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
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


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
    Commented May 9, 2013 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
    Commented May 11, 2013 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. Commented May 12, 2013 at 2:21

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