Rabbi David Hartman, one of the world's leading Jewish philosophers and a promoter of diversity among Jewish theological trends, has died. He was 81.
The Shalom Hartman Institute, founded by the rabbi more than 30 years ago, said Hartman died Sunday after a long illness.
Rabbi Hartman was considered one of the leaders of the liberal Orthodox stream and his perceptions are said to have influenced many Jews in Israel and worldwide.
He founded the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem in 1976 in memory of his father, establishing a pluralistic Jewish worldview providing a response to the modern challenges of Jewish existence.
Throughout the years he raised generations of students working in the frontline of Jewish teaching and research.
Prof. Hartman was born to an ultra-Orthodox family in Brooklyn in 1931. He was raised and educated at the Lithuanian Lakewood Yeshiva, considered the most important and prestigious yeshiva among North American Jews.
He held rabbinical posts in the United States and Canada before immigrating to Israel
in 1971. He was known for his efforts to promote understanding between Jews of various affiliations both inside and outside Israel.
In 1977-1984 he served as an advisor to Education Minister Zevulun Hammer and as an advisor to several prime ministers on issues of religious pluralism in Israel and the ties between Israel and the Diaspora.
He was widely published and won numerous prizes, including the 1977 National Jewish Book Award.