Mercaz HaRav Kook
Mercaz HaRav Kook (Hebrew: מרכז הרב קוק, lit. "The Rav Kook Center") is a national-religious yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel, founded in 1924 by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. It has become the most prominent religious-Zionist yeshiva in the world and synonymous with Kook's teachings. Many Religious Zionist educators and leaders have studied at Mercaz HaRav.
Mercaz HaRav was founded in 1924 by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, chief Ashkenazi rabbi during the British Mandate. It was housed in Beit HaRav which was built by the noted philanthropist Harry Fischel. It was established to serve as a beacon of Torah learning. Rabbi Avraham Borstein, who headed the yeshiva with him, died two years after taking up his duties. The yeshiva's official name is HaYeshivah HaMercazit HaOlamit - "The Central Universal Yeshiva." It is popularly known as Mercaz HaRav, after Rav Kook.
Rav Kook died in 1935 and his student, Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Harlap, succeeded him as Rosh Yeshiva. After his death in 1951, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the son of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook took up his father's position. In 1982, after Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook died, Rabbi Avraham Shapira took the position and led the institution until his death in 2007. His son Rabbi Yaakov Shapira is his successor.
In its first decades, the yeshiva had few students; at times it was not clear whether it would survive. The turning point came in the '50s, when graduates of Bnei Akiva religious schools and high-school yeshivas seeking higher religious education flocked to Mercaz Harav, the only Zionist yeshiva.
Bnei Akiva leader Rabbi Moshe Zvi Neria, a disciple of Rabbi Kook's, encouraged students to go to Mercaz Harav, which was headed from 1952 by Rabbi Abraham Kook's son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, until his eventual death.
Mercaz HaRav massacre
On the night of March 6, 2008, an Arab from Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem, entered the yeshiva with a gun and began firing indiscriminately, killing eight students and wounding 15 others. The terrorists bloody rampage ended with the arrival of Yitzhak Dadon, a part-time student of the yeshiva, and David Shapira, an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, who shot him to death. Victims:
Neria Cohen, 15,Jerusalem, Yashlatz Segev Pniel Avihail, 15,Neve Daniel, Yashlatz Avraham David Moses, 16,Efrat, Yashlatz Yehonatan Yitzhak Eldar, 16, Shilo, Yashlatz Ro'i Roth, 18,Elkana, Mercaz Harav Yohai Lipshitz, 18,Jerusalem, Yashlatz Yonadav Chaim Hirshfeld, 18,Kokhav HaShahar,Mercaz Harav Doron Mahareta, 26, Ashdod, Mercaz Harav
The list includes a number of Knesset members and community leaders.
- Rabbi Shlomo Aviner
- Rabbi Yaakov Ariel
- Michael Ben-Ari, Knesset member
- Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun
- Ezriel Carlebach, founder of the Maariv newspaper.
- Rabbi Zfania Drori
- Rabbi Haim Druckman
- Rabbi Moshe Levinger founder of post-1967 Hebron Jewish community.
- Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed
- Rabbi Eliezer Melamed
- Hanan Porat, Knesset member
- David Raziel, an Irgun commander.
- Rabbi David Samson
- Michel Warschawski (aka Mikado) the left-wing activist and author; co-founder of the Alternative Information Center
- Rabbi Menachem Froman z"l, founding member of Gush Emunim and former chief rabbi of Tekoa
- Rabbi David Bar-Hayim
- "About Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav Kook". Friends of Mercaz Harav.
- "About the Yeshiva" (in Hebrew). Mercaz Harav.
- Sheleg, Yair (March 7, 2008). "Mercaz Harav - the flagship of national-religious yeshivas". haaretz.
- Katz, Steven T. (2005). The Impact of the Holocaust on Jewish Theology. p. 118.
- The national-religious camp's flagship yeshiva Haaretz, 8 March 2008
- On the Border: Memoir of a Militant Jew, 2005.
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