Popular Articles

The Jewish people may not have Rabbi Steinsaltz's leadership now, but we do have the words he left us to help us move forward.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

At age 83, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz passed away in Jerusalem | Photo: Chabad.org

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Rabbi Adin Even Yisrael Steinsaltz, who passed away August 7 in Jerusalem at the age of 83, was a rabbi in the most authentic meaning of the word: he was an educator. And the world was Rabbi Steinsaltz’s student body. He spent decades teaching, writing, publishing, lecturing, mentoring, and organizing, and all of this work was focused on bringing Jews closer to Judaism and Jewish sources.

But I think what Rabbi Steinsaltz really was at his essence was a dreamer. A devoted follower of Chabad-Lubavitch leader Menachem Mendel Schneerson, he dreamed of a world where Jews cared more about each other, where ancient Jewish wisdom was accessible to all Jews, and where Jerusalem regained its centrality in Jewish spiritual life for all Jews. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin celebrated him as “a modern-day Rashi.”

He was uniquely dedicated to creating a future where Jews, wherever they were and whatever their background, may develop a stronger attachment to other Jews, Judaism, and the Jewish State. In 2007, Rabbi Steinsaltz wrote in Time Magazine, “The only way to ensure the state (of Israel) is, strangely enough, spiritual — by deciding that Israel is a Jewish State that has to find its strength in reconnecting to its past, to a feeling of a mission. Army and economy may help but the state can exist only when it is built on a dream.”

While this may not have made him a seemingly conventional “Zionist,” it does not matter. His life-long commitment to making Jewish unity marked him as a “Zionist.”

And his dreaming was clearly a Zionist trait as well.

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

From Herzl’s dream of a modern Jewish State, to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s single-minded devotion to bringing about the revival of spoken Hebrew, to the dream of Jewish self-defense brought into reality by Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Yosef Trumpeldor, to Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook enunciating the theological imperative for a modern Zionist state, Israel exists because of dreamers who gave all they had to make sure that their dreams did not remain in the realm of dreams. 

No one can question that Rabbi Steinsaltz was more than a mere dreamer: his prodigious writing alone proves that. But he did much more than just write; he led.

The Jewish people may not have his leadership now, but we do have the words he left us to help us move forward.

Rabbi Steinsaltz spent decades writing explanations of the Talmud which made the study of Gemara accessible to the public | Photo: JNS.org

Rabbi Steinsaltz wrote the following in 1995: “We speak about continuity and about passing on our Judaism to the next generation. What is this Judaism? In many cases, it is an empty word that doesn’t contain anything at all.”  

It is our duty and obligation to make sure that our Judaism has meaning. Rabbi Steinsaltz helped to open the path for Jews in our time to more easily understand what our Judaism is and what it can be.

One way we can fulfill this duty and obligation is to better comprehend the gift we have in a unified Jerusalem. As he wrote in 2011, “Everyone who lives in Jerusalem — especially those like me who were born here — is in love with the city, really in love. For us, it is not just a place, not just a house; it is a home.”

Among the 60 books Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz wrote was a Passover Haggadah

Jerusalem is a home for all Jews. Let us do our part to make sure it remains so. We should also strive to love her as much as its residents do, even if we do not live there.  

Rabbi Steinsaltz was the recipient of the Israel Prize in 1988 and was awarded the President’s Medal in 2012, and with these two distinctions he earned Israel’s highest civilian honors.

There’s no doubt in my mind, however, that Rabbi Steinsaltz would rather we forget the prizes that he was awarded and instead, we study his work and translate his teachings into everyday action to move ourselves closer to the greatest attachment to G-d, fellow Jews, Judaism, Jerusalem, and Israel that we can muster. 

Moshe Phillips is national director of Herut North America’s U.S. division; Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride and education and is dedicated to the ideals of pre-World War Two Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Herut’s website is www.herutna.org

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Previous
Next