David B. Weisberg, obituary

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David B. Weisberg, z”l.

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 [2002]: 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

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3 Comments for : David B. Weisberg, obituary
    • Joel Allen
    • April 12, 2012

    I had Dr. Weisberg for only one course at HUC in Spring 2000 I believe. What I remember most is that Dr. Weisberg was genuinely enthusiastic about contributions we would make to class discussion. He would often take out his pen and take notes on what his students said.

    Pirke Avot famously says that the timid cannot learn and the impatient cannot teach. Dr. Weisbergs patience made of him the best of teachers and good students of us since his kind regard for our knowledge made lions out of the most timid among us!

    • Barbara Sniderman Gi
    • May 22, 2012

    Dr. Weisberg asked me to be his research assistant at HUC while he was in the finishing stages of work on his book for the Yale Oriental Series. I was nervous about being able to proofread his work without having had any background in the area. Due to David's teaching me with extraordinary patience, encouragement, kindness, gentleness, and confidence in my abilities, I quickly grasped an understanding of the subject matter, as well as a feeling for the language and text. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him, learning from him with every conversation. Though I was helping him, I was the one who really benefited from our association.

    • Lea
    • March 7, 2013

    David was a very dear man who'll never be forgotten, alot of people admired him and his memory will always remain with my family forever!!!!!

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