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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7 Responses

  1. Steve Brizel says:

    This exhibit was shown at Sothebys in NYC a mumber of years ago. It was an amazing display and tribute to why we are indeed the People of the Book.

  2. Shades of Gray says:

    “I do not know enough to take sides in this controversy.”

    This is how Rav Shimon Schwab summarizes Me’ or Einayim on chronology in his “Comparative Jewish Chronology” essay( “Selected Speeches”, pg. 262) :

    “…Even centuries ago, in his Me’ or Einayim (XXXV), Azariah de Rossi, a controversial figure in the
    annals of our people, criticized the puzzling texts of Seder Olam and of the Talmud, much to the righteous indignation of contemporary and, later, Rabbinic scholars (cf. R. David Gans in Tzemach David [No. 3448] and R. Yaakov Emden to Seder Olam XXX).”

  3. DF says:

    Seforim Blog had some good articles on the Trust when it was first displayed a number of years ago. Just google “Seforim Blog” and “Valmadonna Trust”.

  4. Much of the Maharal’s Beer HaGolah takes aim at the Meor Einayim.

  5. Shades of Gray says:

    Torah Musing had a post listing those who quote from Me’or Einayim over the years:

  6. Shades of Gray says:

    I didn’t know about Artscroll, but has an interesting, fair-size entry from R. Nissan Mindel (Kehot Publication Society):

    “Azariah dei Rossi was a well-known Jewish scholar, author and physician, who died in Italy a little less than four hundred years ago…

    Some of his writings, as they appeared in the third part of his work, raised a great deal of objections on the part of leading Rabbis of his day as soon as they were published. The Rabbis feared that his views might be misunderstood and misinterpreted. The book was there­fore banned for students under the age of twenty-five. Azariah wrote a defense, in which he explained that his position was in full accord with Jewish tradition.”

    I wonder if the Rebbe wrote anything on the topic…

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