Reaching for the Heavens: Excerpts from the Writings of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz
A unifying thread in the prolific writings of Rabbi Steinsaltz was the intent to arouse and inspire his readers to live life more meaningfully and more spiritually. He frequently quoted the Rebbe of Kotzk, whose answer to the question of what human beings should see as the goal of their existence, was: 'Human beings were created to raise the heavens.' The ideas presented in this book can be seen as small rays of the brilliant light emanating from the mind of Rabbi Steinsaltz, their purpose being to awaken the hearts and thoughts of others.
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is internationally regarded as one of the leading scholars and rabbis of our times. He was born in Israel in 1937 to a secular family. At age 23, he became Israel’s youngest high school principal of an experimental school that he and some friends established in the Negev.
Best known for his monumental commentaries and translations of the Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Steinsaltz works with teams of scholars and editors in producing the forty-four Hebrew volumes of the Steinsaltz Talmud, along with the English, French, Russian and Spanish editions. This project was launched in 1965, and the Hebrew Talmud was completed in November, 2010.
Since 1988, Rabbi Steinsaltz has founded the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Moscow, the Jewish Universities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, a publishing house in Moscow, and Lamed, the national Jewish teachers' organization. He has travelled to Russia and the Republics frequently for lectures and meetings with students, teachers, politicians, journalists and key decision makers, serving as Duchovny Ravin – a historic title bestowed upon him in 1995, indicating his role as spiritual mentor of Russian Jewry.
Founder of the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications, Rabbi Steinsaltz has published over 300 titles and hundreds of essays on a variety of topics, including the Talmud, Jewish mysticism, religious thought, sociology, historical biography, and philosophy. Some of these publications have been translated into Russian, English, French, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Georgian, and even Chinese.
To the Bibliography list, Click here.
In Israel, Rabbi Steinsaltz established the Mekor Chaim network of schools in Jerusalem and the vicinity. In 1988, Rabbi Steinsaltz received the Israel Prize – the country’s highest honor – for Jewish Studies. In 2012 he was one of the first recipients of the Israeli Presidential Award of Distinction for his contribution to Israel and its standing in the world.
Rabbi Steinsaltz has been a visiting lecturer and resident scholar at leading academic institutions in Europe, China and the United States, including Oxford University, the Sorbonne, The Academies of Social Sciences in Beijing and Shanghai, Yale University, University of Cape Town, The Institute for Advanced Studies and the Woodrow Wilson Center.
In December 2016, he suffered a severe stroke which has left him unable to write and very limited in his speech. Nevertheless, he continues to come to the office daily, read over texts given to him, and make his comments on them.