Love of the Land

For the week ending 2 February 2008 / 26 Shevat 5768

The First Jewish Hospitals in Jerusalem

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library
Jerusalem today boasts a number of modern, well-equipped and staffed hospitals. One of the oldest of them, Bikur Cholim, has recently been much in the news as a result of its having been purchased by a Russian billionaire with political ambitions.

But Bikur Cholim, established in 1858, was not the city's first hospital. That title goes to the Meir Rothschild Hospital founded a few years earlier by the Rothschild family of Paris and named for the father of Baron James Rothschild. Both hospitals tried their best to serve the Jews of Jerusalem with their modest facilities and thus save them the great discomfort of going to a third hospital run by British missionaries.

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