The Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the flagship center of Religious-Zionism, has merited that many of its graduates spread the light of their Torah throughout Israel. They serve as teachers and educators at yeshivot, hesder yeshivot, high schools, ulpanot, mechina programs, and more.
Here is a short list of their accomplishments:
Kiryat Beit El Yeshiva – headed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed Shlita
Kiryat Shemona Hesder Yeshiva – led by Rabbi Tzephaniah Drori Shlita
Or Etzion Yeshiva – led by Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita
Nir Kiryat Arba Yeshiva – founded by Rabbi Eliezer Waldman Shlita
Elon Moreh Yeshiva – found by Rabbi Elyakim Levanon Shlita
Ma’ale Eliyahu Yeshiva in Tel Aviv – led by Rabbi Chaim Gantz Shlita
Kedumim Yeshiva – led by Rabbi Yitzchak Ben Shachar Shlita
Beit Orot Yeshiva – founded by Rabbi Binyamin Alon and Rabbi Chanan Porat ztl.
Kfar Haroeh Yeshiva – founded by Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neria
Noam Tzvia Reshet – led by Rabbi Eitan Eizman Shlit’a,
Yerushalayim LeTzeirim Yeshiva – founded by Rabbi Yaakov Filber Shlit’a
Torah Talmud Morasha – headed by Rabbi Hillel Plesser Shlita
Avir Ya’akov Yeshiva in Nahariya – headed by Rabbi Rafaeli Shlita
Bnei Tzvi Beit El Yeshiva – headed by Rabbi Aharon Trop Shlita
A partial list of alumni of the yeshiva:
Rabbi Yoseph Kapach zt”l, a major halakhic decisor, served on the Rabbinic Supreme Court
Rabbi Yoseph Toledano, Rabbi of Givat Ze’ev
Rabbi Yeshayahu Meshorer zt’l, headed the Beti Din in Petach Tikvah
Rabbi Moshe Levinger zt’l, founding member of Gush Emunim,
Rabbi Eitan Eizman, former Chief Rabbinate sec. General and head of Tzvia H.S. network
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat
Rabbi Menacham Froman zt’l, Rabbi of Tekoa
Rabbi Uri Sharki Rabbi of Cong. Beit Yehuda
Rabbi Yisrael Weis former IDF Chief Rabbi Rabbi Menachem Bornshtein head of fertility clinic Machon Puah
Rabbi Uri Dasberg zt’l former founder and rabbii of Machon Tzomet
Rabbi Yeshayahu Meitlis, Chief Rabbi of Nahariya
Rabbi Shlomo Ben Chamo Rabbi of Kiryat Gat
Rabbi Sha’ar Yashuv Cohen zt’l, Chief Rabbi of Haifa
Rabbi Meshulam Zusya Twersky
Rabbi Aryeh Stern, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem
Rabbi MIchah Halevi, Rabbi of Petach Tikva
Settling the Land
Avraham our forefather was promised “Lecha Aten et Ha’aretz Hazot – To you I will give this land.” Our generation, the generation of “eschalta degeula,” took part in reconquering and uniting the land. Our yeshiva took no small part in fulfilling this promise.
Landmarks Towards Uniting the Land:
Yud-Daled Elul (1967):
After the Six Day War, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook pushed for uniting the land, as well as increasing Torah study. On this day, he published the first proclamation, “Lo Togoro” in which he described the prohibition of handing over parts of the Land of Israel to the Gentiles. The leaflet has been translated into English and Arabic and circulated in hundreds of thousands of copies in Israel and around the world. Based on his instructions, his students left the yeshiva to distribute this proclamation throughout the country.
With his encouragement and advice, his students began to work to revitalize the Jewish community in Chevron.
In winter 1968, a group of Jews, religious and secular, joined to renew the Jewish community in Chevron. The group included, among others, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, graduates of the yeshiva. The group published ads in the press inviting those interested to join them. The group’s efforts to buy homes in Chevron were unsuccessful, and in anticipation of the Seder, they decided to rent the local Park Hotel, which they held at the Park Hotel, which was the first Seder city in Chevron. After Pesach, Rabbi Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda came to visit, where he gave them his bracha for success. The settlers settled in Chevron for two years until they received a permanent permit to settle in Kiryat Arba from the government decision.
Rabbi Waldman and Rabbi Levinger established the Nir Yeshiva in Kiryat Arba in 1934, and Rabbi Yehoshua Rosen led it that year. Rabbi Dov Lior of the Yeshiva served as Rabbi of Kiryat Arba for many years. The Shavei Chevron Yeshiva in was established in the year 5766 by Rabbi Moshe Bleicher.
Tu B’Shvat (1974) – Establishment of Gush Emunim:
After the crisis of the Yom Kippur War, when many people were depressed, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook came to encourage and strengthen the people, and to redeem the territories of Israel that were liberated during the Six Day War. At his students’ initiative, Gush Emunim was established, which began working to establish communities in these areas. Rabbeinu encouraged, empowered and directed his students in this work. From that time on he increased his activity for uniting country. In hundreds of letters he sent to heads of state and press releases, he made it clear that the notion of ‘territories for peace’ is contrary to Torat Yisrael, which requires settlement throughout the country. Because he held a major position, coupled with his unique personality, he had a great deal of influence on what was happening in the State of Israel.
Tu Sivan 5774 (1974):
Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda participated in the first settlement attempt in Shomron, in Hawara, next to Machane Choli south of Shechem. He planted a tree there and gave the settlers his blessing. He vehemently refused to respond to the request of the Central Command’s general, Yona Efrat, to evacuate, saying: “Here is Eretz Israel, what is the difference between here and there? We are not moving from here!” They tried eight times to establish a settlement in the Shomron. Eventually, they were granted a temporary permit to stay in the Kedum military camp, located west of Shechem.
During this period, the Yeshiva members participated in the establishment of the Moshav Keshet, in the Golan Heights, under the direction of Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook.
Tu B’Shvat (1977):
When the new community, Shilo, was celebrating laying the cornerstone, many guests came to join them, including Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, and Rabbi Chanan. Porat said, “May this place be blessed. This year is five houses and ten houses, and one hundred and one thousand houses. Real homes and families’ homes.”
Tu Elul (1978):
When Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords at the White House, the State of Israel pledged to evacuate Sinai and Yamit Territory and give autonomy to the Palestinians. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda encouraged his students to go through to settle the Yamit region, emphasizing Yamit is part of the Land of Israel. Moreover, he encouraged his students to protest the withdrawal from Sinai, and supported their actions. His students conducted their struggle with much self-sacrifice.
Rabbi Avraham Shapiro’s struggle against giving away the land already started then, with Yamit. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda was in the middle of his final illness and he was sending instructions to the protesters during the evacuation. Even as Chief Rabbi, he was always intent on preserving the unity of the land and not giving any piece away.
1993 – Establishing the Union of Rabbis for Eretz Yisrael
Rabbi Avraham Shapira established the Union of Rabbis for Eretz Yisrael with Rabbi Shaul Israeli and Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neria during the Oslo Accords and the Wye Agreement, and announced that a Jewish soldier is not allowed to fulfill the expulsion order of Jews from their homes, even in Yehuda, Shomron, and Gaza, and the Golan Heights. They held assemblies and announced that all of Eretz Yisrael belongs to the people of Israel. They said that no has permission to hand over any portion of the inheritance of ancestors, as well as it being a security threat
The Expulsion from Gush Katif – 2004
Much later, when the government was planning to expel the Gush Katif communities from their homes, Rabbi Avraham Shapira stood fiercely as a lion on his guard. He was fought against the government as he fought for the integrity of the land and the integrity of the Torah.