Rabbi N. Slifkin But who are the guests of honor at the grand Siyumim? Who performs the siyum, who makes the speeches, who gets the glory? Not the Daf Yomi participants and not even the maggidei shiurim. Instead, it's the roshei yeshivah. [...]
With the glory being given to the exponents of Daas Torah, it provides them with a platform to use the event for the politics of Daas Torah. The last Siyum HaShas took place during the peak of the controversial ban on three of my books. One yeshivah figurehead took advantage of the opportunity to strengthen the ideology of Daas Torah, and capitalized on the martyrs of the Holocaust, in whose memories the Siyum HaShas is dedicated. Rav Mattisyahu Solomon spoke about how the martyrs demand us to reject the "makeshift answers" to conflicts between the Gemara and science that are offered by the "midgets of our generation." Aside from the question of whether approaches to the Gemara offered by countless Geonim and Rishonim and Acharonim can be called "makeshift," and the question of whether the victims of the Holocaust really did die for this belief, one has to wonder why a siyum on Daf Yomi is being used to further such an agenda. It's a siyum haShas, not an Agudas Yisroel convention!
Orthodox Jewish society is made up of many different important people and institutions. We need baalei battim and teachers and schools and lay leaders and yeshivos and roshei yeshivah and universities and academics and shuls and community rabbis and mohelim and shochtim. And there are differences of opinion about whether leadership should be held by lay leaders, community rabbis or roshei yeshivah. But Daf Yomi is not about any of those three groups. They have plenty of opportunities to receive glory, at dinners and Internet Asifas and Agudas Yisroel conventions. Daf Yomi is about the ordinary man who takes his ArtScroll Gemara on the train with him every morning on the way to work. He is the hero of the Siyum HaShas. Let's grant him his well-deserved honor!