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KDVP holds siyum for firstborn boys



King David Victory Park held a siyum this year to celebrate the completion of a section of Talmud. Participation in the event, run for the first time at the school by Rabbi Ricky Seeff, general director of the South African Board of Jewish Education, is seen as a seudat mitzvah, which mitigates the need for firstborn sons to fast on erev Pesach.

The fast of the firstborn before Pesach, Ta’anit Bechorim, is a long-standing custom connected to the last of the 10 plagues – the slaying of the firstborn – in which firstborn sons fast to show appreciation for being spared from this plague. However, it’s considered a lenient fast, and if a person is able to participate in a seudat mitzvah, they aren’t required to fast.

Other examples of seudat mitzvah would be attending a wedding or a bris. In the case of the siyum, all those at the event and not only the person who completed the section are considered participants, and therefore don’t need to fast.

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