web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Shira Leibowitz Schmidt: Multifaceted Scholar


LBJ-110113-Schmidt

“There is a war going on and I can’t sit here in California, even if I have to miss graduation,” said Cheryl Osher to her engineering professor at Stanford University.

It was June 1967, the Six Day War had broken out, and Cheryl, now Shira, arrived in Israel on the fourth day of the war planning to help out in whatever way she could. Eventually she volunteered doing agricultural work on a religious kibbutz from where she sent her professor a postcard proving she really had gone to Israel. As a result she was granted her B.Sc. degree at Stanford in absentia.

Shira was a latecomer to Orthodoxy, having grown up in Lawrence, Long Island, where her family and most of the other members of the Orthodox Beth Sholem Congregation were not shomer Shabbos.

After the war Shira Osher decided stay in Israel. She continued her studies at the Technion where she met the brilliant Torah scholar and scientist, Elhanan Leibowitz, who was to become her husband in 1968.

The couple settled in Beer Sheva and soon Shira was a mother to six children. The first was a boy who is now a lawyer in Silver Springs; then came twins, a girl, now a lawyer in New York, and a boy, now an educator in Tel Aviv. Five years later another boy followed who is now an anesthesiologist in Beer Sheva. The two youngest are a girl, a medical student and a boy, a scholar of Tanach.

Among the greatest influences in Shira’s life was her husband’s aunt, the late Nehama Leibowitz, a first-class Bible scholar and teacher. Nehama helped Shira navigate her way amid questions and issues about women’s role in halacha. Shira wrote an essay about her encounters with Nehama entitled, “Thank you, Nehama Leibowitz!” published in Bread and Fire. While in Beer Sheva, Shira, the mother of six, scientist and Bible scholar, co-authored a fascinating study entitled, Old Wine, New Flasks: Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition with Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann.

Shira became a widow in 1990, after twenty-two years of marriage. Several years later she married Dr. Baruch Schmidt, a surgeon in Laniado Hospital, Sanz Medical Center, and moved to Kiryat Sanz, Netanya. The kirya and hospital were built by the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, who lost his wife and 11 children in the Shoah. This unique Chassidic group awakened Shira’s intellectual curiosity, and she began studying and eventually writing extensively about it, and documenting and recording the experiences of the Holocaust survivors in whose midst she lived. Simultaneously she specialized in translating Holocaust memoirs from Hebrew to English, among them that of Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home at Last.

Shira Leibowitz Schmidt, multifaceted researcher, scholar, scientist, translator and devoted grandmother, will be on a lecture tour during the month of Kislev (November) on the East Coast of the United States. She will speak about life in the Chassidic enclave of Kiryat Sanz, her experience in translating several masterpieces, the uniqueness of rabbinic Holocaust memoirs, and the shiurim of Nehama Leibowitz. With titles like East Meets West: Rav Ovadia Yosef and the Klausenberger-Sanz Rebbe, The Boy in the Sack: From Buchenwald to Chief Rabbi, The Case of Coca-Cola and the Rabbi’s Daughter: How Cola Became Kosher, Is He a Rabbi or a Novelist? Meet Rav Haim Sabato, I would not want to miss any of her lectures. For more information on lecture dates and cities e-mail shiras@netvision.net.il.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Shira Leibowitz Schmidt: Multifaceted Scholar”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Islamic State flag displayed from Arab residence in Israel.
Cleared for Publication: Another Israeli-Arab ISIS Recruit from Nazareth
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

The musical production was beautifully performed by the middle school students.

South-Florida-logo

Greige offered a post of her own. She said, “I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel.” She contends that she was photobombed.

South-Florida-logo

This year, 40 couples were helped. The organization needs the support of the extended Jewish community so that it can continue in its important work.

In the introduction to the first volume, R. Katz discusses the Torah ideal, arguing that the Torah’s laws are intended to craft the perfect man and are not to be regarded as ends unto themselves.

A highlight of the evening was the video produced by the Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center on the legendary Agudah askan Reb Elimelech (Mike) Tress, a true Jewish hero.

Until recently his films were largely forgotten, but with their release last year on DVD by Re:Voir Video in Paris they are once again available.

Though the CCAR supported the Jewish right to emigrate to Eretz Yisrael, it strenuously objected to defining Palestine as the Jewish homeland.

“Well, you are also part of this class! If someone drills a hole in the boat, the boat will ultimately sink, and even the innocent ones will perish as well. The whole class must be punished!”

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

More Articles from Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson
Margot Klausner

Her cherished plan to take the Hebrew theater group Habimah to Eretz Yisrael was not greeted with enthusiasm by the actors.

LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Over the years there has been no shortage of reporting about Devorah Halberstam, Ari’s mother. Even in Israel, thousands of miles from the Halberstam home, there have been frequent references in the media to Ari’s mother. Do you know why?

When Hitler entered Prague in March 1939, many Czech Jews managed to escape to Palestine, including Alice’s twin Mariane and her families.

Hannah believed that one must learn about the evils of the past so that they aren’t repeated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/shira-leibowitz-schmidt-multifaceted-scholar/2013/11/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: