Nechama Leibowitz- born 1905, died 1997- was a major bible
scholar of our generation. Over the years she tought loads of students out of her Jerusalem
apartment, and published her lessons in a set of books on the five books of Moses. Ms. Leibowitz used the following rules in her classroom teaching, and stressed that other teachers should use them as well:
- Do not lecture.
- Do not allow students to write while you are speaking.
- Do not give an introduction to the material that is to be studied.
- Do not ask students to answer factual questions or to paraphrase.
Nechama Leibowitz is revered by many who only know of her as the only mainstream orthodox commentary
on the Bible. Unfortunately, mainstream orthodox commentary still has a ways to go in its integration
of women, as really, Nechama Leibowitz wasn't a commentary at all. She was a supercommentary
(a commentator on the commentators) and a codifyer- a wonderful and thorough one, but she never directly interpreted the Biblical text.
Ms. Leibowitz and I share the same first name and similar sounding last names. The other day I called a friend on the phone, and reached her little sister, who told my friend that "Nechama Leibowitz" was on the phone.