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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
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Talmudic, Tenacious, Tough-Minded: An Interview With Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz


Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

I thought it could be a good beginning for something, but it didn’t work out.

What do you mean by “work out”?

Working out means more and more people get involved. If it doesn’t get more people – and more important people – involved, it means it didn’t somehow cut through the right place. And whatever you do, if it doesn’t work, so it doesn’t work.

So you would suggest that the rabbis still involved in this project let it die?

I never make a denouncement because I see good people with good intentions involved. But somehow it hasn’t taken off.

A recent article in the Forward states that in addition to your several dozen published non-fiction works, you’ve also written detective novels. Is that true?

I didn’t publish any.

Why not?

There are all kinds of things I’ve written that I didn’t publish. I didn’t feel the need or I didn’t feel they are good enough or useful.

Will you publish them one day?

I don’t know, I’ll see. Possibly when I read them again I’ll have a better opinion.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are going to publish a new edition of Mishnayos. We are also working on an edition of the Rambam with a commentary by me and others that makes a better connection between the Rambam and the Shulchan Aruch. And I’m also doing a project about the commentary on the Bible, and other things as well.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


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3 Responses to “Talmudic, Tenacious, Tough-Minded: An Interview With Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz”

  1. Jonathan Weber says:

    I bought the new Koren Publishers Berachot. I can say as a secular teacher, it is the ultimate teaching tool. Everything is so crystal clear. You don't need to study with a Rabbi to learn from it. Kol HaKavod… Yesher Koach!

  2. Atraf Creez says:

    BS"D
    As a "religious" Jew,I understand what you say Jonathan,but as is universally known & Rav Shteinszaltz says ,he made his version for people that won't think they understand the whole page they learned.& as our Sages say,whoever thinks he has learned the whole Gemorrah missed the point,he hasn't even learned the first page.
    (The Gemorrah starts on page 2).
    If I understand what you meant to say, that this edition is so well done,you could learn on your own and gain much insight.But think how much more with a teacher.

  3. Atraf Creez says:

    Many Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim if asked are they connected to the Rebbe will answer the same.We TRY to be (sometimes, often, not enough).Try telling an agnostic Jew "O, so you aren't really Jewish".He would blow up."How can you say that of me?"Ask an honest religious Jew if he is religious."How often a day do you mean?" "Are you asking me how many hours I serve HaShem during the day & how many I serve myself?". A Jew is a Jew is a Jew. Same with a Chasid.But you can't ask a Chasid to grade himself/herself.We just hope that our actions bear fruit.

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Aside from my own 485-page tome on the subject, Red Army, I think Jamie Glazov did an excellent job at framing things in United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

In his day, Rav Kook was the greatest writer of haskamot and pretty much everyone in the Lithuanian Torah world wanted his approbation.

But on the human level, public protest played a very central role. And that’s not my position – it’s the position of historians who are experts in this area.

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