Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), 83, AH

Photo: Erik Tischler

Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), an eminent Lubavitcher Torah scholar who authored commentary and seforim on nearly every realm of Torah, passed away on Friday, 17 Av in Yerushalayim. 

By Anash.org reporter

Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz), a emimnent Lubavitcher Torah scholar who authored commentary and seforim on nearly every realm of Torah, passed away on Friday, 17 Av in Yerushalayim. 

He was 83 years old.

Adin Steinsaltz was born in Jerusalem in 1937 to secular parents, Avraham Steinsaltz and Leah (née Krokovitz). His father was a great-grandson of the first Slonimer Rebbe, Harav Avrohom Weinberg, and was a student of prolific author and thinker Hillel Zeitlin.

Steinsaltz became a baal teshuva during his teenage years and learned with Harav Shmuel Elazar Heilprin, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Toras Emes Chabad in Yerushalayim.

He later continued learning in Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in Lod, while studying mathematics, physics and chemistry at Hebrew University. He also learnt with renowned chassidim Harav Dov Ber Eliezrov and Harav Nochum Shmaryahu Sasonkin.

After completing his studies, Steinzaltz established several experimental schools and, at the age of 24, became Israel’s youngest school principal.

In 5726, he founded the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications, and began his monumental work transcribing a commentary on the Talmud, including translation into Hebrew, English, Russian, and various other languages. He later went on to author commentary on the entire Tanach, Rambam, Tanya and also wrote and published many other books.

After working for decades, Steinsaltz completed his Hebrew edition of the entire Talmud Bavli in November 2010, having been the first person in modern history to single-handedly complete a commentary on the entire Shas. Since then, the commentary has been translated in part to a number of other languages, including Russian and English.

Steinsaltz was a proud chossid of the Rebbe who encouraged his work authoring a commentary on Shas. Rabbi Steinzaltz was honored with one of the pessukim of Ata Horeisa at the historic Siyum of Sefer Torah Shel Moshiach in 5730, and was introduced as a representative of the learning group by president Zalman Shazar.

Around that time, he began serving as the Rov of Tzemach Tzedek Shul in the old city of Yerushalayim, and he received instructions from the Rebbe how to run the shul.

Continuing his work as a teacher, Steinsaltz established Yeshivat Mekor Chaim in 1984, and Yeshivat Tekoa in 1999, and also established yeshivos in the Former Soviet Union. He also served as president of the Shefa Middle and High Schools. He has served as scholar in residence at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D. C., and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

In 5750, the Rebbe suggested to Steinsaltz by a ‘Sunday Dollars’ that he change his last name. He later choose the name Even-Israel, using that as his primary surname from then.

Steinsaltz’s classic work of Kabbalah, The Thirteen Petalled Rose, was first published in 1980, and now appears in eight languages. In all, Steinsaltz has authored over 60 books and hundreds of articles on subjects including Talmud, Chassidus, Tanach, Mishna, Jewish philosophy, sociology, historical biography, and philosophy. 

He is survived by his wife Chaya Sara, and children Rabbi Meni Even-Israel, Rabbi Amechaye Even-Israel, Esty, and grandchildren.

Nichum Avelim

Feel free to share your memories of the niftar.

  1. In honor of Reb Adin z”l petira I’d like to share something I heard from him at the Washington dinner when the Rebbe was gifted The Congressional Gold Medal, Adin z”l with his typical humility, asked why is it that the Rebbe would always demand of his shluchim and chassidim more and more? The moment you finished one task he would immediately demand another two tasks and so further…
    He said, perhaps this can be explained as follows, everyone knows that a diamond is originally just a piece of coal, only pressure was applied to it more and more and more until there took place a quantam shift, and the coal now became a diamond!
    And perhaps that is the Rebbe’s intention as well with his shluchim and chassidim, he is trying to transform us into DIAMONDS!
    Zol er zain a gutter better far dee gantze mishpocho oon far klal Yisroel, der Neshomo zol hoben an Aliya oon ale Yidden a Yishuah!

    There is absolutely no doubt left by anyone that this is the final stretch of Golus and obviously for the final “Attack” the Rebbe needed to “call up” his greatest generals…
    May it happen very soon, chof av, now
    ״והקיצו ורננו שוכני עפר״ והוא עמהם! אמן!

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