Adin Steinsaltz

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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (Hebrew: עדין שטיינזלץ) or Adin Even Yisrael (Hebrew: עדין אבן ישראל) (born 1937) is most commonly known for his popular commentary and translation of both Talmuds into Hebrew, French, Russian and Spanish.

Steinsaltz is a noted rabbi, scholar, philosopher, social critic and author world wide whose background also includes extensive scientific training. In 1988, Time magazine praised him as a "once-in-a-millennium scholar."[1]

Contents

Biography

Born in Jerusalem in 1937 to secular parents, Steinsaltz studied mathematics,[2] physics, and chemistry at the Hebrew University,[3] in addition to rabbinical studies. Following graduation, he established several experimental schools and, at the age of 23, became Israel’s youngest school principal.[2]

In 1965, he founded the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications and began his monumental translation to Hebrew, English, Russian, and various other languages. His edition of the Talmud includes his own explanation of the text and a complete commentary on the Talmud. Steinsaltz first translates the Talmud into Modern Hebrew from the original Aramaic and rabbinical Hebrew and adds his explanations, the other language editions are translations of the Hebrew. The only rival to Steinsaltz is Artscroll's similarly popular Schottenstein Edition Talmud (translated first into English and then other languages). The Babylonian Talmud translation was completed in late 2010. While not without criticism (e.g. by Neusner, 1998), the Steinsaltz edition is widely used throughout Israel, the United States and the world. Over 2 million volumes of the Steinsaltz Talmud have been distributed to date. The out of print Random House publication of The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition is widely regarded as the most accurate and least redacted of any English language edition and is sought after on that basis by scholars and collectors. Controversial Talmud passages previously obscured, omitted entirely or confined to footnotes in English translations like the Soncino Talmud, receive full exposition in the Steinsaltz Talmud. Random House halted publication of the Steinsaltz Talmud after less than one-third of the English translation had been published. The reasons for halting publication by Random House are disputed.[citation needed]

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