Prof. Nechama Leibowitz – Intellectual Profile

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Prof. Nechama Leibowitz
Prof. Nechama Leibowitz
פרופ' נחמה ליבוביץ
Dates1905 – 1997
Worksעיונים, גליונות
Exegetical Characteristics
Influenced by
Impacted on



  • Name
    • Hebrew name – פרופ' נחמה ליבוביץ
    • English name – Prof. Nechama Leibowitz2
  • Dates – 1905 – 1997
  • Location – Nechama was born in Riga, and moved with her family to Berlin in 1919. She moved to Israel3 in 1930, immediately upon completing her doctorate.4
  • Education – Nechama received private tutoring until entering German public educational institutions in 1920.5 Between 1920 and 1928, she completed high school and a university degree. In 1930, she completed doctoral studies at Philipps University in Marburg, focusing on Yiddish Bible translations in Germany in the 15th and 16th centuries.6 During her time in Berlin, Nechama also took classes at the Berlin Hochschule.7
  • Occupation – Nechama began teaching while still studying in Germany.8 Upon moving to Israel, it took some time for Nechama to establish herself as a scholar and educator.9 She taught at the Mizrachi Women Teachers Seminary and gave adult education classes for many years. She was awarded the Israel Prize in education in 1956,10 and in 1957 she became a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, eventually becoming a full professor in 1968. In 1983, she was awarded the Bialik Prize for Jewish thought. The focus of her activities was education as opposed to scholarship, and she always preferred the title "teacher" to "professor".11
  • Family – Nechama came from a merchant family in Riga, and was the younger sister of controversial thinker Yeshayahu Leibowitz. She married her uncle, Yedidyah Lipman Leibowitz.12
  • Teachers – Before entering formal educational institutions after age 14, Nechama was taught by her father and private tutors.
  • Students – A significant percentage of today's Jewish educators and scholars are students of Nechama (or her students).


  • Biblical commentaries
    • עיונים – Nechama published a series of volumes on the five books of the Torah,14 discussing select topics in each parashah.
    • גליונות – From 1941 to 1971, Nechama issued her "Gilyonot" ("worksheets") on the weekly portion.15
    • שיעורים בפרקי נחמה וגאולה – Worksheets on Shemot 6, Devarim 30, and Yeshayahu 40-41.16
    • גליונות לעיון בספר ירמיהו – Fifty worksheets on Yirmeyahu 1-9.17
    • לימוד פרשני התורה ודרכים להוראתם – ספר בראשית – An educators' guide for teaching the first nineteen chapters of Bereshit.18
    • עיונים בשיטתו פירוש רש"י לתורה – A study of the methodology of Rashi's Torah commentary.19
  • Other works
    • Translational Techniques in Judeo-German Bible Translations in the 15th-16th Centuries.20
    • Nechama also published several teachers' guides and many articles. Most of these focus on pedagogy, but some deal with topics in Jewish thought.21

Torah Commentary


  • Verse by verse / Topical
  • Genre
  • Structure
  • Language




Significant Influences

  • Earlier Sources
  • Teachers
  • Foils

Occasional Usage

Possible Relationship


Later exegetes