Abraham Malamat, professor emeritus of Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, passed away on January 21, 2010, just a few days before his 88th birthday.
Malamat made important contributions to the study of the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East—particularly in our understanding of the emergence of Israel, the collapse of the kingdom of Judah, and the relationship of Mari and the Hebrew Bible. He wrote several articles for BAR on these topics.a
According to Professor Shmuel Ahituv, one of Malamat’s former students, Malamat was “a gifted lecturer and a charismatic teacher. His lectures—whether before a classroom of students or before the general public—were a masterpiece of rhetoric ... students used to crowd in, sitting on the steps and window sills [of the lecture hall].”
Malamat was born in 1922 in Vienna. In 1935, in the face of growing anti-Semitism, his family immigrated to Palestine and settled in Tel Aviv. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Hebrew University and also studied at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem and later at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute. He began lecturing at the Hebrew University in 1954.