It is with profound sadness that we mark the passing of our friend and colleague, Dr. David B. Weisberg, Professor of Bible and Semitic Languages at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Dr. Weisberg served HUC-JIR for forty-five years.
Beyond the HUC-JIR community, Dr. Weisberg was known for his important contributions to Assyriology, especially his publications of primary resources from the Neo-Babylonian period: Texts From the Time of Nebuchadnezzar (Yale Oriental Series; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), The Late Babylonian Texts of the Oriental Institute Collection (Bibliotheca Mesopotamica; Malibu: Undena Publications, 1991), and Neo-Babylonian Texts in the Oriental Institute Collection (Oriental Institute Publications; Chicago, Ill.: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2003).His Yale dissertation was published as Guild Structure and Political Allegiance in Early Achaemenid Mesopotamia (Yale Near Eastern Researches; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967). In addition to these important contributions, Professor Weisberg wrote articles and essays on a wide-ranging gamut of topics, some of which have been collected in the forthcoming volume entitled Leaders and Legacies in Assyriology and Bible: The Collected Essays of David B. Weisberg (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2012).
Within the HUC-JIR community, Dr. Weisberg will be remembered as a kind and gentle mentor of doctoral studies and a patient teacher for the rabbinic students. His careful scholarship and meticulous editing was only outmatched by his obvious concern for the students. He continued to mentor his students long after they graduated and moved from Cincinnati. In my case, he graciously accepted an invitation from me to investigate the biases and prejudices that characterized the work of Friedrich Delitzsch, which resulted in three articles on the subject (example, JBL 121/3 : 441-57). His many former students around the world join me in mourning his passing, and acknowledging that our esteemed mentor and friend was without doubt one of the kindest and gentlest mentors one could hope to find. His memory will long be a blessing in our lives.
Professor Weisberg was born in New York City, received his A.B. from Columbia College (1960), his B.H.L. from Seminary College (1960), and his Ph.D. from Yale University (1965). He was Research Associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (1965-67) prior to joining the HUC-JIR faculty in 1967. He was ordained at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 1977.
Dr. Weisberg is survived by his beloved Ophra, children Dina, Jonathan, Oren, and Avi, his brother Richard, and seven grandchildren.–Written by Bill T. Arnold