Mir yeshiva (Jerusalem)

Mir yeshiva (Jerusalem)

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The Mir yeshiva known as the Mirrer Yeshiva or The Mir, is an Orthodox
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 Jewish
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

  yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 in Jerusalem, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. With 6,000 students, it is the largest yeshiva in Israel. Many of the students are from the United States and Canada. It is also believed to be the largest yeshiva in the world. Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel
Nosson Tzvi Finkel (Mir)
Nosson Tzvi Finkel was an American-born Haredi Litvish rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. During his tenure from 1990 until his death in 2011, he built the Mir into the largest yeshiva in Israel with nearly 6,000 undergraduate students and over 1,600 avreichim...

 was the rosh yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva, , , is the title given to the dean of a Talmudical academy . It is made up of the Hebrew words rosh — meaning head, and yeshiva — a school of religious Jewish education...

 of the yeshiva in Jerusalem until his death on November 8, 2011. He is succeeded by his son, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel
Eliezer Yehuda Finkel (II)
Eliezer Yehuda Finkel is a Haredi Jewish rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, which is considered to be the largest yeshiva in Israel with a student body of 6,000 students...

.

History


The original Mirrer yeshiva was founded in 1814 by Rabbi Shmuel Tiktinsky in the small Polish town of Mir, Belarus
Mir, Belarus
Mir is an urban settlement in Kareličy raion, Hrodna Voblast, Belarus on the banks of Miranka River, about 85 kilometers southwest of the national capital, Minsk....

. After his death, his youngest son, Chaim Leib Tiktinsky, was appointed rosh yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva, , , is the title given to the dean of a Talmudical academy . It is made up of the Hebrew words rosh — meaning head, and yeshiva — a school of religious Jewish education...

. He was succeeded by his son, Avrohom Tiktinsky, who brought Rabbi Eliyahu Boruch Kamai into the yeshiva. In 1903, Rabbi Kamai's daughter married Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel (Reb Leizer Yudel), son of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, who in time became the rosh yeshiva of the Mir. The yeshiva remained in that location until 1914.

With the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the yeshiva moved to Poltava
Poltava
Poltava is a city in located on the Vorskla River in central Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Poltava Oblast , as well as the surrounding Poltava Raion of the oblast. Poltava's estimated population is 298,652 ....

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. In 1921, the yeshiva moved back to its original facilities in Mir, where it remained until Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 invaded Poland
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 in 1939 marking the beginning of the Holocaust.

Although many of the foreign-born students left when the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 army invaded from the east, the yeshiva continued to operate, albeit on a reduced scale, until the approaching Nazi
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 armies caused the leaders of the yeshiva to move the entire yeshiva community to Keidan
Kedainiai
Kėdainiai is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. It is located on the Nevėžis River. First mentioned in the 1372 Livonian Chronicle of Hermann de Wartberge, its population as of 2008 was 30,214. Its old town dates to the 17th century....

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

.

Establishment in Jerusalem


Around this time, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel traveled to Palestine to obtain visas for his students and reestablish the yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael, but these plans were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. In 1944, Rabbi Finkel opened a branch of the yeshiva in Jerusalem with ten students, among them Rabbi Yudel Shapiro (later Rosh Kollel Chazon Ish), Rabbi Chaim Brim (later rosh yeshiva of Rizhn-Boyan, and Rabbi Chaim Greineman..

As the Nazi armies continued to push to the east, the yeshiva students fled to (Japanese-controlled) Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, where they remained until the end of the war.

The story of the escape to the Far East of Mir Yeshiva, along with thousands of other Jewish refugees
Jewish refugees
In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

 during WWII, thanks largely to visas issued by the Japanese consul-general to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara
Chiune Sugihara
was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from...

, has been the subject of several books and movies including the PBS documentary Conspiracy of Kindness. . After the war, most of the Jewish refugees
Jewish refugees
In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

 from the Shanghai ghetto
Shanghai ghetto
The Shanghai ghetto, formally known as the , was an area of approximately one square mile in the Hongkou District of Japanese-occupied Shanghai, to which about 20,000 Jewish refugees were relocated by the Japanese-issued Proclamation Concerning Restriction of Residence and Business of Stateless...

 left for Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Among them were survivors from the Mir Yeshiva, many of whom rejoined the yeshiva in Jerusalem.

When Rabbi Finkel died on 19 July 1965 (19 Tammuz 5725), his son, Rabbi Beinish Finkel and his brother-in-law, Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz became joint Mirrer rosh yeshivas. Reb Chaim was considered the main rosh yeshiva and when he died, his son-in-law, Rabbi Nachum Partzovitz, replaced him. Rabbi Beinish Finkel became rosh yeshiva after Reb Nachum died. With Rabbi Beinish's death in 1990, the reins were taken over by Rabbi Beinish's sons-in-law, with the rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, at the helm. After his sudden death on 8 November 2011, his eldest son, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel
Eliezer Yehuda Finkel (II)
Eliezer Yehuda Finkel is a Haredi Jewish rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, which is considered to be the largest yeshiva in Israel with a student body of 6,000 students...

, was named as his father's successor.

Shiurim


There are many different shiurim for a student to choose from in the yeshiva. Currently, Rabbi Asher Arieli
Asher Arieli
Asher Arieli is a senior lecturer at Yeshivas Mir. He is globally renowned for his lectures and is widely recognized as a Gadol in his own right. He presently delivers the largest Talmudic lecture by attendance in the world with approximately 600 daily attendees. His shiur starts at aprox...

, who gives shiurim in Yiddish
Yiddish language
Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

, has approximately 600 students in his shiur, making it the biggest daily shiur in the world.

Mir Brachfeld


The yeshiva has a branch in Modi'in Illit
Modi'in Illit
Modi'in Illit is a Haredi Israeli settlement and a city in the West Bank, situated midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Modi'in Illit was granted city status by the Israeli government in 2008. It is located six kilometres northeast of Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut and is often referred to as Kiryat...

 primarily for Israelis, which also includes a kollel
Kollel
A kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature. Like a yeshiva, a kollel features shiurim and learning sedarim ; unlike a yeshiva, the student body of a kollel are all married men...

. Mir Brachfeld is headed by Rabbi Aryeh Finkel
Aryeh Finkel
Aryeh Finkel is a Haredi rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Brachfeld branch of the Mir yeshiva. Before assuming his post at the new yeshiva branch in 2005, he served as the mashgiach at the Mir in Jerusalem for many decades.-Biography:...

, a grandson of Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel.

Notable alumni

  • Yitzchak Berkovits
    Yitzchak Berkovits
    Yitzchak Berkovits , also spelled Yitzchak Berkowitz, is a Haredi Jewish rabbi, rosh kollel and posek in Jerusalem, Israel...

  • Moshe Faskowitz
  • Yisrael Mendel Kaplan
    Yisrael Mendel Kaplan
    Rabbi Israel Mendel Kaplan or Yisrael Mendel Kaplan , known as "Reb Mendel" served as a teacher in the Hebrew Theological College in Chicago and in the Philadelphia Yeshiva to many of the men who were to become the leaders of Orthodox American Jewry.-Early life:Yisrael Mendel Kaplan was born in...

  • Azriel Levy, chief editor of the Oz VeHadar version of the Talmud
    Talmud
    The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

  • Yaakov Luban
    Yaakov Luban
    Rabbi Yaakov Luban is the rabbi of Congregation Ohr Torah in Edison, New Jersey, USA. He is also the Executive Rabbinic Coordinator at the Orthodox Union. He learned under Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz in the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. He also learned in Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia and in...

  • Aryeh Leib Malin
    Aryeh Leib Malin
    Rabbi Aryeh Leib Malin was a Rabbi, Talmudist, and Mussarist in both Europe and America.-Biography:Rabbi Malin was born in Białystok. In his early years, Reb Leib learned in Grodno under Rabbi Shimon Shkop. Later, he learned by Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman and Rabbi Baruch Ber Lebowitz...

  • Zvi Holland, Rosh Kollel, Phoenix Community Kollel


Present leadership

  • Eliezer Yehuda Finkel - Rosh Yeshiva
  • Refoel Shmuelevitz
  • Yitzchok Ezrachi
    Yitzchok Ezrachi
    Rabbi Yitzchok Ezrachi is a Rosh Yeshiva at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Rabbi Ezrachi is a son-in-law of Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz, also a former Rosh Yeshiva in Mir...

  • Aharon Chodosh - mashgiach ruchani
    Mashgiach ruchani
    Mashgiach ruchani or mashgiach for short, means a spiritual supervisor or guide. It is a title which usually refers to a rabbi who has an official position within a yeshiva and is responsible for the non-academic areas of yeshiva students' lives.The position of mashgiach ruchani arose with the...

  • Aryeh Finkel - Rosh Yeshiva, Mir Brachfeld
  • Binyomin Carlebach
  • Nachman Levovitz
  • Yisroel Glustein

External links