Mass Bittul Torah in an Unannounced Inspection of Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim


mir-yerushalayim[Video link below.] First report: Thousands of bochurim and yungeleit at Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim had to disrupt their learning yesterday during first seder as a sudden inspection was carried out by the Israeli Ministry of Education. The inspectors were not fully prepared for the large number of bochurim and yungeleit involved and were unable to complete the inspection yesterday.

Due to new procedures that are being followed in order to minimize opportunities for fraud, thousands of Mir talmidim were packed into the yeshiva lunchroom in long lines to present their documents to the Israeli inspectors. Because of the immense size of the yeshiva – perhaps the largest yeshiva in the world, along with Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood – no single room is large enough to accommodate the full student body of the yeshiva. As is well known, the meals at the yeshiva are always served in several shifts, and the yeshiva is comprised of a number of buildings with many different botei medrash that are filled to capacity.

The rosh yeshiva of the Mir, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, was not present at the yeshiva yesterday as this all took place, as he is currently in the United States ahead of the Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim dinner, which will be held this Sunday in Brooklyn, NY. Rav Finkel was apprised of what took place at the yeshiva and the immense bittul Torah that was caused.

Sources say that although the individual behavior of the inspectors was reasonable, the entire affair, with its poor planning and resultant bittul Torah, was very regrettable.

Click here for video.

{Yair Israel}


  1. Why is it bitul torah. When in america these yungeleit go to recertify their food stamps, wic section 8 etc on different occasions during the year, what would you call that time?
    It is a necessary evil of the system.

  2. I’m not sure why the headline has to be “mass bittul Torah”. This implies slightly that the State should just stay out of Mir’s business.
    I would think that if I’m supporting something financially, I’d want to make sure everything was on the up and up, don’t you think?

  3. 2. Comment from Firrer
    Time March 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    my brother and his chavrusah went to Bais Yisroel shteeble and learned without hefsek

    Hmm, So is the Yeshiva now going to be in trouble for claiming money for a fictious bochur? Sounds very irresonsible to me.

  4. The headline sort of gives a presumption that bittul Torah was what was going CV’Sh by the students. Is there a way to do a new headline to imply the inspections itself, was the cause for bittul Torah?

  5. Last I looked, Choshen Mishpot is part of Torah, so where is the Bittul Torah.

    This is just sensationalist journalism.

  6. Rav Nosson Tzvi approved of this. He said the state is from the biggest contributors to the yeshiva and he gave his ok for the inspections. stop spreading sensational headlines and distorting the truth.

  7. Let’s be clear: I said that my brother went to learn in the Bais Yisroel shteebel – I meant AFTER he showed his papers, because of the hulabaloo going on. Of course he was there. Every single talmid was there. The Mir has everything documented, every name, every single one, and everyone was there. Bottom line though is that it made a raash. That’;s why my bro went to sheteeblach.

  8. OY!!! Ribboinoi Shel Oilam!!! How much longer will we have to suffer from these Tzioinim and the Bittul Toirah that they cause!

  9. this happens every year and needs to be done. Being that the yeshiva is so large there is no way for it to be done just during the break.

  10. Israel needs a Libertarian Revolution. Separate religion from state, and the Charedim and Bnei haYeshivos will be able to shteig anf live in peace, free from the oppression of the state.

  11. #5, you obviuosly have zero respect for Torah, if you fail to understand the reson why it is bitul Torah. Imagine you were operating a multi billion dollar company and you had thousands of employees. Lets say the Government showed up and demanded everyone leave the building thereby disrupting the entire workforce and causing a loss to production. Would you dismiss it as being acceptable on behalf of the Government or would you rightfully request that they conduct the investigation at a more convenient time, either during lunch or after hours? I suspect that you harbor a hatred for Torah study and to those that devote their time learning. And your lining up for food stamps and section 8 comments reinforces my position that you despise the Chareidi way of life.

  12. There are reports circulating that the there were signs up in the yeshivah stating under the name of the rosh yeshiva that all students must do this and is quoted as saying “[The State of Israel’s] Ministry of Education and Religion are the greatest donors to the Yeshiva. I hereby require everyone to forgo their first learning class in the morning, and participate in the inspection

  13. Thank GD, the Mir Yeshiva functions with Yashrus and all the papers and talmidim were in order. Bitul Torah can always be avoided with a sefer in hand while waiting, many talmidim were shtieging with Chovos Levavos or chazering the Parsha.

    Your melodrama is uncalled for.

  14. What does the picture that is attached to this article have to do with it?
    Which Beis Medresh is it?
    Is it even the Mir?

  15. You usually do a fairly good job reporting on the world and Jewish news, but this is ridiculous. Leaving aside the sensationalism of blowing up a normal affair into a crime; leaving aside the wild headline which is quite misleading, this is fostering much sinas chinam.

    Matzav Editors: In the future, please watch what gets posted (particularly when involving criticism of Jews) more carefully.

  16. I as the rest of the Mir got numerous phone calls from the automated system, stating, the Rosh yeshiva requests all talmidim must present their ID. Around three o’clock the bikur was cancelled and second seder was shtark as ever.

  17. #20
    Obviously, you have no idea how the real world works. In addition to the IRS having the right to conduct spot inspections, the unions have the right to stop work as well as the government safety inspectors. This is part of the business world in the US and all other western countries.
    Yes, it is a nuisance. But then again, considering our responsibility to government we need to comply. If we don’t, then huge financial penalties can be applied and potentially jail time

    Yes, the situation in the MIR was a nuisance, but it’s part of the contract the Yeshiva signs to when they apply for government funing. Are you suggesting that the Yeshiva renege on its committment to a contract

  18. @ #16 Gadol Hador:

    =OY!!! Ribboinoi Shel Oilam!!! How much longer will we have to suffer from these Tzioinim and the Bittul Toirah that they cause!=

    If we live in the Medina Hatzionit, and if we take money from the memshala hatzionit we have to accept the obvious consequences.

  19. The Picture is one of the shiur rooms of the Mir it is a machsan directly opposite the Main building between tzion barber and Beis Shalom. it is generally referred to as Rav Wagshals shiur room. There are Many Chaburos that use the room as well throughout the day in the picyure on the front left you can see Rav Yisrael stilerman Shlita from the chashuvim of the yeshiva abd Rosh chabura in Ner Gavriel.

  20. #24 , This is a photo of Rabbi Yisroel Stilerman, Rosh Chabura of Ner Gavriel, listening to a chaubura from some else in Rabbi Wagshals shiur room.

  21. #20, If the corporate financial investors in my multibillion dollar company – halevai – “showed up and demanded everyone leave the building thereby disrupting the entire workforce and causing a loss to production” because they wanted to inspect their investment, you bet I would “dismiss it as being acceptable”.

    It’s called the Golden Rule: he who has the gold, makes the rules.

  22. sO ALL OF YOU tzadikim WHO DECRY THE TERRIBLE TZIONI CAUSED bITTUL tOIREH SHOULD FIRST GO ON A CAMPAIGN TO END smoking in yeshivas. Not because it is dangerous but because it causes Bittul Toireh, R”L.

  23. to #20. if my multi million dollar buiness was given an intrest free loan from the government or other free perks to make my buisinbess prosper then i wouldnt have a choice now , would i?.

  24. Hi
    I learned in The Mir for two years and every time there was an inspection the Rosh Yeshiva himself would come down to every Bais Medrash and they would stop everyone from learning and announce in the name of the R”Y (The R”Y didn’t have strength to speak himself) that “it is a mitzvah to go sign in by the inspectors”, and “whoever did not sign in yet should stop learning immediately and get his papers and sign in”. Also the R”Y himself would sit in the hallway of the Main Building and he would ask everyone who passed by if they signed in yet, and if they answered no, he told them to go “right now” to sign in.
    All this happened DURING Seder. Being as it is vital to the existence of the Yeshiva (government funding) the R”Y felt it necessary to stop everyone’s learning to sing in so the Yeshiva could pass inspection.

    This happens in every Yeshiva and Kollel in Eretz Yisroel and it is part of the process of getting Datot(gvmnt funds for yeshivas).

  25. “16. Comment from Gadol Hador
    Time March 3, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    OY!!! Ribboinoi Shel Oilam!!! How much longer will we have to suffer from these Tzioinim and the Bittul Toirah that they cause!”

    And the answer is…

    “14. Comment from Anonymous
    Time March 3, 2011 at 12:57 PM
    Rav Nosson Tzvi approved of this. He said the state is from the biggest contributors to the yeshiva and he gave his ok for the inspections. stop spreading sensational headlines and distorting the truth.”

    Nuff said.


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