Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein has been named this year's winner of the Israel Prize in Jewish Religious Literature. Rabbi Lichtenstein, dean of the Har Etzion Yeshiva in Gush Etzion, is the author of numerous works on Jewish philosophy and Talmud. Several of his major works have been translated into English, most notably Leaves of Faith.
The award was announced Sunday by Education Minister Shai Piron. In his announcement, Piron said that Rabbi Lichtenstein received the award in recognition of the depth and breadth of his work. “Rabbi Lichtenstein's works encompass a wide range of Torah subjects, including the Tanach, Mishna, Talmud, and Jewish law, midrash and halachic guidebooks.
“Rabbi Lichtenstein's works are a wonderful combination of deep, fluid familiarity with all aspects of Jewish scholarship, with an ability to take deep Torah concepts and make them palatable to the average Israeli,” Piron added.
The prize is to be awarded on Israel Independence Day, later this year.
Rabbi Lichtenstein is a descendant of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soltoveitchik (Bais Halevi) and is a son in law of Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. (Yosef Dov) Soltoveitchik, also known as “the Rav.” Rabbi Lichtenstein is considered one of the leaders of the Modern Orthodox movement in the world today. He has the reputation of being a political dove, having opposed disobeying IDF orders to remove Jews from their homes in Gush Katif before the 2005 disengagement.