Three-hundred-fifty men from the U.S. Canada, Mexico, Europe and Israel, transformed the Ramada Renaissance ballroom in Jerusalem into a Bais Medrash, pulsing with the cacophony of earnest Torah study, at last week’s 14th annual Agudath Israel Yarchei Kallah.
Rabbi Yitzchok Frankel, rav of Agudath Israel of the Five Towns in Cedarhurst, called it “a fabulous four days.”
“It’s hard to explain till you do it. It’s very exhilarating,” he told The Jewish Star by phone from Israel.
Rabbi Mordekai Shapiro of Congregation Ohr Torah of North Woodmere attended as well.
Rabbi Frankel said that people “baalei batim” (laymen) come to learn and that some of the greatest scholars come to give classes.
“Some of the foremost magidai shiur and poskim in Israel” give classes in gemara, halach and hashkafa. Their students are doctors, lawyers, accountants and businessmen and for a brief four days, they put aside their daily concerns to immerse in the sea of Torah.
“Someone who works in America, their cell phone can’t ring till 4 pm. It really takes you away, allows people working the freedom to really be totally removed from any sort of distractions.”
The day begins with Shacharit at 7:30 am and lasts through Arvit after 7:30 pm.
Rabbi Sholom Gottesman, co-chairman of Agudas Yisroel Torah Projects Commission and editor of Yeshurun, a hard cover journal of chidushai Torah, “puts it all together and sets it up.” noted Frankel. On the first day, following a three hour morning seder, Rav Asher Weiss, Av Beis Din Darchei Hora’ah and Rosh Yeshivas Darchei Torah, greeted the participants and delivered an opening lecture for the 14th year in a row, presenting a detailed, enlightening explanation of this year’s topic.