Mir Yeshiva (Jerusalem)

This article is about the post-war Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem. For the pre-war Mirrer Yeshiva in Poland (now part of Belarus), see Mir Yeshiva (Belarus). For its sister campus, see Mir Yeshiva (Brooklyn).
Mir Yeshiva
Hebrew: ישיבת מיר
Religious affiliation(s) Orthodox
Established 1944
Founded 1814
Founder Eliezer Yehuda Finkel (Reb Leizer Yudel)
Dean Eliezer Yehuda Finkel

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 over 7,500 single and married students,[1] it is the largest yeshiva in Israel and one of the largest in the world.[2][3][4] Most students are from the United States and Israel, with many from other part of the world such as UK, Belgium, France, Mexico, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia and Canada.


The yeshiva was originally founded in the small Polish town of Mir, Belarus in 1817 by Rabbi Shmuel Tiktinsky. 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 (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 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

Simchat Beit HaShoeivah celebration, 2006

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.[5]

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.[6] 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 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.[7]


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 one maggid shiur (lecturer) teaching an average of 40 to 60 students.[3] The largest shiur in the yeshiva is that of Rabbi Asher Arieli, who gives shiurim in Yiddish to approximately 700 students.[2]

Mir Brachfeld

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

Present Leadership

Previous Leadership

Rabbi Refoel Shmuelevitz

Notable Alumni


  1. Beyda, Rabbi Yehuda (2012). "Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel z.s.l.". Community Magazine. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. 1 2 "Jerusalem Torah Chigri Sak! Hagaon Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Zt"l". Vos Iz Neias?. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  3. 1 2 Krausz, Yossi. "Our Boys in Israel". Ami, October 23, 2013, pp. 44-53.
  4. Ettinger, Yair (9 November 2011). "Some 100,000 attend funeral of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel". Haaretz. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  5. Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmulevitz: by Eliahu Meir Klugman
  6. Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness
  7. Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (8 November 2011). "Mir Yeshiva Rabbi Finkel Passes Away". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 9 November 2011.


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

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