Mir yeshiva (Jerusalem)

Mir yeshiva (Jerusalem)
This article is about the post-war Mirrer yeshiva in Jerusalem. For the pre-war Mirrer yeshiva in Poland, see Mir yeshiva (Poland) and for its sister campus, see Mir yeshiva (Brooklyn).
Mirs yeshiva in Jerusalem

The Mir yeshiva (Hebrew: ישיבת מיר‎, Yeshivas Mir), known as the Mirrer Yeshiva or The Mir, is an Orthodox Jewish yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel. With 6,000 students, it is the largest yeshiva in Israel.[1] Many of the students are from the United States and Canada. It is also believed to be the largest yeshiva in the world.[2] Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel was the rosh yeshiva of the yeshiva in Jerusalem until his death on November 8, 2011. He is succeeded by his son, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel.



Mir Shanghai
Simchat Beit HaShoeivah celebration, 2006

The original Mirrer yeshiva was founded in 1814 by Rabbi Shmuel Tiktinsky in the small Polish town of Mir, Belarus. After his death, his youngest son, Chaim Leib Tiktinsky, was appointed rosh yeshiva. 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, the yeshiva moved to Poltava, Ukraine. In 1921, the yeshiva moved back to its original facilities in Mir, where it remained until Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 marking the beginning of the Holocaust.

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.

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.[3].

As the Nazi armies continued to push to the east, the yeshiva students fled to (Japanese-controlled) Shanghai, China, 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 during WWII, thanks largely to visas issued by the Japanese consul-general to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, has been the subject of several books and movies including the PBS documentary Conspiracy of Kindness. [4]. 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.

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, was named as his father's successor.[5]


There are many different shiurim for a student to choose from in the yeshiva. Currently, Rabbi Asher Arieli, who gives shiurim in Yiddish, has approximately 600 students in his shiur,[1] making it the biggest daily shiur in the world.[citation needed]

Mir Brachfeld

The yeshiva runs a branch in Modi'in Illit primarily for Israelis, which also includes a kollel. Mir Brachfeld is headed by Rabbi Aryeh Finkel.

Notable alumni

Present leadership

  • Eliezer Yehuda Finkel - Rosh Yeshiva
  • Refoel Shmuelevitz
  • Yitzchok Ezrachi
  • Aharon Chodosh (mashgiach ruchani)
  • Aryeh Finkel (mashgiach ruach)
  • Binyomin Carlebach
  • Nachman Levovitz
  • Yisroel Glustein



  • Toldot Yeshivat Mir, Zinowitz, M., Tel Aviv, 1981.

External links

Coordinates: 31°47′18.5″N 35°13′26″E / 31.788472°N 35.22389°E / 31.788472; 35.22389

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