Brisk Rosh Yeshiva: We Will Leave Eretz Yisrael if We Must


“The kavona of the haters of Israel by trying to draft bnei yeshivos is to destroy the major foundation of Torah, to destroy the yeshiva world, and to uproot everything R”L. In such a case we will be compelled to leave the country as was done during the time of the gezeira against limud Torah in Vilna by the communists” stated Rosh Yeshivas Brisk HaGaon HaRav Meshulam Dovid Halevy Soloveitchik Shlita in a schmooze with talmidim, HaMevaser reports.

The rosh yeshiva stated the gezeira which intends to close the Gemaras and compel talmidim to serve in the military is awful, as they offer incentives so talmidim chas v’sholom will decide to leave beis medrash on their own and opt to enlist in the military. The rosh yeshiva refers to the share the burden effort as an “existential threat against the Torah world and Yiddishkheit R”L”.

The rosh yeshiva continues, explaining that in the Diaspora we knew of such gezeiros against limud Torah by the goyim, quoting the Rambam’s Igeres Teiman, (אגרת תימן) addressing the gezeiros of the goyim against Am Yisrael.

The rosh yeshiva speaks of the earlier stage of the gezeira, when ‘they’ targeted the talmidei Torah with demands that they include the so-called core subjects, seeking to dilute the chinuch decided upon by Gedolei Yisrael Shlita. “No they seek to uproot everything” he adds, “to uproot Klall Yisrael’s neshama from its roots, the yeshivos hakodesh.”

“When we refer annually in the Pesach haggadah to בכל דור ודור עומדים עלינו לכלותנו refers to the gezeiros of the haters of Torah seeking to uproot the Torah HaKadosha R”L.”

The rav says if this is actualized, then there “is no alternative but to run away from here as was the case in Vilna during the communist rule” and Torah study will continue abroad.

“We must stand as a bulwark” the rav adds, calling on the entire chareidi tzibur to unite against this gezeira. The rosh yeshiva instructs us to conduct a cheshbon nefesh as to how and why this is being carried out against us today. He explains that we learn if one does not perform mitzvos properly one may lose the ability to fulfill these mitzvos.

On the one hand there is an unprecedented Torah study today the rosh yeshiva points out, but stresses on the other hand there is a lack of the mesirus nefesh which was seen in former years, a lack of a willingness to be moser nefesh to disconnect entirely from the secular world around us.

“Therefore, we are compelled to strengthen our adherence to Torah and mitzvos, to improve our performance of mitzvos, and of course our Yiras Shomayim.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. In Europe there were yeshivos that introduced core subjects, as TELSE and others.
    When will the Gedolim offer a solution to those many many & growing core of bochurim who are not learning full-time? Energies must be utilized to find a solution for those students to ‘share the burden’.

  2. Since there is a debate between Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim regarding the draft, hopefully a compromise that is workable will be found. Bochurim are waiting for the ability to join the workfield, attend job training and be the masters of parnassah in their households.

    Cut the rope and let them while finding and demanding ‘religious accomodations’ in the IDF.

  3. Nu, so now rov minyano ubinyano of am yisrael are ‘haters of Israel’, to be compared to Pharaoh, Lavan HaArami and the like?

    In any case, leaving Israel will be not be much of a hardship for Brisk. 80-90% of its talmidim come from abroad (mainly NY) anyway. And given the rosh yeshiva’s recent falling out with the Eida, which he has always been affiliated with, perhaps the upcoming ‘shmad’ (sigh) will serve as a convenient excuse for him to leave while saving face.

  4. #3 – No, secular (and masorati and religious) Israelis want their charedi brethren to be mentches, to serve in the defence of am yisrael, to work for a living and to pay taxes like everyone else. If a few yeshivot would rather leave the country than do that (and a few, like Brisk, conceivably might) they are welcome to. All the rest are more than welcome to stay and thrive.

  5. so they will move to NY & NJ. eventually they will also have to work to some extent. the US doesnt have benefits like Israel. (ie.e no payments per child besides the tax credits and EIC)

  6. They won’t have to go far. The Arabs know a propaganda victory when they see one and will be happy to invite them to open a yeshiva in Gaza or the West Bank. The international press will be reporting that some people who even look like Jews are able to live at peace with the Arabs, even if the Israelis can not. This will do more damage to the zionists than anything the Arabs or Iranaians could do.

  7. #11 HA, HA, HA, HA,,and with a hearty laugh, two cheers and a band playing they will be welcomed to live in Shechem or Ramallah and continue their yeshiva and perhaps increase their kollel.

  8. to akuperma:
    They will not move to Gaza as the Briskers are physically fearful from non-jews (as they are cheshud for ritzeecha).

    By the way, please keep in mind the following:
    “Brisk” for some people means “uncompromising holier than thou elitists who may be looked down upon as too yeshivish for their own good”
    While this interpretation of “Brisk” for the bochurim may or may not be accurate, Horav Dovid Soloveitchik, shlit”a is a goan, tzaadik, etc… truly from another generation of TRUE yiras shomayim.
    Point is, make your arguments about srving in army or not, but be careful when speaking of this special Gadol.

  9. A fool writes with glee that yeshivos may relocate to Gaza in the West Bank. No yeshivos contemplate such a move. Not even Naturei Karta. Let him go to those places.

  10. akuperma, the arabs couldnt afford it either. do you really think morre than 10 nuts would want to live under arab rule? you make it sound like everything was nice and dandy before 1948, 1929, 1800s. i got news for you it wasnt.