Just hours before the start of Agudath Israel of America’s 18th annual Yerushalayim Yarchei Kallah, hundreds of participants gathered in Bnei Brak on Sunday night for a pre-opening event held at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center. Torrential rains did nothing to dampen the spirits of those who came to the reception held in a magnificent tent outside the state of the art 300 bed hospital which prides itself on providing high level, halachically appropriate medical care.

With many travelers having just arrived in Eretz Yisroel for the Yarchei Kallah, orchestrated by the Agudah’s Torah Projects Commission, participants headed directly to the hospital which was founded in 1990 to serve the more than 100,000 residents of the Bnei Brak area.

The program began with Tehillim for passengers (including more than 40 Yarchei Kallah participants) on a Tel Aviv bound flight from JFK that was grounded for over 12 hours in Newfoundland after experiencing mechanical difficulties.

The first speaker of the evening, Mayanei Hayeshua founder and president Dr. Moshe Rothschild, noted that he was honored to have the hospital serve as the starting point for this year’s Yarchei Kallah. He was introduced by Chayim Aruchim chairman Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz.

Yarchei Kallah co-chairman Rabbi Shlomo Gottesman spoke briefly before introducing Mayanei Hayeshua’s Rov, Rabbi Yitzchok Zilberstein, who discussed the importance of having a medical facility that understands that importance of Torah and tefilla as part of the healing process. Rabbi Zilberstein read a letter from Rav Chaim Kanievsky and gave individual brachos to every person in attendance.

A special program had women of the Yarchei Kallah enjoying a tour of the hospital’s birthing center which sees 13,000 babies delivered each year.

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Having the pre-Yarchei Kallah event at Mayanei Hayeshua was particularly appropriate, noted Agudath Israel of America’s executive director, Rabbi Labish Becker.

“With the sugya d’kallah dealing with hilchos refuah and pikuach nefesh, starting off at a place that is all about refuah was especially meaningful,” said Rabbi Becker. “It was a very emotional and warm beginning to the Yarchei Kallah.”

After the program ended, participants boarded busses which took them to the Ramada Jerusalem Plaza where they settled in for the night in preparation for the kick off of the Yarchei Kallah at 9:30 AM Monday morning with hachana and limud b’chavrusa.