Passing of Prof. Eliezer Schweid

Shalom Berger's picture

H-Judaic is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Eliezer Schweid (1929-2022), Professor emeritus of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, a founder of the Schechter Institute, winner of the Israel Prize, and one of the foremost scholars of Jewish Thought of our time.  Born in Israel and educated at the Hebrew University, where he wrote his dissertation under Prof. Shlomo Pines, Prof. Schweid was widely known for his wide-ranging scholarship that included some forty books and over 850 articles in multiple languages.  A long article on Prof. Schweid appears in Hebrew Wikipedia (https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%A2%D7%96%D7%A8_%D7%A9%D7%91%D7%99%D7%93) which lists half a dozen articles on Prof. Schweid and his work, including a long study by Prof. Yehoyada Amir in the two-volume Jubilee volume for Schweid that he edited, The Path of the Spirit: Eliezer Schweid’s Jubilee Volume [Hebrew, 2 volumes, 2005].

Prof. Shaul Magid of Dartmouth posted the following upon hearing of Prof. Schweid’s passing:  “It is with deep sadness that I note the passing of Prof Eliezer Schweid (1929-2022), long time professor of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, veteran of the Palmach, and one of the most important Israeli and Zionist intellectuals of his generation. His books are too numerous to mention, just to say he wrote an everything from the Hebrew Bible to A.D. Gordon, from Bialik and Brenner to ultra-Orthodox responses to the Holocaust. His range was enormous, as was his depth. His later works including books on Israel and postmodernism, globalization, and crisis of Zionism. He was my MA advisor at Hebrew University, and I was very close to him in the 1980s. I can safely say that he was one of the most profound influences on my thinking, even as he didn’t agree with many of my views. I was on a panel with at the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem some years ago and we argued publicly about Judaism and post-ethnicity. He was always generous, but he held strong opinions that he argued vociferously. If you stood in the presence of Schweid you better bring your “A” game. He did not suffer fools lightly. Of late Lenny Levin has been translating many of his works into English. To read Schweid is to be exposed to the breadth and depth of Jewish Thought. To have known him was to merit knowing one of the great Jewish intellectuals of the postwar era. He will be sorely missed.”  See also Magid’s article on Schweid in Tablet, https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/community/articles/the-price-of-israels-success.

We extend deepest sympathies to Prof. Schweid’s family as well as to his legion of colleagues, students, friends and admirers around the world.

Jonathan D. Sarna
Chair, H-Judaic

 

Categories: Obituary
Keywords: Necrology