't this story about Rav Elyashiv convey the opposite? That a rav would make a siyyum, despite not being a firstborn, so that firstborns could attend it? If anything, that proves that you don't need to be a bekhor in order to make the siyyum, but you seem to have concluded the opposite. Did I misread you? –  Shimon bM May 11 '13 at 14:03
    
@ShimonbM: The story indicates there is no need for a Bechor to make the Siyum. The last line is explaining why perhaps often the Bechor does do it. –  Gershon Gold May 12 '13 at 2:21
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