It’s a story Agudath Israel associate executive director Rabbi Labish Becker says he has repeated many times; he tells it, he says, whenever someone who has never attended Agudath Israel of America’s Yerushalayim Yarchei Kallah asks him to sum up what the annual four-day Torah retreat is like.
“I tell them about an illuminating ride down in the hotel elevator at a Yarchei Kallah several years ago. There were two lomdim – both of them successful businessmen – riding down with me. One gentleman turned to the other and asked if he’d heard the latest stock report.”
“‘I really don’t care,'” the man answered. “‘All I care about here is my learning.'”
While it seems that one of the most difficult things for people to do these days is to cut themselves off from their computers and cell phones, Rabbi Becker observes, when the lomdim arrive at the Yarchei Kallah, they undergo a transformation. “I’ve seen it happen seven times in the last seven years– their whole perspective changes.”
And it will no doubt happen again next week, as close to 250 professionals and businesspeople from throughout North America gather in Yerushalayim for Agudath Israel of America’s Eighth Winter Yarchei Kallah, set to open Monday evening, January 14/16 Shevat, at the Renaissance Hotel in Yerushalayim.
“The large number of people who register for the Yarchei Kallah each year bear testament to an unquenchable thirst for learning Torah in the avira of Yerushalayim under the tutelage of Eretz Yisroel’s Gedolei Yisroel,” says Rabbi Avrohom Nisan Perl, director of Agudath Israel’s Torah Projects Commission, which organizes the retreat. “Every year, participants tell us that this extraordinary experience of Torah lishma recharges their spiritual batteries for months to come.”
The upcoming Yarchei Kallah will feature divrei chizuk and divrei hisorirus from Gedolei Yisroel including Rabbi Aaron Leib Steinman, Rosh Yeshiva, Gaon Yaakov, Bnei Brak; the Sanz Klausenberger Rebbe; and Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshivas Mir, Yerushalayim.
Shiurim will be delivered by Rabbi Asher Arielli, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivas Mir. Yerushalayim; Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Chevron; Rabbi Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, Rosh Hayeshiva, Yeshiva Ateres Yisroel, Yerushalayim; Rabbi Nisan Kaplan, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivas Mir, Yerushalayim; Rabbi Boruch Dov Porvarsky, RoshYeshiva, Ponovez; Rabbi Mechel Silber, Rosh Yeshiva, Zvihil, Yerushalayim; Rabbi Asher Weiss, Av Beis Din, Kiryas Tchechinov; Rosh Yeshiva, Chug Chasam Sofer; and Rabbi Yitzchok Zilberstein, Rosh Kollel, Bais David, Cholon and Rav, Ramat Elchanan, Bnei Brak.
Divrei pesicha will be delivered by Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh Agudas Yisroel of America; and Rabbi Pinchos Friedman, Rosh Hakollelim, Belz. Rabbi Asher Neuhaus, Rosh Yeshivas Sifsei Tzaddik Ger, Chatzor will offer divrei neila.
English hacahana shiurim will be delivered by Rabbi Shlomo Gottesman, editor,Yishurun.
Daf Yomi shiurim will be delivered by Rabbi Naftoli Prizant Rosh Yeshiva, Toras Olam, Beit Shemesh Maggid Shiur Daf Yomi, Tiferes Menachem, Boyan; Rabbi Menashe Reisman, Maggid Shiur Daf Yomi, Khal Machizkei Hadas, Belz; and Rabbi Naftoli Gefen, Maggid Shiur, Kaminitzer Yeshiva.