The Yeshivah in Mir

The town of Mir in Belarus and its sights.

Mir is a small urban village that administratively belongs to the Grodno region.

Mir is first mentioned in manuscripts of 1434. It is more likely that it got its name due to the state border with Russia and Lithuania that passes through its surroundings. However, there is no proof of any armistice agreements concluded there.

The population of the urban village is over 2250 people.

One of the archietectural sights of Mir - the Yeshivah.

Amongst numerous sights of Mir, the Yeshivah of Mir is one of the most popular sites visited by tourists from foreign countries. The educational institution was not only one of the largest religious schools of the Lithuanian movement of Chasidism but also played an important role in preparation of a great number of rabbis that later became heads of other yeshivahs.

The founder of the religious school for boys in Mir is the wise of Torah Shmuel Tiktinsky. The Yeshivah was established in 1815. Shmuel was successful not only in study of holy books but also in business that helped him to rule the school and maintain it during eight years. Later the wise of Torah required the assistance of his son in the governance affaires of the yeshivah. However, in 1835 the father and the son died, and one local rabbi became the head of the yeshivah. Five years later the number of students was one hundred people. In 1850 Shmuel Tiktinsky’s grandson Haim-Leib Tiktinsky came to Mir to inherit the helm. His knowledge of Torah influenced the religious school’s reputation, and it became a forerunner yielding the number of pupils only to the yeshivah in Volzhin.

In the late XIX century the famous rabbi Eliyagu-Baruh Kamay was invited into the yeshivah of Mir. His successful government of the school let it officially take the second place in significance among Lithuanian yeshivahs after the Volzhin religious school. And when the latter was closed by the Soviet authorities, the Mir yeshivah had a dominant role in teaching Torah.

The Yeshivah in Mir and modern history.

The most challenging times for students of the Mir yeshivah began in 1939. The Jews were unpleasant to the Soviet government on the one hand and to the coming Nazi on the other hand. On account of this it was agreed to move the school to Vilno. However, there the Jews were not also permitted to follow their religious beliefs without troubles. In 1940 the Japanese embassador granted visas to the yeshivah’s students and members of their families in order they could via Moscow and then Vladivostok get to Japan. As a result students of the Mir yeshivah appeared in Shanghai. The religious school worked there for seven years.

The postwar time brought changes in development of the Mir yeshivah. Its descendants founded two interconnected branches with the common name “Mir” in New-York and Jerusalem.

What to see in Mir during the excursion: the building of the Yeahivah.

The rectangular building of the yeshivah has a four-slope roof. The rectangular windows and the facade without any decorative fixtures make the building look strict.

Every year numerous tourists visit the building of the yeshivah in Mir. The religious
school in Mir with its rich history serves as an example of resilience of the
Jews and stability of their religious beliefs. And survey of this sight is included into the program of the majority of excursion tours across Belarus with visiting of Mir Castle and The Palace fnd Park complex in Nesvizh.