Italian Ambassador to Israel Francesco Maria Talo with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
Italian Ambassador to Israel Francesco Maria Talo with Rabbi Adin SteinsaltzShefa Organization

Outgoing Italian Ambassador to Israel Francesco Maria Talo on Thursday night took leave of Rabbi Adin Even-Yisrael Steinsaltz.

Accompanying Talo to Rabbi Steinsaltz's Jerusalem office was Vatican Foundation representative Dr. Salvatore Martinez.

The relationship between Talo and Rabbi Steinsaltz began two years ago, when Rabbi Steinsaltz began translating the Talmud into Italian. The connection deepened as Talo helped Rabbi Steinsaltz translate the Talmud and negotiated with the Vatican after three Jewish boys were kidnapped and murdered by Muslim Hamas terrorists in the summer of 2014.

According to Shefa Organization CEO Rabbi Menachem Even-Yisrael Steinsaltz, who also attended the meeting, Talo is unique in the fact that he is a "righteous gentile."

His father, Rabbi Steinsaltz, smiled and nodded at the statement, as if he himself had been about to say the same.

"It's an honor to get to know someone who is not a Jew, but shows so much interest in Judaism and our holy books. [My father] will always treasure this friendship," Rabbi Menachem Steinsaltz said.

"The experiences which I had with the Rabbi will remain with me forever," Talo said. "Writing the dedication for the Italian Talmud, and attending the funeral of the three murdered boys, will stay with me forever. This is our purpose in life."

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz gave Talo a copy of the Italian-translated Talmud, complete with a personal dedication.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, considered to be one of the great minds of our time, dedicated his life to making the Talmud more accessible to all Jews. He recently returned to his office after suffering a stroke just over half a year ago.