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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 memory.

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 the Diasporah.

"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 in deeds.

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.