The Jewish Press mourns the passing of a Torah giant, Rabbi Adin (Even-Israel) Steinsaltz. His monumental Hebrew translation of the entire Talmud Bavli and his comprehensive, original commentary with explanatory illustrations revolutionized Torah study. His concurrent biographies of the various individuals mentioned in the text and his encyclopedic notes on Talmudic concepts make his work an invaluable and readily available resource for scholar and novice alike.
Rabbi Steinsaltz was a prolific and wide-ranging author, writing more than 60 books and hundreds of articles on the Talmud, Jewish mysticism, Jewish philosophy, sociology, and historical biography. His book on kabbalah is considered a classic. He also authored a memoir-biography of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt”l, to whom he was devoted.
In addition to studying, writing, and teaching, Rabbi Steinsaltz established several educational institutions in Israel. Also, at the request of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, he went to the Soviet Union in 1989 to assist Chabad emissaries and later flew to the region from Israel once a month. He also founded the Jewish University in Moscow and Leningrad.
Rabbi Steinsaltz was a Renaissance man with interests in mathematics, physics, chemistry and zoology. While his uncommon brilliance and prodigious output set him apart, Rabbi Steinsaltz was also in many ways the paradigmatic Jew who used to the full the divine gifts bestowed upon him.
Yehei zichro baruch.