On The Road With Rab­bi Steinsaltz

Arthur Kurzweil
  • Review
By – October 26, 2011

As Rab­bi Steinsaltz’s most fer­vent dis­ci­ple in this coun­try, Arthur Kurzweil dis­tills the wis­dom and inspir­ing per­son­al­i­ty of this charis­mat­ic guru through sto­ries, anec­dotes, and quo­ta­tions of Rab­bi Steinsaltz’s teach­ings, as well as by descrip­tions of encoun­ters with pub­lic fig­ures and celebri­ties such as Woody Allen, Yitzhak Perl­man, Ted Kop­pel, Jer­ry Stiller, Joe Lieber­man and many more. 

Many peo­ple con­sid­er Rab­bi Adin Stein­saltz the great­est trans­mit­ter of Tal­mud in the mod­ern era. He is the man who has been most respon­si­ble for open­ing the world of Tal­mud to this gen­er­a­tion via his trans­la­tion of the ancient Tal­mud into Eng­lish and his trans­la­tion and com­men­tary of the Tal­mud into mod­ern Hebrew. 

Rab­bi Stein­saltz is a man in demand. Peo­ple want to hear him speak, to lis­ten to him think. He spends a huge amount of time trav­el­ing from place to place to place to deliv­er lec­tures to the mass­es of peo­ple eager to be in his pres­ence. This book con­sists of con­ver­sa­tions with the great Rab­bi dur­ing his down time, trav­el time. 

Arthur Kurzweil is no chauf­fer. He is a great teacher in his own right, a pro­lif­ic writer and a pub­lish­er. He has ded­i­cat­ed him­self to rais­ing the bar of Jew­ish lit­er­a­cy through the works he has pub­lished. And for 25 years he had the priv­i­lege of shut­tling Adin Stein­saltz from lec­ture to lecture. 

On The Road With Rab­bi Stein­saltz is an inti­mate insight into a pri­vate dia­logue. Kurzweil recalls sliv­ers of the many con­ver­sa­tions that he and his pas­sen­ger had con­fronting issues from Kab­bal­ah to fam­i­ly life to med­i­cine to Jew­ish lead­er­ship to the need for lev­i­ty in life. He recalls the lec­tures that the great rab­bi gave to audi­ences and the advice he impart­ed— like the time he told a group of teach­ers that the most impor­tant thing they can give to their stu­dents is their enthu­si­asm.”

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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