Ephraim Elimelech Urbach (Hebrew: אפרים אלימלך אורבך) (born 1912; died 3 July 1991) was a distinguished scholar of Judaism. He is best known for his landmark works on rabbinic thought, The Sages, and for research on the Tosafot. He was an unsuccessful candidate to be President of Israel in 1973.
Urbach was born in Białystok, Poland, to a hasidic family. He studied in Rome and Breslau, where he received rabbinic ordination. He emigrated to Palestine in 1937. He served as a rabbi in the British army during World War II. He also took part in Israel's War of Independence and thereafter worked for several educational institutions before joining the Hebrew University faculty in 1953.
in Ephraim Urbach, דרשות חז"ל על נביאי אומות העולם ועל פרשת בלעם "Rabbinic Exegesis About Gentile Prophets And The Balaam Passage" (Hebrew), Tarbitz (25:1956), Urbach explored the interpretation of the rabbis about Gittin 57a where Onkelos raises up Balaam from hell, and concluded that Balaam was not a reference to Jesus in the Talmud.
^Matthew Kraus How should rabbinic literature be read in the modern world? p182 "See his article דרשות חז"ל על נביאי אומות העולם ועל פרשת בלעם p281-287, where he refutes a long chain of scholarly opinions (the last being, Lauterbach, supra, ibid., pp. 545ff.) drawing a parallel between Balaam and Jesus. However Urbach tended to accept the anti-Christian sentiments in various rabbinic interpretations of the Balaam episode"