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I'm going to make my first siyum soon! (Actually not, i just needed a good opener. :P) What do i need to prepare, and what exactly do i do?

Specifically: I know i should give a speech. What should it be about?

And, what do i do when making the actual siyum?

This is a question, so please focus on real-world advice, preferably experience-based.

Advice should be applicable to siyums on both mishna and gemara.

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    Specifically: I know i should give a speech. What should it be about? This seems primarily opinion based. – mevaqesh Dec 12 '16 at 3:47
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I've actually made several siyums in different situations, on both mishna and gemara.

First of all, prepare a speech. You want this to be good. In it, explain something about what you learned and are finishing. Tune it to the audience -- don't speak on too high or too low of a level. Pick some of your favorite parts of the seder/masechet to explain. I also recommend going into some more detail about the end of the masechet, since that's what you're finishing.

After your speech, it's time to actually read the last mishna/sugya. Read it and translate, if your audience is not necessarily fluent in Mishnaic Hebrew/Aramaric. Give some explanations so people who haven't been learning it with you can follow and understand.

After you finish reading, there's some more stuff to say, generally called the "hadran", after the opening word. Say this, out loud. When you're done with the hadran, there's kaddish. Kaddish is only said if there is a minyan and the person making the siyum is eligible to say kaddish (over bar/bat mitzvah).

You're done! Breath a sigh of relief. :) It is customary, but not required, at this point, to start the next masechet, to show your enthusiasm (assuming there is a next). Invite everyone to enjoy the seudat mitzvah, and you should also eat something. :)

To avoid stumbling on unfamiliar words, i recommend going over what you say, including the text of the siyum itself, beforehand. Just be careful not to accidentally finish the masechet while you're practicing -- i just avoid saying the last couple words.

  • Why does the Hadran have to be out loud? – MosheRabbi Apr 7 '15 at 19:16
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    @Moshe I'm not sure it has to (that might make a good question), but i've always seen it done like that. Besides, it's nice for the participants to hear what's going on. – Scimonster Apr 7 '15 at 19:17
  • I hear you, that true! – MosheRabbi Apr 7 '15 at 19:18
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    "Just be careful not to accidentally finish the masechet while you're practicing -- i just avoid saying the last couple words." Is that really necessary? If you want to spend a year studying the last Sugya, you can't say the last word aloud till you finish reading all the Rishonim etc. on it? That sounds highly unlikely. You're done when you decide you're done. Then you throw a party. – Double AA May 5 '16 at 12:24
  • If you plan on teaching the beginning of the next Masekhet, you should do so before Kaddish, so the Kaddish will be on all the Torah taught. If you teach after Kaddish then you just would have to say Kaddish again on the new public Torah study. – Double AA Feb 8 '18 at 16:13

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