Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein will be awarded the Israel Prize in Jewish Religious Literature in May, Education Minister Shai Piron announced on Sunday.
The Israel Prize committee said “his multifaceted work is characterized by its depth, scope, its developed logic, sharp intellect, sensitivity and imagination. Rabbi Lichtenstein’s work relies on the entire scope of the Torah, the Bible, the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Halacha, the Midrash and Halachic books and Jewish law.”
Piron approved the recommendation of the prize committee, headed by Prof. Eliav Shochetman, and offered his praise to the rabbi.
Born in Paris and raised in the United States, Rabbi Lichtenstein studied at Yeshiva University under Rabbi Joseph Dov Halevi Soloveitchik and later at Harvard University, where he received a doctorate in English literature.
In 1971, Lichtenstein made aliya with his family, at the request of Rabbi Yehudah Amital, and joined Amital at the Har Etzion Yeshiva in Gush Etzion where he currently serves as the dean.
Lichtenstein is widely regarded as one of the leaders of the Modern Orthodox movement and has published numerous books on all aspects of the Torah and Jewish philosophies.
“Rabbi Lichtenstein’s work includes a wonderful combination of knowledge in all areas of the Torah, depth of theoretical Talmudic thinking incorporating original and creative thought while adapting to the Israeli public and dealing with the challenges of time and space,” the Israel Prize committee said.
The Israel Prize is largely regarded as the state’s highest honor. It is presented annually on Independence Day in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the president, the prime minister, the Knesset speaker and the Supreme Court president.