λ When John Lennon declared back in 1966 that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” the response was boycotts and record burnings in the American Bible Belt (an area predisposed to dislike the Fab Four for their refusal to go along with racial segregation when booking shows).
By contrast, when the PopCrave Twitter account inadvertently declared British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran more popular than the Babylonian Talmud, the only response was a corrective note attached to the tweet.
Sheeran performed at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday, drawing 89,106 fans according to NorthJersey.com, which reported that he broke the stadium’s attendance record.
But when PopCrave repeated that factoid to its 1.4 million followers, a Twitter user with the pseudonym “Futuristic Mountain Seagull” chimed in with a corrective “Community Note” that was appended to the original tweet.
“The all-time attendance record for MetLife Stadium of 93,000 people was set by the 12th Siyum HaShas on August 1, 2012,” the note reads.
It includes a link to the Wikipedia page for MetLife Stadium.
The Siyum HaShas marked the completion of the Daf Yomi cycle of daily Talmud study; it takes a bit less than seven and a half years to go through all the Babylonian Talmud’s 2,711 pages. (By contrast, a complete playlist of all of Sheeran’s songs clocks in at just 6 hours and 14 minutes.).
In 1966, the Beatles already had peaked in concert attendance with their 1965 US tour opener in Shea Stadium in Queens, which seated 55,000 people. By contrast, Daf Yomi was just getting started. The 1968 Siyum HaShas was held in small venues in Israel and around the world, with the largest U.S. venue, a Bais Yaakov school in Boro Park, attracting just 300 people.
On April 26, 1990, the celebration was held at Madison Square Garden, and sold more than 20,000 tickets, up from the 5,000 who attended the 1982 event at the Felt Forum.
Edward Sheeran was born in Halifax, England, nine months and 22 days later.