Mir Yeshiva (Jerusalem)
|Founder||Eliezer Yehuda Finkel (Reb Leizer Yudel)|
|Dean||Eliezer Yehuda Finkel|
The Mir Yeshiva (Hebrew: ישיבת מיר, Yeshivas Mir), known also as The Mir, is an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva in Beit Yisrael, Jerusalem. With over 9,000 single and married students, it is the largest yeshiva in the world. Most students are from the United States, United Kingdom and Israel, with many from other parts of the world such as Belgium, France, Mexico, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, Russia, Canada and Panama.
The yeshiva was founded in the small Russian town of Mir, Belarus in 1814, 1815 or 1817 by Rabbi Shmuel Tiktinsky. After his death, his oldest son Rabbi Avraham Tiktinsky was appointed Rosh Yeshiva. After a number of years, Rabbi Avraham died and his younger brother Rabbi Chaim Leib Tiktinsky succeeded him. Rabbi Chaim Leib would remain as Rosh Yeshiva for many decades. He was succeeded by his son, Rabbi 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 (the Alter of Slabodka), 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, the yeshiva moved to Poltava, Ukraine. In 1921, the yeshiva moved back to its original facilities in Mir, where it remained until based on secret parts of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Nazi Germany and Russia invaded Poland in 1939.
Although many of the foreign-born students left when the Soviet army invaded from the east, the yeshiva continued to operate, albeit on a reduced scale, until the approaching Nazi armies caused the leaders of the yeshiva to move the entire yeshiva community to Keidan, Lithuania. The Yeshiva moved en masse on October 15 to Vilna in order to get out from under Russian rule and into then-free Lithuania. Russia had announced that it was returning Vilna to Lithuania. Until that was completed, they could go to Vilna with crossing a border.
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. 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.
The story of the escape to the Far East of Mir Yeshiva, along with thousands of other Jewish refugees during WWII, thanks largely to visas issued by the Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk and the Japanese consul-general to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, has been the subject of several books and movies including the PBS documentary Conspiracy of Kindness. After the war, most of the Jewish refugees from the Shanghai ghetto left for Palestine and the United States. Among them were survivors from the Mir Yeshiva, many of whom rejoined the yeshiva in Jerusalem. Rabbi Finkel's son, Rabbi Chaim Zev Finkel (commonly called Chazap), served as mashgiach.[circular reference]
When Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel died on July 19, 1965, 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 Finkel's death in 1990, the reins were taken over by Rabbi Beinish Finkel's sons-in-law, with the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, at the helm. After Nosson Tzvi Finkel's sudden death on November 8, 2011, his eldest son, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, was named as his successor.
Under Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the yeshiva's enrollment grew into the thousands. The large enrollment was divided into chaburas, or learning groups. Each chabura consists of the same type of student – e.g. American, European, Israeli, Hasidic, and non-Hasidic. These chaburas sit in designated areas in the Mir's various study halls (such as Beis Yishaya, Beis Shalom, and the Merkazei), as well as in the same area in the dining room. Each chabura is subdivided by shiur (class), with each maggid shiur (lecturer) teaching a group of students. The largest shiur in the yeshiva (which is also the biggest in the yeshiva world) is that of Rabbi Asher Arieli, who gives shiurim in Yiddish to approximately 700 students. In 2019 All Hasidic boys where transferred to a single study hall in the Pinsk Synagogue .
The yeshiva has a branch in Modi'in Illit primarily for Israelis, which also includes a kollel. Mir Brachfeld was headed by Rabbi Aryeh Finkel (grandson of Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel and son of Rabbi Chaim Zev Finkel[circular reference]) until his passing on Aug. 9, 2016. His oldest son, Rabbi Binyomin Finkel, took over as Rosh Yeshiva.
- Harav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 2011–Present; (Harav Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel's son)
- Harav Binyomin Finkel, Mashgiach; (Harav Aryeh Finkel's son)
- Harav Yitzchok Ezrachi, Rosh Yeshiva; (Harav Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz's son-in-law)
- Harav Binyomin Carlebach, Associate Rosh Yeshiva; (Harav Binyomin Beinush Finkel's son-in-law)
- Harav Nachman Levovitz, Associate Rosh Yeshiva; (Harav Binyomin Beinush Finkel's son-in-law)
- Harav Binyamin Gellis, Associate Rosh Yeshiva; (Harav Shuie Gellis's son)
- Harav Yisroel Glustein, Associate Rosh Yeshiva; (Harav Binyomin Beinush Finkel's son-in-law)
- Harav Asher Arieli, gives the largest Shiur in Mir Jerusalem.
- Mr. Adrian Garbacz, CEO of American Friends of Yeshiva D'Mir
- Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 1917-1965; (Nosson Tzvi Finkel/The Alter of Slabodka's son and Eliyahu Boruch Kamai's son-in-law)
- Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz, Rosh Yeshiva, 1941-1979
- Rabbi Nochum Partzovitz, Rosh Yeshiva, 1979-1986; (Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz's son-in-law)
- Rabbi Binyomin Beinush Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 1979 - 1990; (Eliezer Yehuda Finkel's son)
- Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 1990 - 2011; (Binyomin Beinush Finkel's cousin and son-in-law)
- Rabbi Aryeh Finkel, Mashgiach, ? - 2016; (son of Chaim Zev Finkel, Mashgiach ruchani)
- Rabbi Eliyahu Boruch Finkel, Maggid Shiur, ? - 2008; (Eliezer Yehuda Finkel's grandson)
- Rabbi Refoel Shmuelevitz, (son of Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz), Rosh Yeshiva, 1990-2016
- Harav Aharon Chodosh, Mashgiach Ruchani, (Harav Chaim Zev Finkel's son-in-law), 2020
- Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter
- David Lichtenstein
- Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz
- Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits, Rosh Kollel, Linus HaTzedek: Center for Jewish Values
- Ari Goldwag, singer-songwriter
- Shulem Lemmer (born 1990), singer
- Baruch Levine, singer-songwriter
- Aryeh Kaplan, philosopher
- Elimelech Reznick, Rabbi
- Beyda, Rabbi Yehuda (2012). "Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel z.s.l." Community Magazine. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "Jerusalem – Torah Chigri Sak! Hagaon Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Zt"l". Vos Iz Neias?. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- Krausz, Yossi. "Our Boys in Israel". Ami, October 23, 2013, pp. 44-53.
- Ettinger, Yair (9 November 2011). "Some 100,000 attend funeral of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel". Haaretz. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- Mir eventually became part of Poland in 1920, the Soviet Union in 1939 and Belarus in 1991.
- חוברת של קרן התורה, וינה, תרפ"ה, עמ' 6
- משה יהודה ליב גאלדבערג, תולדות הגאון ר' חיים יהודה ליב ז"ל, ווארשא, תרס"ב, עמ' 7. Rabbi Goldberg was a grandson of Mir's 2nd rosh yeshiva, R. Avraham Tiktinsky and a great-grandson of the yeshiva founder, R. Shmuel Tiktinsky.
- ר' יוסף ד. עפשטיין, "ישיבת מיר" בתוך ר' ד"ר שמואל ק. מירסקי (עורך), מוסדות תורה באירופה בבנינם ובחורבנם, ניו יורק, תשט"ז, עמ' 87
- ר' משה צינוביץ, "לתולדות ישיבת מיר" בתוך נ. בלומנטל (עורך), ספר מיר, ירושלים, תשכ"ג, עמ' 99
- ר' משה צינוביץ, תולדות ישיבת מיר, תל אביב, תשמ"א, עמ' 1
- Receipt from the yeshiva dated 1931 that lists the year established as 1817 (also see a full discussion re: the year founded at פורום אוצר החכמה: בקשת עזרה: שנת ייסוד ישיבת מיר)
- Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmulevitz: by Eliahu Meir Klugman
- Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness
- Aryeh Finkel
- Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (8 November 2011). "Mir Yeshiva Rabbi Finkel Passes Away". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- "Beyond Space and Time". Mishpacha Magazine. 2020-09-16. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- Toldot Yeshivat Mir, Zinowitz, M., Tel Aviv, 1981.
- The Mir Yerushalayim Website
- Reeva Kimble's "Brief History of the Jews of Mir"
- "Moving Plea by HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel to Get Rid of Cell Phones"
- The Mir Yeshiva before the Holocaust - Yad Vashem website