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Perhaps the Greatest Jewish Scholar in 1000 Years has Died

Not since the days of the greatest Jewish commentator Rashi in the 11th century [and Saint Jerome (Hieronymus) 1700 years ago], has there been someone like Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. One of the greatest Talmudic and Biblical scholars the world has ever seen, Steinsaltz dedicated his life to translating the Babyonian Talmud from Aramaic to Modern Hebrew - and since into English, French, Spanish and Russian as well. It was such a monumental individual undertaking that just the Aramaic to Hebrew part took him from 1965 to 2010! This work managed to democratize the text, providing accessibility to billions of people worldwide.

Somehow along the way he managed to collect a degree from Hebrew University in mathematics, physics and chemistry, become the youngest-ever school principal in Israel's history at the age of 24 and write 60 books, each one of which is a treasure. He was loved and respected by people across the religious and political spectrum, inside Israel and outside, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.

Steinsaltz passed away yesterday at the age of 83. His funeral is happening in Jerusalem now, as I post this eulogy.

His life is a testament to finding something we are passionate about, dedicating ourselves to learning and to leaving something behind us that positively impacts others as well as not wasting the time we have in life. He will be sorely missed.

For more on Rabbi Steinsaltz and his incredible legacy and impact on Jews around the world, check out the articles - and watch the short videos - below.

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