Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook
Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook was founded 76 years ago, in
5684 (1924) in Jerusalem, by the first Chief Rabbi of
Eretz Israel, Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, of blessed
Rav Kook saw the establishment of the Yeshiva as the
culmination of his vision of the rebirth of the People
of Israel in their Land. The Yeshiva was founded to be
a center for Torah, to produce scholars and spiritual
leaders inspired by a profound love of their fellow-Jew
and imbued with love of the Land of Israel. In this Yeshiva,
"Torat Eretz Yisrael", Torah at its highest
spiritual level, was to be taught.
Today "Merkaz HaRav" Yeshivah 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 Yeshivah and all that it
stands for has grown in influence until the name "Merkaz
HaRav" has come to denote not only a Yeshivah, but
a Torah concept which is the heart of a movement. This
movement encompasses thousands of pupils and students
in high school yeshivoth and yeshivoth hesder, pupils
and students in the ulpanoth and michlaloth (girls' Torah
high schools and colleges), and members from all walks
of the Hityashvuth (Settlement) movement.
"Merkaz 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
"Merkaz HaRav" is one of the largest Yeshivot
(Talmudical colleges) in Israel. There are 500 students
in the Yeshivah, and 200 students in the Kollel, (the
Advanced Studies Program for Graduate Students). An outstanding
staff of instructors is headed by the Rosh Yeshivah, HaRav
Avraham Shapira, Shlit"a, former Chief Rabbi of Israel.
Through its dedicated students, "Merkaz HaRav"
has made its influence felt in all spheres of Jewish life
in Eretz Israel and in the Diasporah. The Yeshivah'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 Israel Defense Forces.
Determined to spread the ideals of Rav Kook, graduates
of "Merkaz HaRav" have been instrumental in
the establishment of educational institutions and yeshivot,
ulpanot for girls, and a network of Torah schools throughout
the country based upon the ideas taught by Rav Kook and
"Merkaz HaRav". Graduates of the Yeshiva serve
within these nation-wide educational systems as Roshei
Metivtot and educators, setting an example in spirit and
The yeshiva has never been an "ivory tower"
of religious or academic isolationism. The students and
graduates of the Yeshiva have established a vast network
of seminars in Judaism. as well as institutions for Ba'alei
Teshuvah. These programs are open to the general public
throughout the country, throughout the year, so that those
who's background in the fundamental principles of Judaism
is lacking can discover the meaning of the Torah and its
application in our times.
The Yeshiva opens its doors not only to study. Founded
by HaRav Kook zt"l who was the first to coin the
phrase "the State of Israel", the Yeshiva is
open to all on Israel Independence Day, and especially
on "Yom Yerushalayim". Presidents, Prime Ministers
and the military Heads of Staff sit in the Yeshiva, flanked
by the Roshei Yeshiva and other Gedolei Torah, as thousands
of people listen and sing שירי הודיה לה', in a ma'amad
of Kiddush Hashem.