For anybody who has studied from Steinsaltz’s volumes, meeting him can be quite a shock. The Steinsaltz on the page is brief, succinct, and sometimes even terse.
The Steinsaltz who sits at his desk, puffing on his pipe while letting his tea go cold, responds to questions with long, winding answers, shooting off on tangents along the way.
There is even a diversion before we start: His warm and non-egocentric nature means that he insists on interviewing this interviewer before talking about himself.
This contrast, he admits, is no coincidence. “This work was in many ways to keep myself in rein,” he said, explaining that it disciplined his writing style and his intellectual direction.