Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “I tried to make pathways through which people will be able to enter the Talmud without encountering impassable barriers.”
This Sunday, Rabbi Steinsaltz will formally conclude his 45-year project to produce a Hebrew translation of the Babylonian Talmud and to mark the occasion hundreds of Jewish communities around the world will celebrate with a Global Day of Jewish Learning. JTA reports:
For Steinsaltz, the Talmud is not a rarefied tome that should remain in the hands of experts, but the foundational text of Judaism itself. As a teacher who has spent his life bringing Jewish knowledge to students around the world, most notably through the Aleph Society he founded, Steinsaltz says he could not ignore the challenge of opening the Talmud for as many Jews as he could.
“The Talmud is the central pillar of Jewish knowledge, important for the overall understanding of what is Jewish,” he told JTA. “But it is a book that Jews cannot understand. This is a dangerous situation, like a collective amnesia. I tried to make pathways through which people will be able to enter the Talmud without encountering impassable barriers. It’s something that will always be a challenge, but I tried to make it at least possible.”
A major part of studying Talmud is working through the accompanying rabbinic commentaries, which guide as well as confound those who tackle the books. In addition to his straight translation of the original Talmud text, Steinsaltz added his own commentary, in Hebrew, alongside the text, as his contemporary take on the ancient debates.
The 92nd Street Y is proud to be the flagship location for this once in a lifetime day. We will present a full day of panel discussions, broadcast via satellite throughout the United States and Canada, focusing on the themes of Leadership, Prayer, God and Love, with participants such as Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Leon Morris, Rabbi Jennifer Krause, David Ellenson, Richard Joel, Arnold Eisen and many more.
At our downtown location in Tribeca, we are partnering with Limmud to offer a variety of learning options for both kids and adults.