Suspect or Respect ?

Shira Schmidt

Shira Leibowitz Schmidt was raised in an assimilated Jewish home in New York, and became observant while studying at Stanford University in California. In June 1967 she told her engineering school professor she would miss the final exam because she was going to Israel to volunteer during the Six Day War. “That’s the most original excuse I have ever been offered,” he responded. She arrived during the war and stayed, receiving her BSc in absentia. She subsequently met and married the late Elhanan Leibowitz, and they raised their six children in Beersheba. Mrs. Leibowitz acquired a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from the Technion, and an MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Waterloo. Today she lives with her husband, Dr. Baruch Schmidt, in Netanya. She co-authored, with Nobel prize-winning chemist Roald Hoffmann, Old Wine New Flasks. She has co-translated from Hebrew to English (with Jessica Setbon) From the Depths (the autobiography of Rabbi Israel Meir Lau); The Forgotten Memoirs (memoirs of Rabbis who survived the Shoah, edited by Esther Farbstein); and Rest of the Dove (Parashat Hashavua by Rabbi Haim Sabato). She and her husband appear in the documentary film about the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, “Hidden Face.” She is available to lecture in Israel and in the US and can be contacted via

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4 Responses

  1. Joe Schick says:

    “I confess it. I am the one who made the comments that so angered Shira.”

    Nothing to “confess.” Until large numbers of the Muslim world condemn the routine mass murder committed by so many of their religion’s adherents, there is no onus on us to “show respect” beyond on an individual level.

  2. ralphie says:

    I hesitate to write this, because I do believe to great extent what the barrister wrote. But I have a teeny bit more optimism about the society in general, only because I know that regular people are not free to express their true thoughts in surveys they respond to. But at the same time I also believe that the biggest barrier to peace is the educational infrastructure and official propaganda of the leadership of such societies (I guess that’s some more duality for you…)

  3. Shragie says:

    There are many more proofs that we must exhibit respect for all walks of life. These proofs, however, cannot always be applied. While an innocent God fearing Arab should be respected, his people, governments and religion as a whole have warranted nothing but disrespect. I implore that you refer to Chazal who teach us that demonstrating kindness for the cruel results in the cruelty for the kind

  4. Zev says:

    Mr. Barrister, you’re right on target. No need to apologize.

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