About the Program
The Shalhevet program was created by students of the late Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz z"l of blessed memory, and the Steinsaltz Yeshiva in Israel.
Rabbi Steinsatlz was a world-renowned scholar who embodied the call for taking ownership of the Torah for every Jew from every background, according to the slogan: "Let my people know".
Rabbi Steinsaltz was a well-demanded lecturer in every kind of community throughout the world, and multitudes of people saw him as their mentor. This program was created to honor his memory and attempt to continue his legacy.
The late Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz z"l of blessed memory is internationally regarded as one of the leading scholars and rabbis of our times. He was born in Israel in 1937 to a secular family. At age 23, he became Israel’s youngest high school principal of an experimental school that he and some friends established in the Negev.
Best known for his monumental commentaries and translations of the Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Steinsaltz works with teams of scholars and editors in producing the forty-four Hebrew volumes of the Steinsaltz Talmud, along with the English, French, Russian and Spanish editions. This project was launched in 1965, and the Hebrew Talmud was completed in November 2010.
Since 1988, Rabbi Steinsaltz has founded the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Moscow, the Jewish Universities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, a publishing house in Moscow, and Lamed, the national Jewish teachers' organization. He has traveled to Russia and the Republics frequently for lectures and meetings with students, teachers, politicians, journalists, and key decision-makers, serving as Duchovny Ravin – a historic title bestowed upon him in 1995, indicating his role as the spiritual mentor of Russian Jewry.
Founder of the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications, Rabbi Steinsaltz has published over 300 titles and hundreds of essays on a variety of topics, including the Talmud, Jewish mysticism, religious thought, sociology, historical biography, and philosophy. Some of these publications have been translated into Russian, English, French, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Georgian, and even Chinese.
In Israel, Rabbi Steinsaltz established the Mekor Chaim network of schools in Jerusalem and the vicinity. In 1988, Rabbi Steinsaltz received the Israel Prize – the country’s highest honor – for Jewish Studies. In 2012 he was one of the first recipients of the Israeli Presidential Award of Distinction for his contribution to Israel and its standing in the world.
Rabbi Steinsaltz has been a visiting lecturer and resident scholar at leading academic institutions in Europe, China and the United States, including Oxford University, the Sorbonne, The Academies of Social Sciences in Beijing and Shanghai, Yale University, University of Cape Town, The Institute for Advanced Studies and the Woodrow Wilson Center.
In December 2016, Rabbi Steinsaltz suffered a severe stroke which has left him unable to write and very limited in his speech. Nevertheless, he continued to come to the office daily, read over texts given to him, and comment on them.
In August 2020, 17 of av, the Rabbi departed this earth in the age of 84.
Rabbi Gavriel Michel Falk
Rosh HaYeshiva; resident of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Falk studied at Steinsaltz Yeshiva in Tekoa, before serving as an emissary in Rabbi Steinsaltz’s shelihut program, in the Jewish community of Swampscott, Mass., USA.
He was ordained as a rabbi by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and has an MA in business management from the Lander Institute.
Rabbi Yehoshua Mayerson
Rabbi and teacher at the Yeshiva; resident of Tekoa.
Rabbi Mayerson learned at the Har Etzion hesder yeshiva in Alon Shevut, and at the Steinsaltz Yeshiva in Tekoa. He served in a combat unit in the IDF and as a commanding officer in the Nahal Brigade. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and has a BA in education from Herzog College, as well as an MA from the Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University and is a PhD candidate at the Department of Jewish History at Tel-Aviv University. He also teaches at Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Studies.
Rabbi Aviya Hacohen
Rabbi and teacher at the Yeshiva; resident of Alon Shevut.
Rabbi Hacohen’s areas of focus are the Bible, Jewish Philosophy, and Chassidut. He studied at the Har Etzion hesder yeshiva in Alon Shevut, and served as a teacher and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKibbutz HaDati in Ein Tzurim. He has a BA in Biblical Studies and Jewish philosophy, and an MA in biblical studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also teaches at Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Studies, and at Midreshet Lindenbaum.
Rabbi Shabtai Avraham Hacohen Rappaport
Rabbi Rappaport delivers weekly classes in Gemara and halakha; resident of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Rappaport studied at the Mir yeshiva and under the Gaon Rav Moshe Feinstein. He also studied at the Sochotchov kollel and in Yeshivat Har Etzion. He served as rosh yeshiva of the Shevut Yisrael hesder yeshiva, after which he headed the “Kollel,” the Beit Midrash at Bar-Ilan University.
He edited three volumes of the Iggerot Moshe responsa, several volumes of Dibrot Moshe on the Talmud, and the Seridei Esh responsa. Rabbi Rappaport is known for his originality and his great breadth of knowledge in all areas of Torah, and also for his expertise in various sciences, as well as in medicine, philosophy, mathematics, and history. His renowned halakhic novellae deal with cases involving medicine and technology.