Faculty Directory
Michelle Levine


Associate Professor of Bible


Beren campus - Stanton Hall (245 Lexington)

BA, Brooklyn College, City University of New York,
MS, Bernard Revel Graduate School, Yeshiva University,
PhD, New York University,

Dr. Michelle Levine is a tenured Associate Professor of Bible in the Rebecca Ivry Department of Jewish Studies at Stern College for Women since . Currently, she is also faculty member of the GPATS graduate program, spearheading their newly formed Tanach Track. She holds a BA (Summa cum Laude with honors) from Brooklyn College, an MS in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and a PhD in medieval biblical exegesis from New York University. She also studied at Michlalah Teacher’s College in Israel. She served as the Jewish Studies curriculum coordinator on the Board of Education for Yeshiva of Central Queens, NY, for twelve years. She is a former faculty member of the Stella K. Abraham Yeshiva High School for Girls (SKA). 

Dr. Levine teaches undergraduate advanced and honors courses at Stern College and at GPATS' graduate program, on medieval and post-medieval biblical exegesis, including the commentaries of Rashi and Rashbam, Ramban (his literary approach to biblical narratives), Sforno, and Malbim, and on topics and books of Tanakh, including the Creation Narrative in the Book of Genesis, Women in Genesis, Exile and Redemption in the Book of Exodus, Judges, Isaiah, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Daniel. She also teaches courses on Poetry in the Bible and the Symbolism of Clothing in the Bible. In 2023, she will be introducing a new course on the Wilderness Narratives in the Books of Exodus and Numbers. Dr. Levine serves as a mentor for honors theses on topics in the Bible and biblical exegesis. Her research interests focus particularly on Ramban's biblical commentary. Her recent research includes a study of this commentator's literary analysis of biblical narratives, particularly his application of intertextuality to analyze biblical character as well as his structural analysis of the pattern and design of biblical narrative. In addition, she has broadened her research of Ramban's literary perspective on biblical text by focusing on his analysis of the Bible's songs and poems, including his close readings of the Song of the Sea and his keen understanding of the dynamics of biblical imagery, metaphor and simile. Dr. Levine has also contributed entries to the online Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Dr. Levine has delivered papers at various academic conferences on topics of biblical exegesis. She has also served as an anonymous reviewer for articles submitted to noted academic journals. Dr. Levine lectures widely to synagogues and learning groups in the United States and Israel on topics on Tanakh and biblical exegesis. She has also been teaching a weekly adult lecture series on Tanakh and biblical exegesis in Queens, NY, for the past twenty two years.

Dr. Levine received doctoral dissertation fellowships from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and from the (National) Foundation for Jewish Culture. She has been awarded the E. Billi Ivry Summer Research Grant twice. In May 2011, Dr. Levine was awarded the Senior Class Jewish Studies Professor of the Year Award.

Dr. Levine is the author of a book on the commentary of Nahmanides and his literary approach to biblical characterization, titled: Nahmanides on Genesis: The Art of Biblical Portraiture (Brown University Press, 2009), which was reviewed by George Savran for the Society of Biblical Literature, 2013. She has written articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals on biblical exegesis, including: "Maimonides' Philosophical Exegesis of the Nobles' Vision (Exodus 24): A Guide for the Pursuit of Knowledge" (Torah U-Madda Journal 11 (2002-03); “The Inner World of Biblical Character Explored in Nahmanides' Commentary on Genesis" (Journal of Jewish Studies 56/2 (2005); "Nahmanides' Literary Approach to Biblical Narrative: Varied Repetition in the Joseph Story" (Torah U-Madda Journal 13 (2005); "Ramban on the Dynamics of Biblical Dialogue in the Book of Genesis" in Between Rashi and Maimonides: Themes in Medieval Jewish Thought, Literature, and Exegesis (2010); "Character, Characterization, and Intertextuality in Nahmanides' Commentary on Biblical Narrative" (Hebrew Studies 53 (2012); "Ramban's Integrative Reading of Biblical Narrative" (Conversations 15 (2013); "Form and Rhetoric in Biblical Song: Ramban's Commentary on the Song of the Sea" (Torah U-Madda Journal 18 (2020-21); and forthcoming, "The Versatile Inventiveness of Biblical Imagery in Ramban's Torah Commentary" (Tradition Spring 2022). In addition, she has published articles in Yeshiva University seasonal "To Go" publications, as well as in the series of "Mitokh Ha-Ohel" on topics of Tanakh and prayer, including: "From Darkness to Light, From Slavery to Redemption;" "The Cognitive, Emotional, and Sensory Experience of the Yamim Noraim: The Message of the Akedah;" Va-Yera: The Potency of Prayer;" Nachamu Nachamu Ami: Finding Comfort in Exile;" Yeshayahu's Call to Prophecy and Ma'amad Har Sinai;" "Moshe Rabbenu at Ma'amad Har Sinai: Ascending and Descending the Mountain;" and "The Berakhah of Yozer Or: The Light of Creation, the Light of Redemption."  She has also published the entry in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception on the "Matriarchs, Medieval Judaism," and forthcoming is her entry "Naomi, Medieval Judaism." In addition, Dr. Levine has published the following articles for the Mesorah Matrix Series, volumes on Havdalah; Ehyeh asher Ehyeh-I Will Be That Which I will Be [The Personal Name of God]; V'Shamru: The Sabbath (2017, 2019), on the following topics, respectively: "Havdalah- Emulating God in Mind and Deed: Israel's Divine Mission and the Quest for Salvation"; Ehyeh-The Promise of God's Perpetual Providence"; and V'Shamru-Guarding and Preserving the Eternal Covenant of Shabbat." Dr. Levine is currently working on an extensive book analyzing Ramban's biblical commentary on the Wilderness Narratives in the Books of Exodus and Numbers, with the objective of studying his commentary on whole episodes, such as the Golden Calf episode, the Spy Episode, Crises of Deprivation Episodes (Waters of Marah; Massah U-Merivah; Mei Merivah), from a literary perspective. The book aims to illuminate how his incisive readings investigate holistically and with an integrative lens the dynamics of biblical stories in their surface, linear structure-from the exposition of the narrative, its inciting incident, rising action, turning point, climax, and denouement-and in their deep structure, which exposes thematic paradigms, often by means of exposing key binary polarities that are the underpinnings of these narratives. 


Beren campus - Stanton Hall (245 Lexington)


To request an interview, please contact Media Relations at 212-960-5400 x5488 or publicaffairs@yu.edu


Spring 2022: 

GPATS: Seforno and Malbim

Women of Genesis

Book of Exodus

Fall 2021: 

GPATS: Ramban's Literary Analysis of Biblical Narrative

Exegesis of Rashi and Rashbam 


Spring 2020:

Book of Judges

Book of Exodus

Rashi and Rashbam 

Fall 2020:

Poetry in the Bible 

Genesis: Creation Account 

GPATS: Rashi and Rashbam 

Fall 2019: 

Clothing in the Bible  

Ramban's Exegesis

Song of Songs 

Fall 2018
Book of Genesis: Creation Account
BIBL 1209


Exegesis of Obadiah Sforno
BIBL 1083H


Clothing in the Bible
BIBL 4930


Spring 2018
BIBL 2125


Nahmanides on Genesis: Literary Analysis
BIBL 1096H


BIBL 3257


Fall 2017
Biblical Exegesis: Rashi and Rashbam
BIBL 1087


Biblical Poetry
BIBL 4021


Topics in Exodus
BIBL 1312


Spring 2017
Biblical Exegesis: Malbim
BIBL 1090H


BIBL 2505


Women in Genesis
BIBL 1212

Lecture titles that I have spoken about to various synagogues and learning groups across the United States and Israel include the following examples: 

“Forging Our Nation’s Identity: Lessons from Exile and Redemption”       

“The Ritual of Repentance: The Avodah of Yom ha-Kippurim”                 

"Walking in the Paths of Biblical Ba’alei Teshuvah

“Chanukah: A Celebration of Torah She’be’al Peh

“The Illuminating Miracle of Chanukah”

“The Hiddenness of Purim: The Symbolism of Clothing in the Megillah”

“From Miracle to Miracle: Purim—The Gateway to Pesach”

“דצ"ך, עד"ש באח"ב—The Ten Plagues: Decoding the Signs”

 “The Nexus between Creation and The Torah”

“Adam and Eve’s First Clothing: Garments of Repentance”

The Potency, Privilege, and Parameters of Prayer in the Book of Genesis”

“Telling and Retelling: A Reader’s Guide to the Dynamics of the Joseph Story”

“The Miracle of Nature, The Nature of Miracle: The Plagues in Egypt

 “The Road to Redemption: The Bittersweet Taste of Freedom”

“Perpetuating the Sinai Experience: The Message of the Mishkan for Our Times”


Israel on Trial: The Poetic Testimony of the Song of Ha’azinu”

“In Celebration of Yom Yerushalayim: Achsah in the Book of Judges—The First Female “Pioneer”

“Redemption, Restoration, and Remembrance in the Book of Ruth”

“Woman of Folly, Woman of Valor: A Feminine Perspective on the Book of Proverbs”

“The Message of the Menorah in R. Obadiah Sforno’s Religious Thought”

“Of Vineyards and Grapes: Yeshayahu’s Song”

“Recording Nature’s Song in Sefer Tehillim”

“Seeking Comfort in Exile: The Haftarot of the Three Weeks”

Kiddush Hashem in the Book of Daniel: Lessons for Three Weeks”