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Aryeh Kaplan

From Academic Kids

Aryeh Kaplan (1934 - 1983) was a noted rabbi and author, who had a background in both physics and Judaism.

He is widely viewed as a prolific and original teacher; his work ranged from studies of the Torah, Talmud and works of mysticism to outreach and philosophy.

He made a translation into English of the Torah (The Five Books of Moses), published as The Living Torah. He wrote a number of highly popular and influential introductory pamphlets to many aspects of Jewish philosophy and Jewish principles of faith which were published by the National Council of Synagogue Youth, the official youth group of Orthodox Union.

Having passed away at 48, Kaplan's works continue to attract a wide readership.

He has been praised by Rabbi Pinchas Stolper, his original sponsor, for never fearing to speak his mind. He saw harmony between science and Judaism, where many others saw otherwise. He put forward creative and original ideas and hypotheses, all the time anchoring them in classical works of rabbinical literature.

Rabbi Kaplan translated from Ladino (JudŠo-Spanish) into English a 45-volume rabbinic work called Me'am Loez. He translated into English and wrote notes and introductions to classic works on Jewish mysticism, such as the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation) and the Bahir (Book of Illumination). He also wrote three books on Jewish forms of meditation.

He wrote and translated works related to Hasidism (Hasidic Judaism) and the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

His works are read and studied by both novices and the newly religious.

Translations have subsequently been made into other languages such as Russian and Modern Hebrew.

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