Rabbi Adin (Even-Israel) Steinsaltz, winner of the Israel Prize for Jewish Studies and one of the greatest commentators on the Talmud, passed away yesterday (Friday) at the age of 83. During his lifetime, the rabbi wrote more than 60 books in various fields, including introductory books and Talmudic and Chassidic commentaries. Due to the spread of the corona plague, his family asked not to attend his funeral, which took place near the beginning of Shabbat. He was buried in the Mount of Olives cemetery, to the sound of devotional songs from his students and family.
His son, Amhiya, burst into tears at the end of the funeral and said: “I want to say thank you to all of you for all the prayers you have prayed all these days. You prayed with us, we prayed with you. All the prayers and all the wonderful initiatives you have made all this time and years “All these prayers are not empty again. They helped with what they needed to help, and Mother said that Father will return to all those who prayed, he will return to them in his own prayers from heaven.”
Rabbis, public figures from Israel and around the world paid tribute to him. Rishon LeZion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and Rabbi David Lau said that Rabbi Steinsaltz was “a man of spirit, who was privileged to make the Torah of Israel accessible to the general public, to make thousands of students Torah and a certificate.” They also said that “in his unique way and in his exclusive path, Rabbi Steinsaltz was privileged to be a beacon for many in the Torah and its thought.”
President Reuven Rivlin added: “Rabbi Adin was a man who had a spirit in him, with spiritual courage, depth of mind and depth of thought. . True to his mission and principles, he did not shy away from paving his own unique path, out of devotion to the Torah of Israel and the people of Israel. “
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Rabbi Steinsaltz “Clearly represented the figure of the Jewish ‘perpetual’. He invested incessant labor in his interpretive endeavors, chief among them the commentary on the Talmud which makes the study of the Gemara accessible to the general public in clear and comprehensible language. His important works will stand for generations – as cornerstones of the heritage of Israel, and a violin will always be in his memory. “
Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Bnei Gantz added that the rabbi, whom he called “great in understanding and contributing to the human psyche”, “never distinguished between a religious and a non-religious person, leaving behind translations of the Gemara that will remain in the Jewish people for many generations.” “We need more than anything during this period. His physical and spiritual heritage is an asset that we will preserve.”
Rabbi Steinsaltz, a native of Jerusalem, grew up in a secular home in the Katamon neighborhood. Upon his conversion, he studied at the Chabad Yeshiva in Lod, and later studied chemistry and physics at the Hebrew University, although he did not complete his high school studies. At the age of 23, he became the youngest principal in Israel.
In 1965, he founded the “Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications”, which deals with commentary on the Talmud in order to make it accessible to today’s Israeli reader. The Talmud in its publication, known as the “Steinsaltz Talmud”, is punctuated, paragraphed and divided into paragraphs, and in addition to common interpretations, such as Rashi and additions, it includes a translation of the Talmud from Aramaic to Hebrew with introductions, easy explanations, summaries, biographies of Talmudic sages, charts, pictures He received the Israel Prize for Jewish Studies in 1988. To date, he has authored more than 60 books in various languages, dealing with the fields of education, students and Hasidism and philosophy.