Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein to receive Israel Prize

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, head of the Har Etzion Yeshiva in Gush Etzion, will receive the Israel Prize in Jewish Literature.

Education Minister Shai Piron announced the prize, which will be awarded in May on Israel Independence Day, on Sunday.

Lichtenstein, 80, was chosen for his “versatile biblical work characterized by its depth, scope, advanced logic, wit, sensitivity and vision,” the Israel Prize committee said.

“Rabbi Lichtenstein’s works are a wonderful combination of deep, fluid familiarity with all aspects of Jewish scholarship, with an ability to take deep Torah concepts and make them palatable to the average Israeli,” Piron said in announcing the prize.

The rabbi was born in Paris and grew up in the United States. He graduated from Yeshiva University and received a PhD in English literature from Harvard University. He made aliyah in 1971 in order to helm the yeshiva with Rabbi Yehudah Amital.

He has published numerous books on Torah and on Jewish thought. He is considered a leader of the Modern Orthodox movement.

He is known for opposing calling on soldiers to disobey orders to remove Jews from their homes in Gush Katif during the disengagement in 2005. He has publicly condemned price tag attacks against Palestinians.

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