My father attended Mir Yeshiva and Kelm Yeshiva. Mir Yeshiva in Lithuania was one

of the foremost Yeshivot in Europe. It

stressed rigorous study of Talmud

and Mussar principles of ethical living.


It was said that Mir was the Harvard of

Jewish education. I would say Harvard may be the Mir of the United States.

As the Shoah was

closing in on Mir, the Rabbis took a difficult stand and sought to leave Mir en masse. Other

rabbis scorned the Rabbis of Mir for taking a

position that would suggest that G-d would not

protect the Jewish people.

A Japanese diplomat undertook to create visas

for the entire Yeshiva to escape. The story is

vividly told in the book “In Search of Sugihara”

by Hillel Levine.

In the group photo, I think my father is in the top row, second from the left.

My father also attended Kelm Yeshiva. This Yeshiva accepted fewer than 40 students who

had the potential to be the most outstanding

Talmud teachers. The curriculum not only focused on rigorous study but communal food

production. I have suggested to my brother

the psychotherapist and kibbutznik kiwi grower

that his father would be proud of him--always

humble, smart, caring and ready to do hard physical labor.

Moshe Scharja-Yeshiva Years

Mir Yeshiva  Class

Mir Yeshiva