Loewe, Herbert Martin James

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LOEWE, HERBERT MARTIN JAMES (1882–1940), English Orientalist. Loewe was born in London, the grandson ofLouis *Loewe. After completing his studies at Cambridge, he lived for a time as a teacher in the Middle East and then held academic appointments in England. After his return from military service in India (1917–19), he became lecturer in rabbinic Hebrew at Oxford, and in 1931 he taught rabbinics at Cambridge and was lecturer in Hebrew at the University of London. For a generation, he was regarded in English academic circles as the representative of Jewish scholarship, in the same way as Israel *Abrahams had been regarded before him. His home in the two university cities was a focus of Jewish life. Within the Jewish community he represented informed and tolerant Orthodoxy, moving freely in liberal (Reform) Jewish circles and collaborating closely with C.G. Montefiore, the founder of Liberal Judaism in England. His works include A Catalogue of the Aldis Wright mss. in Trinity College, Cambridge (1926), "Render unto Caesar" (1940), Mediaeval Hebrew Minstrelsy (1926), Some Mediaeval Hebrew Poesy (1927; on the *Zemirot) and a volume of annotations to Abrahams' and Stokes' Starrs and Jewish Charters in the British Museum, 2 vols. (1930–32). He collaborated with C.G. Montefiore in A Rabbinic Anthology (1938, 19682), a widely used source book.

Herbert Loewe's elder son was raphael james loewe (1919– ), who wrote widely on Jewish subjects, in particular on the English Christian Hebraists of the Middle Ages. He was formerly Goldsmith Professor of Hebrew at University College, London.


The Times (London, Oct. 12, 1940), 6; jc (Oct. 18, 1940), 5.

[Cecil Roth]