Rav Yehudah Jacobs to Move to Eretz Yisroel


rav-yehudah-jacobsAfter decades of harbotzas haTorah and infusing talmidim at America’s largest yeshiva with hashkofas haTorah and yiras Shomayim, Rav Yehudah Jacobs, a prominent mashgiach at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, will be moving to Eretz Yisroel.

Rav Jacobs, in his quiet and humble manner, has guided thousands of bnei Torah over the years in countless areas of life. His unique understanding of human nature combined with his yedios haTorah and deep-seeded yiras Hashem have benefited the talmidim of the yeshiva for years.

Rav Jacobs is perhaps most well known among the younger talmidim of the yeshiva for the bi-annual shmuess he delivers each winter zeman and during summer zeman, discussing important issues relating to the parsha of shidduchim and providing practical advice and guidance to the bochurim who are entering the parsha of shidduchim for the first time. In his inimitable manner, Rav Jacobs, with forthrightness and clarity, conveys the hashkafic aspects of shidduchim, and the proper hanhaga to be followed at this important juncture of a bochur‘s life. Rav Jacobs has always provided clear hadracha, explaining how a bochur should look into a shidduch, the proper hanhaga on a date, dealing with financial support, having the proper focus prior to entering the parsha of shidduchim, and more.

Those who have benefited from his keen advice and his insight into human behavior feel fortunate to have had Rav Jacobs serve as a madrich in their lives.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. What a loss for us in Lakewood. He’s a true Tzadik and Pikeiach. A Yerei Shomayim and Ba’al Midos Tovos.

  2. may you have much Hatzlacha in Eretz Yisroel & Lakewood will surely miss your guidance & kedusha MAY ALL KLAL YISROEL BE WITH YOU IN YERUSHALEM WITH MASHIACH SOON

  3. “Rav Jacobs, in his quiet and humble manner, has guided thousands of bnei Torah over the years in countless areas of life.”

    May the Rav continue to guide thousands of bnei Torah…to follow his lead and move to Eretz Yisrael. Open your eyes Lakewood: the geulah is in Klal Yisrael’s hands. We’re living in the Prophetic times of chevlai Moshiach. It’s time for bnei Torah to give up their cushy existence in golus and come home. No more excuses. Your homeland is calling you. Baruch HaShem, Rav Jacobs is answering that call. Why aren’t you?

  4. #4:
    It is not as simple as you make it out to be. A large percentage of kids from American families who make aliya end up off the derech. Even for adults it is not so simple. The chareidi community there is different from the yeshiva community here and not every one can make it. Things are much more polarized. Some end up sending kids to more left-wing schools than they would have had they stayed in America as they can’t find their place in the Israeli chareidi world. We tried it and it didn’t work, and it bothers me when people say everyone should go there.

  5. Ovi Ovi Rechev Yisroel Uforoshov!!!
    It’s impossible to estimate how many people and families he helped in countless ways.

  6. SAD NEWS FOR LAKEWOOD. Rav Jacobs is a birliant mentor an advizer. who has saved many marriges throughout. He is a wonderful person to talk with and understands people. WE WILL MISS HIM DEARLY, and hope this decision changes.

  7. He is a true tzaddik and the epitome of a “pikeiach.” The writer of the article put it well when he reference his insight into human nature. I don’t know anyone who can give better practical advice for life situations, shalom bayis, etc. etc. than Rav Jacobs. We can say he is a genius in the human psyche and it all comes from his Torah and yiras Shomayim. He is steeped in Torah and guided by his fear of Heaven and humbleness. He will be missed in the United States if he indeed goes to Eretz Hakodesh.

  8. R. Jacobs helped me big time throughout the years. He was right on target with a lot of things. He is the real deal here in Lakewood. No extras, very humble, eager to help.

  9. I agree with you #4 Miriam. I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. H’ saved us by bringing us back here years ago. We are not able to go back now if we want to do it right. I have asked shylas. Although, I must say, the end looks closer by the day and we could definitely pick up and go in a flash without any qualms. There is nothing to stay here for at that point.


  11. # 4 has it right.
    It’s amazing how insistent some people are when it comes to easy to do mitzvahs, but when it comes to a mitzvah that actually requires planning, effort and perseverance, all the excuses in the world are pulled out. Not only that, but how does this sound? “I tried to keep Shabbos, it was too hard , I gave up, and I don’t think Shabbos is really for everyone, so stop telling everyone to keep Shabbos” . How does that one go over? Anyone buy it?
    As for the rest of you Yidden , it’s easy to stop eating strawberries, it’s not so easy to make Aliyah. So let’s see if you really mean this yiddishkeit thing. Follow your Rebbe’s footsteps and come here.

  12. Yesterday, a Rav from NY called an askan in Israel to help a former resident of NY who made aliya, and was having issues with EACH of his kids.

    The askan screamed -I TOLD YOU TO STOP SENDING PEOPLE!!

    40% (!!!!) of the youth of American olim to Bet Shemesh are on the streets or failing! Who are people still preaching Aliya! Aliya!

    Its great to live in Erts Yisrael, but it needs to be done with sechel – and either before kids are born, or after they are grown. Those who do it blindly are SACRIFICING THEIR KIDS!

  13. A true loss for Lakewood with new horizons expanding for us in Erez Yisrael. We look forward to this Tzaddik coming to be mashpia here, with bracha, good health and happiness ad neya v’esrim in Eretz Yisrael!! and to the previous writers, true it’s NOT for everyone, hakol biyidei shamayim, but to TRY and live here, or to seriously consider the option and discuss it with your rebbe/rosh yeshiva or hey- Reb Yehuda Jacobs– is within your bechira!!

  14. why does everybody keep posting “sad news for lakaewood”

    why isnt this good news for eretz yisroel? i dont understand when lakewood became the ikur? Last time i checked HKBH told avraham avinu to go to eretz yisroel not new jersey.

  15. > To Miriam (commenter #6) who wrote: “A large percentage of kids from American families who make aliya end up off the derech.” AND

    To commenter #15, who wrote: “40% of the youth of American olim to Bet Shemesh are on the streets or failing!”

    >> An honest blogger does not offer statistics without providing a reputable source. Until you do so, I can only suspect that you are both making it up in order to support your position.

    > “The askan screamed – ‘I TOLD YOU TO STOP SENDING PEOPLE!'” (from comment #15)

    >> Gee, that’s very funny. I guess this askan is m’vatel the opinion of the Chazon Ish, who told a yeshiva student who had come to bid farewell before returning to America: “Is one permitted to leave Eretz Yisroel? We are trying to devise methods to get bnei Torah to settle here and you are involved in finding ways to be able to leave?!” (Peer Hador, vol. II, p. 42)

    To Shlomo Zalman (comment #13): WELL SAID!

  16. Aliyah now:

    Bl’n I will follow Rabbi Jacobs example: When all my children are married and settled I will also Bl’n look into moving to Eretz Yisroel.But for now it isn’t an option.You would have a better case for Aliyah when directing it to retirees moving to Florida or Lakewood, not those with children

  17. to #6: you and all the likes of you are latter day meraglim. how appropriate! whats this weeks parshah?! the kedushah of eretz yisrael is far greater than any other place in the world. yes there has to be equilibrium, as much as there is kedusha there is tumah (kosel,and the egel hazahav on top)for the purpose of our bechira. so yes, there are nisyonos but with siyata dishmaya you stand to gain a lot more than you can lose. but meraglim are not aloud in eretz yisrael sorry.

  18. To Berel:

    I assume that you asked a shaila of a talmid chocham as to whether (given the ages of your children) you should attempt aliyah now, or not. If you have, then you’ve got a let to stand on. BUT, if not…well then, you’re just another excuse macher who is too in love with life in golius-America to want to move.

    To everyone on this thread who finds excuses for rejecting the mitzvah of yishuv ha’aretz …let me state what should be the obvious:

    Chazal say that three things are acquired only through HARDSHIP and ADVERSITY: Torah, HaOlam Haba and ERETZ YISRAEL (Brachos 5a).

    Yeah, but who wants to voluntarily undergo hardships in Eretz Yisrael when life is so much easier in Lakewood/Monsey/Flatbush/Boro Park/Kew Gardens Hills/5 Towns/Baltimore… etc. etc. “No siree; I’ll go home to Eretz Yisrael only when the Ribbono Shel Olam is ready to serve it up to me on a silver platter …when I’m ready to retire on a cushy pension and Social Security.” Such a display of emunah and bitachon is, well, underwhelming to say the least.

    I think it’s pretty clear that as the geula unfolds, all the excuse machers will be among the last who are allowed to go.

  19. #22 Allowed, not aloud

    Alyah now: Both the Jewish Observer and Mishpacha have printed what I wrote about large percentges of children going off the derech after aliya. I have neither on hand now and can not give exact quotes.

    Yes, aliya is a mitzva. There are 613 mitzvos. I don’t know why you are so sure this mitzva should come at the expense of so many others.

  20. From Rabbi Horowitz’s web site:

    Considering the effects that the severe changes of aliya can have on children, Rabbi Orlowek counsels parents to approach the idea of moving to Eretz Yisroel with children with great caution.He quotes Rabbi Nachman Bulman l”xz as having said that the time for families to come to Eretz Yisroel is either before the children are born or after they’re married.“I would certainly say,” he adds, “that parents who bring children here over the age of 6 or 7 are taking a big chance.” Rabbi Orlowek asserts that in order for children to successfully integrate into the Israeli system, they must be confident, socially stable, and have no language problems.An overly sensitive child will most likely experience difficulties.“The society in Eretz Yisroel is marked by a tougher mentality. In U.S. schools, you’re likely to find teachers more in tune with the needs of an American child than an Israeli teacher in a chareidi school.”

  21. More sources:

    Even when parents are willing and able to conform, their children may not be as quick to adapt socially to their new environment. Rabbi Greenwald observes that for many children, fitting into the Israeli system is a real struggle.“When children reach age nine or ten, they have already adapted an American mentality in many respects.They are used to dressing a certain way, acting a certain way, relating to their teachers in a certain way.They are used to a certain permissiveness.When they move to Eretz Yisroel, all of these things change.Unless a child is very spiritually motivated, extremely resilient, and easily adapts to new situations, he or she is being put at serious risk.”Rabbi Rottman adds that because American children might look and act differently than their Israeli counterparts, when choosing a neighborhood to settle in, olim should consider how their children will fit in.“In some chareidi communities,” he says, “a kid who wears white sneakers will be looked at as an outcast.You don’t want your children walking around feeling like bums.”

    Rabbi Avrohom Weinberg, who heads a yeshiva for Israeli drop-outs in Rosh Ha’ayin, explains: “American kids come to Israel with a lot of cultural baggage,” he says.“There are things that are accepted in yeshivish American society that are considered by Israelis to be treif.If a bachur follows professional sports in America, for example, he is not looked at as doing anything wrong.Here, such a thing can get a boy kicked out of yeshiva.In Eretz Yisroel, if a yeshiva bachur shows up to shul in a blue shirt, he’s not normal.If he goes roller-blading, he has a serious problem.”When American youth exhibit behavior or interests that are frowned upon by Israeli chareidi culture, they are looked at as different, second-class.This often leads to low self-esteem, and disenchantment with the system in general, causing the child to live up to the negative image that has been placed upon him.

    Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer of Congregation She’aris Yisroel in Baltimore is well aware of the challenges facing American families making aliya:“Thousands of people are struggling with these issues.Not hundreds – thousands! I would say that 50% of the kids who make aliya are getting married and settling back in America.”Rabbi Hopfer offers families making aliya the same advice that mechanchim in Eretz Yisroel are prescribing: conform.

    “I am a shtark chareidi Zionist,” Rabbi Hopfer states proudly.“I truly love Eretz Yisroel and I have a deep desire to live there one day.Nevertheless, you have to think about the children.If moving to Eretz Yisroel is not going to be beneficial for the ruchnius of your family, or if it will have a negative effect on the well-being or stability of your children, then it is not the right thing to do.People don’t have the right to fulfill their dreams at the expense of other, more important priorities.”

  22. Miriam:

    I thank you very much for the citations. No one is denying that there are issues involving children which need to be considered.

    But, guess what? There are places to go where the needs of American Olim (of differing persuasions) are being specifically addressed, to help alleviate the problems. Three excellent examples of communities with large Anglo populations include Efrat (for the more modern), Moshav Matityahu (led by Rav Zev Leff, for the American yeshivish crowd). There is a large and growing Anglo community in Ma’aleh Adumim and Nefesh B’Nefesh specifically directs American Olim to growing Anglo communities where American children thrive. In other words: there ARE solutions to the challenges.

    And regardless of the above, I dare say that there are, not hundreds, but THOUSANDS of frum families with younger children who are staying put in America, and just falling back on a host of other excuses.

    And finally, it is sickening to hear about new subdivisions being built in chutz laaretz — new homes by the hundreds — when instead, there should be an organized community effort to relocate these same families to new subdivisions in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Riskin succeeded in Efrat; Rabbi Leff succeeded in Moshav Matityahu. Why aren’t others following their models? If entire communities were built for American Olim, ALL of the educational and social problems would DISAPPEAR. There are many talented people who would be able to lead such an effort, but there is simply no will to do so.

    So, in the end, I stand by my original contention: there is simply NO desire on the part of thousands of bnei Torah in America to leave their too comfortable golus and come home to where they belong. They simply refuse to ask the shaila, because they really don’t want to hear the answer. It’s very easy to list the problems and shake one’s head. It’s quite another thing to dedicate oneself to overcoming the problems and praying for Siyata d’Shmaya.

    P.S. As far as your understanding of the mitzvah of yishuv ha’aretz, learn Kesuvos 110b to understand the incredible chashivus of the mitzvah.

  23. Aliyah now:
    All I ever wrote is that it is not so simple (because of the challenges mentioned) and is not for everyone, it depends on the family situation. I agree that many have no desire to move, but that was not the issue.
    And I brought sources because you said that otherwise one can assume I am making things up.

    I understand and hope that now, and in other cities, things are hopefully better for Americans. But people need to know the pitfalls.

  24. “there is simply NO desire on the part of thousands of bnei Torah in America to leave their too comfortable golus”

    what? are you serious?!
    Many, many of us are struggling just as much, if not more, than we did even b’aretz. There may be more support in general for us here, but it is not a comfort galus. We are basically slaves to the system here which has turned more and more pro-arab recently. There are problems here too and lots of stress and illness, believe me.

  25. rabbi yehuda jacobs saved my soul. He was the first person i felt that really understood my needs and feelings. He has such a deep understanding in the human psyche, way beyond the secular world can imagine. He gave advice with such carity and brilliance. At his home It felt so comfortable and at easy. He had such an enormous Kovod Hadam when he spoke to people it was like he was speaking to this treasure that he respected unmeasureable. I’m still in denial over the fact that my Rebbe is leaving.

  26. Rabbi Yehuda Jacobs is a true man of INTEGRITY, wisdom, and understand. He reached well beyond what the Psychologist are working on for years. In my opinion he out did the PSYCHOLOGISTS COUNSELORS AND THERAPIST BY far. I will miss him dearly.

  27. R’ Yehuda Jacobs has helped many people in their marrigages. Additionally, his anivus is something we can learn from.