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Current members of the Nascent Sanhedrin

From The Sanhedrin - en

Background Information

The members of the Sanhedrin can generally be characterized as people who are extremely dedicated to their work They fall under the category of our Mishnah – “Those who love the effort and hate the [pride that comes with the] Rabbinut.” (Pirke Avot) Many of them try to fulfill the words of the Rambam, to endeavor in Torah without receiving compensation for such. Many distance themselves from serving in appointed positions as rabbis. The following material is based on publicly available information, and thus is not always complete.

Due to concerns that external pressure would be brought to bear upon individuals not to take part in the establishment of a Sanhedrin, the names of most participants have been withheld up to this point, upon the request of the Sanhedrin's spokesmen.

The Sanhedrin selected of a group of seven individuals from among themselves to represent the institution in dealings with the public and with Gedolei Yisrael - recognized spiritual leaders of Israel. It was decided to release the names for purposes of transparency as well. It is hoped that the release of the seven names will encourage those who believe that their own rabbis or teachers can contribute to the endeavor, to propose that they also be included in the legislature.

The authorized representatives of the Sanhedrin are as follows:

Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz Teacher, philosopher, social critic and prolific author who has been hailed by Time magazine as a "once-in-a-millennium scholar." His lifelong work in Jewish education earned him the Israel Prize, his country’s highest honor. Born in Jerusalem in 1937, Rabbi Steinsaltz studied physics and chemistry at the Hebrew University. Following graduation, he established several experimental schools and, at the age of 24, became Israel’s youngest school principal.

In 1965, he began his monumental Hebrew translation and commentary on the Talmud. To date, he has published 38 of the anticipated 46 volumes. The Rabbi’s classic work of Kabbalah, The Thirteen Petalled Rose, was first published in 1980 and now appears in eight languages. In all, Rabbi Steinsaltz has authored some 60 books and hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from theology to social commentary.

Continuing his work as a teacher and spiritual mentor, Rabbi Steinsaltz established a network of schools and educational institutions in Israel and the former Soviet Union. He has served as scholar in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies in Washington, D.C. and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University. His honorary degrees include doctorates from Yeshiva University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Bar Ilan University, Brandeis University, and Florida International University.

Rabbi Yoel Shwartz An outstanding Torah scholar and prolific writer has published over 200 seforim. He is a product of the great Yeshivot Poneviz and Mir and merited to study with the famous Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Mir, Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitch zt"l. As a past Mashgiach in Yeshivat Itri and currently a Ram in Yeshivat Dvar Yerushalayim, Rabbi Schwartz brings scores of years of experience in Torah education to the Nahal Haredi. Rabbi Schwartz has served as a spiritual advisor and educator since the inception of the program in 1999. He resides in Jerusalem with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Directly under these are four more rabbis who, together with the above three, are the democratically-elected leadership council of the Sanhedrin. They are (not in order of seniority):

Rabbi Dov Levanoni Torah scholar and author of ha-Mikdash: Teur Bet ha-Mikdash ha-Sheni lefi shitat ha-Rambam HaMikdash : a description of the Second Temple according to the Rambam.
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel A former Yeshiva head and founder of the Machon Hamikdash. Rabbi Ariel was the Rosh Yeshiva and spiritual leader of Yamit. Rabbi Ariel is a scholar of great renown, and is also the author of many Hebrew works, including the highly acclaimed "Atlas of the Biblical Boundaries of the Land of Israel." He served in the paratrooper brigade which liberated the Western Wall in the Six Day War of 1967, and was one of the first soldiers to reach the Wall.
Rabbi Yehudah 'Edri Torah Scholar and accomplished writer, a principal and educational supervisor for the hareidi Shas Party´s El HaMa´yan educational system Expert on the various opinions regarding the history and location of the Mikdash and its measures.
Rabbi Dov Meir Shtein Received semikha for the Rabbinut from Rav Sternberg of Edas Hareidi. A pioneer in the Sanhedrin's renewal for the last 20 years, he has been secretary of the Sanhedrin since its inception, dealing with logistical aspects as well as interacting with recognized Torah scholars and inviting rabbis to join the body.

The seven-member leadership council (above) convenes on weekly basis within a larger court of ordained rabbis from the general ranks of the Sanhedrin that grows steadily, in the ongoing development of a full Sanhedrin Qe`tanah (small Sanhedrin) to lead the Sanhedrin.

The leadership of the developing Sanhedrin stress that they are still in a transitional phase, and that though today's members are Torah scholars and experts in many secular and scientific fields, every one of them has agreed to step aside the moment a more deserving candidate should step forward.

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