Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lauded Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Friday afternoon, hours after the rabbi’s passing, calling him a “Torah genius”.
"From the depths of my heart, I lament the passing of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, whose knowledge was vast, a Torah genius and a man of exemplary spirit,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“While I grew up close to Rabbi Steinsaltz in the Jerusalem of my childhood, I was privileged to know him only years later. I met with him several times at his home and I heard his fascinating lessons which always imparted knowledge to me. These were not lessons in the conventional sense but spiritually uplifting conversations that embraced the entire world – Tanakh, the wisdom of our sages, history, philosophy, culture, linguistics and more. I also read his books that were imbued with wisdom, knowledge, contemplation and faith.”
“Rabbi Steinsaltz was an outstanding example of the persistent Jew. He invested unceasing effort in his commentaries, especially his explanation of the Talmud which made the study of gemara accessible to the public at large in clear and understandable language. His important works will stand for generations at the foundation of Jewish heritage, as an eternal flame in his memory.”
“Rabbi Steinsaltz's love of Israel was greatly influenced by his closeness to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Chabad. The Rebbe's exceptional personality made a strong impression on him, just as happened to me in my meetings with him. In my view, in both of them – the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his student, Rabbi Steinsaltz – I saw the same great light of love of humanity and love of the Jewish people.”
“I send my deepest condolences to the Steinsaltz family and the Rabbi's students in Israel and around the world. May his memory be blessed."
Rabbi Steinsaltz, president of Yeshivat Mekor Chaimd and Yeshivat Tekoa, passed away Friday morning at the age of 83.
He is survived by his wife, their three children, and eighteen grandchildren.