May 30, 2012 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #603618
Has anyone here know about R’ Ilson’s yeshiva in meah she’arim? I would like to know what kind of guys go there. Thank you in advanceMay 30, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #878073
Are you talking about R’ ILSON’s Yeshiva on Rechov Nachum Ish Gamzu in Meah Shearim?
If so, I could tell you plenty. I spent some wonderful time there.May 31, 2012 7:45 am at 7:45 am #878075
RSRH: I was referring to R Ilson, sorry to make a typo up here. Glad to see someone that went there has middos- it makes me want to go there…any info you want to offer over here would be appreciated.
What kind of bochurim does the yeshiva attract?May 31, 2012 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #878076
ThanksMay 31, 2012 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #878078
Takish: I didn’t forget about you. I am very busy for most of the day, but will try to write you a longer response as soon as I can (hopefully tonight).
Also, feel free to contact the mods and get my email to contact me directly (I don’t know if they will allow it, but I give them permission to give you my email if they can). It’s a wonderful place for the right kind of people and I am always happy to steer the right one’s there.May 31, 2012 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #878079
I have a bunch of friends who went there. Spent a bunch of shabbosim there. What specifically would you like to know?May 31, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #878080ChulentMember
Is it a Meah Shearim type of Yeshiva?May 31, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm #878081
Definitely the opposite of a Meah shearim type of yeshiva. R Ilson is a YU rebbiMay 31, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #878082
No shaychis to the meah shearim matsiv. The community doesn’t mind them since they are well behaved. I actually think some of the residents might be fond of them.June 1, 2012 1:06 am at 1:06 am #878083abcdefghijklmnopParticipant
@Chulent No, it is not. Know some people who went there. Specific questions?June 1, 2012 1:57 am at 1:57 am #878084
1) If you have specific questions, I may be able to give you a better sense of things, but I’ll try to give you a general overview.
2) The yeshiva is located on Rechov Nachum Ish Gamzu in the heart of Meah Shearim. The building is quite nice, the dorms are quite livable (3-4 people per room (no bunk-beds), every two rooms has a toilet and shower with additional toilets, showers, and washer/dryers in a separate room in the building). All meals are provided by the Yeshiva in the Yeshiva dining room(except “off-shabbosim,” once a month). The Rosh Yeshiva, R. Ilson is VERY health conscious, so the food is cooked fresh, and the meals are pretty good and well-balanced in terms of nutrition.
3) While the whole yeshiva learns the same mesechta, for first seder the Yeshiva currently has three sections. A first-year section hears shiur every day from one of the magidei shiur (not R. Ilson). The second-year+ section hears shiur from R. Ilson every day. The Kollel hears shiur from the Rosh kollel, but has a shiur klali from R. Ilson once a week. After Pesach, the first-year guys join the second year guys in R. Ilson’s shiur.
2) Second seder is bekiyus in the same mesechta as first seder with a shiur twice a week. Mussar seder before supper every night with a smuess once a week. R. Ilson gives an incredible shiur on Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos on Friday mornings to everyone. There is a halacha seder after davening, before breakfast, and a halacha shiur on various issues once a week.
3) The Mashgiach is a TRUE TZADDIK (I cannot emphasize this enough). He is a walking mussar sefer, and one of the most incredible, understanding, inspiring person I have ever met.
4) The Yeshiva is kept small – maybe around 30 bachurim and another 10-12 in the kollel. The guys come from all different types of backgrounds and haskafos. If you are looking for a uniform black-and-white place, this isn’t it. R. Ilson is known to look for people WHO WANT TO LEARN HOW TO LEARN. As he says, its not a place for “frumkeit” or for “flying off into the clouds on spiritual highs.” Most people there are RWMO, some strictly yeshivish (but obviously a bit more open-minded), a couple may be LWMO. Again, the Yeshiva doesn’t impose a hashkafa – it want’s everyone to think and decide for themselves about those things; it’s all about serious limud Torah, acquiring a derech halimud, and following clear-cut, cold, hard halachah.
5) The student body is small, but there are quite a large number of magidei shiur, mashgichim, shoel u’mashivim, ect., so you can find someone to build a kesher with.
Please let me know if you have more questions.June 1, 2012 2:05 am at 2:05 am #878085
Ah, I forgot the most important part:
R. Ilson was a talmid of R. Soleveitchik at YU for 10+ years. He received smicha from the Rav before marrying the daughter of one of the Ponevitch Mashgichim (the shidduch was made by R. Shneur Kotler,with whom R. Ilson was very close, if I remember correctly) and moving to Israel. He was originally Rosh kollel at Torah Moshe (R. Meiselman’s yeshiva), but left to open his own Yeshiva due to hashkafic differences.
As a Brisker, R. Ilson tries to give over a particular derech to his students that teaches them to learn simple p’shat in the gemarah and rishonim by “reading the words.” He is not fond of pilpul and “reid.”
He is a truly brilliant mind (working on sefarim on Ohalos, Chullin, and Sefer Hamitzvos), and has a very likable style of saying a shiur. Very warm and personable with his talmidim one you get to know him (you need to make the effort) – in learning, but also in personal matters (e.g., he will occasionally IM me if we both happen to be online at the same time to see how my life is going, ect.).June 1, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am #878086ChulentMember
This is a a silly question (sorry), but why is this type of yeshiva located in Meah Shearim?June 1, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm #878087
RSHS is alumni and pretty much everything he says is accurate, however a few things have changed over the years.
First of all Rav Ilson this year only gave shiur once a week on the yeshiva mesechta to the entire yeshiva, but stopped and started saying instead on a Sefer Hamitzvos shiur. Next year he might switch back and start saying everyday on the yeshiva mesechta. This year though he has started giving an optional iyun shiur twice a week on Ohalos, which my friends seem to enjoy, though not all attend.
Secondly, form what I understand, Rav Ilson is only as of now writing a sefer on Sefer hamitzvos, which will consist of the hakdama and the shorashim only.
Thirdly the bochrim now tend to be more right wing then previous years. They are by no means yeshivish. They mostly all wear hats and jackets, and I think even most wear white shirts. However the bochrim and yeshiva are very accepting, and no one is pressured in the slightest to dress in any particular fashion
Fourthly Rav Ilson I was told was a ben bayis by Rav Shneur (my friend was trying to convince me he is not modox at all), and stayed there every shabbos for like five years.
Fifthly I heard from Rav Ilson himself that he did not leave ToMo for hashkafic reasons. He said he left it when Bais split from ToMo, becuase he said when ever theres machlokes its better to stay awayJune 1, 2012 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm #878088
Chulent: VERY good question. For two reasons. (1) R. Ilson wants his Talmidim very focused on their learning; the schedule is demanding and although this is not a typical Chareidi yeshiva, it does not engage in recreational activities during the zman like many of the other post high school yeshivos do (no tiyulim, special trips, ect.). The only organized tiyulim are one during succos bein hazmanim, one during chanukah, and two shabbatonim. I imagine he fealt the location would help avoid distractions from learning and set the Yeshivah apart from others. Also, the location is very in line with the yeshiva’s message that “we each choose our own hashkafos.” An open-minded, litvish, YU-influenced can exist in the heart of Meah Shearim a block away from Neturei Karta headquarters and three blocks from R. Elyashiv, close to the Mir, ect., and have good relations with all its neighbors with whom we share a common halacha if not a common hashkafa.
(2) The second reason is that supposedly, R. Ilson’s late wife zt”l had some family connections that she used to get a desirable building in a desirable location.June 1, 2012 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #878089abcdefghijklmnopParticipant
@chulent why should it not be in Mea Shearim? My guess is its a financial decision and/or someone who has connections within Mea Shearim.
@lakewhut Rav Ilson is not your stereotypical YU rebbe. While he learned there many years ago, he does not seem to be overly fond of 90% of what is going on in YU.June 1, 2012 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #878090
@ voldemort, I never stereotyped, I was merely stating a fact. He learned under r’ soloveitchik at YU. This makes him a YU rebbi, there is nothing wrong with that. Do you know 90% of what goes on in YU?June 1, 2012 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #878091
My pointing him out to be a YU rebbi is to contrast him from your traditional Lakewood/Brisk type of Rosh yeshiva.June 4, 2012 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #878092Tsurva.MiRabananMember
He was also:
raised religion wise by Rav Gorelick. Learned by and Bichavrusa with Rav Gershon Zacks. He spent shabbosim at Rav Sneur Kotler’s house for 4 years. Married the daughter of Rav Grossbard (was mashgiach of Ponevezh)with Rav Shach as mesader kedushin. His wife was supposedely one of three women allowed to have meetings privately with the Steipler. Learned in Rav Michel Feinstein’s extremely exclusive taharos kollel.
To define someone as YU guy based on the fact that they learned there, and held of Rav Soleveitchik is ridiculous. He probably had more shaychis with the gedolim than any of your lakewood/brisk rosh yeshiva types.
He might be not typical but who really is when you learn about them. To define him as YU rebbe is way to black and white and is incorrectJune 4, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #878093
RSRH: Sorry for my delayed response, but thank you for your thorough answer. From reading what you wrote, this is obviously a very out of the box type of yeshiva. Is this a place you suggest a regular open-minded yeshiva guy go to, or would he be better off in a place like the Mir. Also if there is no imposed hashkafa, how and where do they draw the red line?
Anom123456789: I would like to also hear your response.June 5, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am #878094
1) I would reccomend it for an “open-minded yeshivah guy” (not knowing more about you than that). Keep in mind that the experience is very different than Mir. This is a very small Yeshiva with a relatively large faculty that allows for a decided focus on each student (I know, it sounds like a cliche, but it’s true). You get a lot of independence, but at the same time, R. Ilson, the Mashgiach, and others that you become close to will have a sense of how you are progressing and will be able to guide you to develop skills in seriously reading and analyzing texts (instead of just listening to and parroting a shiur). Their is a very heavy, individualized focus on skills-development which I think you cannot get in a place as large as the Mir. If that sounds like something you want to work on, then it may work very well for you.
2) Simply put, they draw the red line at halacha. Of course, that’s a bit of an amorphous concept – after all, what may be a hashkafic issue for MO may be treated as halacha in chasidish circles. I wish I could give you a better sense of it, but “halacha” is the only decent answer I can give. Students are free to wear whatever style of clothing they like – it is a personal choice – as long as they maintain proper kavod for the beis midrash and their learning, and also respect the neighborhood. For example, when I was there, most people wore white shirts and dark pants, some wore colored shirts, a couple wore polo shirts and even jeans on occasion. Most wore jackets for davening, some wore hats, some neither. Some read philosophy and history in their spare time (moi), some read Artscroll biographies, some didn’t have spare time to read anything other than a gemarah. It’s a diverse group (less diverse now), but any well-established normative hashkafa-based conduct is acceptable (Chareidi, Torah Umadah, Torah im Derech Eretz, Chassidus, Tzioni, ect., ect.). But, you MUST come to seder, you MUST come to davening, ect., you get the point I think. Basically, much room for individual expression and personal taste/style within the wide bounds of halacha. – The faculty is decidedly Chareidi, however (though most are pretty broad-minded and can relate to the students well).June 5, 2012 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #878095
Takish- The Mir and Rav Ilsin’s are two very different places. Need more specifics.
The bochrim in Rav Ilsin’s now are very similar to the hashkafic mindset of a good American Mir bochur.
Almost all the bochrim there have very strict halacha standards. The Yeshiva follows machmir shitos (like iber maysaring,and only using badatz food products). The bochrim treat halacha very seriously.
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