Posted to Chabad News on

The Lubavitcher Who Brought the Siyum to Thousands

While organizers of the Siyum HaShas declined to create a live feed from MetLife Stadium for the thousands of people who were unable to attend the event, one young man took matters, literally, into his own hands and one small act of chesed, intended to benefit a few friends, turned into a five hour long live stream that was ultimately seen by tens of thousands of viewers.

JJ Eleff’s original plan had been to stream perhaps one speaker, maybe two, to a group of online friends at the Dan’s Deals forum. The twenty one year old from Cleveland, who currently lives in Brooklyn and is studying for smicha while also preparing for his LSATs, had no idea how to run a live stream, but said that it took just a few minutes to set up an account with

Armed with just a cell phone, a spare battery and a charger, Eleff began streaming live from MetLife Stadium during Mincha and was shocked when, over time, the number of viewers grew exponentially, with tens of thousands of people tuning into his stream during the night.

“I never expected anything like this,” Eleff told VIN News. “It was just one small act of kindness I was doing for a few friends and in the end thousands of people benefitted from it. You never know the power of one act of chesed. This whole thing is just so humbling when I realize how each of us has the potential to affect the lives of others.”

A link to the stream was posted on VIN News and as viewers clicked in by the thousands, they posted comments on VIN expressing their gratitude to the as yet unnamed streamer, for giving them the ability to share in the Siyum in a meaningful way, including one from one man who spent the evening at home, watching the Siyum with his young teenage son, who was stricken with cancer.

Other comments on the site were equally moving.

“I have to admit watching Rav Lau’s speech and seeing so many Jews dancing with such emotion ignited me to think what made me leave this beautiful community?,” wrote one off the derech teenager.

“I had emergency surgery just before the Siyum, and was very upset that I was going to miss it since I was stuck at home in bed,” wrote community activist Zvi Gluck. “I called the phone number to listen, but something was missing. It wasn’t like I was there. I emailed a few friends and asked if anyone could stream video for me, so I could feel like the rest of Klal Yisroel, and see what they see. A few tried, but it kept getting cut off. Then a friend emailed me the VIN News link and said that someone was live streaming the Siyum from a mobile device. I clicked it, and I was ecstatic. I felt like I was there, or as close as I was able to be. Here I was in bed, unable to speak or move and I was able to watch and hear the amazing Kiddush Hashem taking place: hearing words from Gedolim, and seeing all different types of Yidden from all different backgrounds, sitting together, dancing together, being inspired and really being ONE nation.”

Seventy five percent of the views received came from the link posted on VIN News.

“The power of the web, when used for spreading the word of Hashem, should be far more embraced in our community,” said the editor of VIN News. “There is no question that Hashem has sent us this technology and that we should utilize it to spread yiddishkeit and show the world the beauty of Judaism.”

Eleff began the live stream at 7:30 and noticed within minutes that he had a handful of viewers.

“I figured it was the guys from the forum and I told them to feel free to share the link, though I warned them there were no guarantees how long it would go on for,” said Eleff.

Within ten minutes, Eleff was surprised to notice that there were twenty five viewers and when the number of viewers hit one hundred, Eleff realized that with so many people counting on him, he felt the obligation to continue the stream for as long as possible.

“I watched the numbers grow and I found out later that there were hundreds of tweets telling people about the stream. When the link got posted on Vos Iz Neias, I saw the numbers start jumping into the thousands.”

The link to the live stream was eventually posted on other news sites as well and according to Eleff, the Siyum HaShas stream was the most watched feed on Ustream that day.

Thankfully, Eleff, who has an unlimited data plan and streamed over one gigabyte of data during the Siyum, had brought along a spare battery for his Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which he left charging in the nearby concourse, swapping out the battery between speakers.

“Can you imagine at a football game if someone had left a battery charging in the walkway, just sitting there?” queried Eleff. “It felt totally natural to leave my charger there and not have to worry about someone taking it. It stayed there for five hours and no one even touched it.”

Eleff, who had taken a New Jersey Transit train to the Siyum, kept on streaming even after announcers warned all commuters that the last trains would be leaving shortly.

“Baruch Hashem, there ended up being a later train,” said Eleff. “It never even occurred to me to leave.”

Thirty six hours after the Siyum, Eleff admitted that his arm still aches from the five hour live stream, but that he is still on a high.

Eleff was buoyed the tremendous achdus he saw at the Siyum.

“There was one guy, a total stranger, who asked to remain anonymous, who held the phone for ten minutes during one of the speeches, just so I could get a drink of water and stretch a little,” recalled Eleff. “He was wearing a gold Chai necklace and a sports cap and held the phone for me during Maariv so that I could daven.”

“If was the best Maariv Shmone Esria of my entire life,” added Eleff.


  • 2. friend wrote:

    amazing, i always knew JJ was that amazing person, always there to do another Jew a favor

  • 4. aguda removed the rebbe from a picture wrote:

    aguda blots out rebbes picture but you promote them

    the friedeke rebbe was not a fan of aguda

  • 6. To number 3: wrote:

    To number 3:
    You make me ashamed to be Lubavitch, JJ didn’t promote Aguda, he made it possible for 10s of thousands of Yidden to partake in the largest gathering since the Bais Hamikdash!

    He has the zechus of all the torah that all the viewers learned through his act of chesed! You can talk smack all you want, and if he was holding a sign that said Agudah is king you would have a point, but you are what is known online as a troll (DEFINITION: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument).

    Take your hate and narrow mindedness and try to find something productive to do, how about you start by apologizing to JJ for ignoring the good that he accomplished.

    Oh and by the way, unlike you I am not afraid to sign my name,
    Eli Spalter

    PS: To JJ, thanks for allowing me to partake in the sium, and Thanks for making a MASSIVE Kidush Lubavitch!

  • 10. michoel a s wrote:

    to # 3

    I am with you all the way.

    to #6, 7 & 8:
    It it sad to say that some ppl. had no sense to understand that this is not klal yisroel matter but of an agdua.

    I was there by the Farbrengen shlach 5748 and heard from the Rebbe that this is was not accepted by the previous Rebbe as a mainstream project and there there was shlila to it.

    Then came the tactic – the Rebbe’s pix is cropped and removed.

    what do you guys need more ti figure it out?

    a little sechel does not hurt ?

  • 11. to # 8 Open your eyes wrote:

    I agree with number three. Does Agudah broadcast the siyum Harambam or the Siyum Masechtas during the nine days. How about showing the siyom Sefer Torah for childen today at the Kosel where more than 90,000 men women and children will attend.

  • 12. Old classmate 5769 wrote:

    JJ you never cease to amaze me! You have helped so many people with so many things big and small, its nice to see you getting the recognition you deserve! IM”YH you will find an equally amazing bashert in the right time. Then the two of you will take the Jewish world by storm with a home of of unbound chesed for all Jews in need. No matter what walks of life they come from I am sure you will be there to help them with whatever their need is. Whether physical or spiritual you are the one guy who people can depend on for help and support. Now that you have the bar raises high I am confident you will only grow in your chessed and keep helping many more thousands of people. If chas vishalom shalam mordechai isn’t free by the time your done law school I am sure you will be the one to set him free. (You always were and are the best lawyer I know)

  • 13. to #8 wrote:

    Thanks Eli for sticking up for JJ! :) what was that thing the Rebbe always spoke about? Oh ya ahavas chinum. That’s still a thing right? Or have these poor lost forlorn and depressed lubavitchers given up on bringing moshiach, now they just focus on making fights and divisions within klal yosroel. So sad how some people can turn a beautiful and inspiring show of chessed and add their own hate filed and miserable lives into the equation. I love even the guys who are bashing a bochur who only wanted to help his fellow yidden. But their ideology I will never accept.

  • 14. Jarred N wrote:

    maybe some of you should stop looking at yourselves as luavitch and looking at yourselves as fellow JEWS!!!! what a kiddush lubavitch???? are you kidding me??? This was a wonderful night for Jews, WHO CARE WHAT SECT THEY BELONG TO? Didnt the Rebbe say we are all Jews? almost 100,000 Jews celebrated Torah who cares if it was an agudah event. have 100,000 Jews celebrate the Siyum haramban and stream it. Did you listen to the speeches? the MC gave almost $3,000,000 to save the Chabad house in California last year, and guess what HE IS NOT a LUBAVITCHER!!!! The MC said how wonderful it is to see all types of Jews celebrating Torah. all sects of Jews were there. Share in the Simcha or just SHUT UP!!!!

  • 15. To #s 11 & 12 wrote:

    To Michael A SS and number 12 (yet another anonymous coward)

    When we started doing mivtzoim it was a Chabad thing only, and it was talked down by all other frum yidden. Now it is a common practice to invite a fremde to your home for a shabbos meal etc. So yes this is a Lubavitch principal, but it is accepted by a majority of frum yidden

    At this point Daf Yomi is something that is universal in Yidishket, including Chabad. In addition to Chitas, Rambam etc. there are many Lubavitchers that do learn Daf Yomi, and there were many Chabadniks in attendance. Were they wrong to do so because Aguda organized it? (and yes, I know in your narrow minded point of view you will say yes… therein lies the problem)

    Sometimes you need to get your head out your tachtonim and think. Will I focus on the negative, or will I focus on the beauty that can be found in every scenario? Especially one that had thousands of yidden dancing beachdus at a celebration of torah, and at a time where achdus is sorely needed by all of klal yisroel.

    and number 12, I’m not sure if you are illiterate, ignorant or just plain arrogant. This wasn’t streamed by Agudah, and what they did by other events is irrelevant. This siyum celebrated a unification of all those that learned Daf Yomi over 7 years on all four corners of the earth.

    This is why it was so important to stream this event, so that those that were unable to physically attend, (whether they lived too far, or were unable to get tickets to this sold-out event, or, chas vesholom, they weren’t well enough to attend)should be able to celebrate this monumental achievement by so many Yidden all around the world.

    To play devils advocate, we stream the Kinnus Hashluchim every year, are we streaming the same events that you are vilifying Agudah for not streaming?

    Sof kol Sof, this was an individual, that out of the kindness of his heart chose to stand for 5 HOURS, holding his arm out (which gets painful) so that others can partake in a Sium of the entire Shas….

    You need to get off your high-horse and just accept that what JJ did was amazing and the zechus of his efforts surely brought Moshiach a few steps closer. Whereas your obsessing over hatred can only push his arrival off that much more.

    once again, not afraid to put my REAL name on this,
    Eli Spalter

  • 16. michoel a s wrote:

    to # 13
    you comment as to theme that times changed –

    Ppl on other circles did not change. When we are aware of the Rebbe’e view on something, it should not change with time unless we hear it from the Rebbe. the Rebbe did not only address his time but also the future.

    And boy do we see how it this applies today.
    Lubavitch today became a “non-mainstream” org. as labeled by by the “Bnei torah”.

    The best proof is cropping the Rebbe’s pix there is not achdus explanation for that.

    if it would be another godol they would take pride ins showing how Rabbi Beser gets acknowledged.

    You want to learn daf – do it what you want. dont shlep lubavitch and the Rebbe into it.

  • 17. Achdus wrote:

    The weekly Dvar Malchus has the DAF with Steinzalts Commentary. Agudah should print the shiur Tanya and Rambam in their journals. That would show real achdus. What’s good for the goose is good for the moose.

  • 18. to #9 Shabbos host wrote:

    You have the Zchus to host this Bachur???!
    wow. Lucky you!
    Did you also get to watch the hook-up?
    Or did you get a personal line?
    Enjoy his company this Shabbos!!

  • 19. SEICHEL wrote:

    This is a public forum anybody can read. Does anybody here think that the Rebbe wants us to write nasty things in his name about anybody and noch in public?


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