Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav Kook
A Center for Torah and Leadership
Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva was founded in 5684 (1924), in Jerusalem by the first Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, of blessed memory.
HaRav Kook saw in the establishment of the Yeshiva - the culmination of his spiritual vision of the holy renascence of the People of Israel in their Land. The Yeshiva was founded to be a Center for Torah, whose purpose would be to raise up and educate scholars and leaders in Israel, filled with a deep love for their fellow-Jew, and imbued with the love of the Torah and the love of the Land of Israel.
It was an Israeli Yeshiva whose studies were conducted in Hebrew.
Today Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva is the focal point of a young generation aspiring to walk in the Way of G-d and His Torah, and drawn to the vision of HaRav Kook. Since its foundation, the Yeshiva and all that it stands for, has grown in influence until the name Mercaz HaRav has come to denote not only a Yeshiva, but a Torah concept which is the heart of a movement. This movement encompasses thousands of pupils and students in high school Yeshivas and Yeshivot Hesder, pupils and students in the Ulpanot and Michlalot (girl’s Torah high schools and colleges), and members from all walks of the Hityashvut (Settlement) movement.
Mercaz HaRav serves as the fountainhead of an educational Idea, and as a guiding light in all that concerns the life of the Jewish People in Israel and in the Diaspora.
Mercaz HaRav - the Yeshiva
Mercaz HaRav is one of the largest Yeshivas (Talmudical colleges) in Israel. There are approximately 500 students in the Yeshiva, and 200 students in the Kollel (the advanced studies program for graduate students). An outstanding staff of instructors is headed by the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Avraham Shapiro, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, who is recognized as one of the great Torah scholars of our generation. The knowledge, character, and personality of these great scholars provide a source of inspiration and learning to the students.
Students at Mercaz HaRav apply themselves to their studies with great diligence in order to reach and maintain the high scholarly and intellectual standards for which the Yeshiva is renowned. Their fields of study, under guidance of the Yeshiva’s eminent staff of great Torah scholars, include Talmud and Poskim (halachik literature), elucidation of Jewish Law, and a methodological study of Jewish thought from Rambam and the Kuzari, to the Ramchal, the Maharal, and the teachings of HaRav Kook.
The Kollel students devote themselves to an intensive course of study designed to equip them with the high qualifications necessary to take their places as rabbis and teachers in Israel. Their task will be not only to serve as spiritual leaders in the community, but, through the example of their own way of life, to show how the principles of the Torah are put into practice.
The Students and the Community
Mercaz HaRav, through its students, has made its influence felt in all spheres of Jewish life in Eretz Yisrael and in the Diaspora. The Yeshiva’s graduates serve as Rabbis and Dayanim (Rabbinical Judges) in the cities and development towns, settlements and border villages of Israel. They serve faithfully and with devotion in the various corps of the Israeli Defense forces.
Graduates of Mercaz HaRav have been responsible for the establishment of educational institutions and Yeshivot, Ulpanot for girls, and a network of Torah schools throughout the country, all during the year, so that those whose background in the fundemental principles of Judaism is lacking, can discover the meaning of Torah and its application in our day.
Mercaz HaRav is Israel’s National Yeshiva. It was here that the spiritual significance of Independence Day and Jerusalem Day receive their full emphasis, to become holidays of national thanksgiving celebrated in their full glory, by Israel’s great Torah sages together with the heads of the state and its leaders.