Lewis M. Barth, Rabbi, Ph.D.

Contact Information

(213) 765-2187
Professor Emeritus of Midrash and Related Literature

HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

Rabbinical Program, Los Angeles
Academic Field: 
Rabbinics and Liturgy
Research Interests: 
Rabbinic biblical interpretation ; Midrashic texts and manuscripts ; Reform Berit Mila (ritual circumcision) ; Jerusalem as a holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims ; Jewish religious thought and family issues ; Spirituality ; Pirque d'Rabbi Eliezer (Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer) ; Semitic languages and literatures

Rabbi Lewis M. Barth is Professor of Midrash and Related Literature. He served as Dean of HUC-JIR, Los Angeles from 1971-1979 and most recently from 1997-2006. He studied at UCLA, HUC-JIR, the University of Chicago, and was ordained at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, where he also earned his doctorate. Rabbi Barth specializes in rabbinic biblical interpretation and the study of manuscripts of Midrash texts. He is also interested in the application of computer technology to the study of Hebrew manuscripts.

Public Lecture Topics
“Mythology and the Causes of Hatred: Contemporary and Ancient Perspectives”
“Parashat Metzora: Slander, its Causes and Consequences: Text Study of a Midrashic Understanding”
“Thinking Ahead to Tisha B'av: Text Study of a Midrashic View of Ancient-Modern Social Justice Issues”
“Forgiveness in Psychoanalysis and Judaism”
Books by Famous Jews: Take Dershowitz, For Example
The Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism: Continuity or Break with the Past
The Rabbinic Search for Values: The Midrash
Rabbinic Stories and Ancient Wonderworks