While much of America was focused on the statement of religious support for Chick-fil-A exercised by hundreds of thousands of Americans, that same day 90,000 Orthodox Jews were celebrating the completion of a 7 and 12 years course of study in the Talmud in New Jerseys MetLife Stadium. This excellent New York Times article by Sharon Otterman provides many fascinating details:
The more than $2 million celebration, whose cost was covered by ticket sales, was organized by Agudath Israel, an umbrella organization for Orthodox Jews in America. The organization has carried the Daf Yomi, the regimen of daily study, from the mind of a single Polish rabbi, Meir Shapiro, in 1923, through the trauma of the Holocaust to its current resurgence.
About 70,000 to 80,000 Jews worldwide now participate in the daily learning sessions, said Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger, the chairman of the Daf Yomi Commission, and septennial celebrations like the one here have grown bigger with each cycle.
If you would like to hear a short discussion of about the event, you can listen to the John Batchelor Show via WABC Radios podcast page (go here, and start listening at 10 min 30 seconds (of 39:48)).
Religious freedom is a beautiful thing.