JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, the author of numerous books on Torah and Jewish thought, 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. The prize is generally considered Israel’s highest honor and carries an award of 75,000 shekels, or nearly $20,000.
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 his announcement.
Lichtenstein, a leader of the modern Orthodox movement, heads the Har Etzion Yeshiva in the West Bank. In 2005, he came out in opposition to calling on soldiers to disobey orders to remove Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip during the disengagement. He also has publicly condemned “price tag” attacks against Palestinians.