PASSINGS: Bob Breitbard, Moshe Greenberg

Bob Breitbard

Owner of San Diego sports teams

Bob Breitbard, 91, a key player in San Diego sports for decades who brought the NBA to the city as owner of the expansion San Diego Rockets, died early Monday.

Breitbard died of natural causes at an assisted living facility in Encinitas, said Alan Kidd, president of the San Diego Hall of Champions, a sports museum founded by Breitbard.

Robert Breitbard, born April 28, 1919, in San Diego, owned the Rockets from their first season in 1967-68 until he sold them in 1971. He also built the San Diego Sports Arena and owned the minor league San Diego Gulls hockey team.

A high school teammate and close friend of baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams, Breitbard played football at San Diego State, graduating in 1941. He earned a master's degree in education from USC and returned to San Diego State in 1945 as a volunteer head football coach for the school's first postwar team after a three-year break.

Also in the 1940s he began an athletic foundation that honored San Diego County high school athletes.

Moshe Greenberg

Won Israel Prize for biblical studies

Moshe Greenberg, 81, an influential scholar whose work won the first Israel Prize for biblical studies, died Saturday at his Jerusalem home, said his son Rafi.

Greenberg's award-winning Bible scholarship bridged the gap between the commentary of ancient Jewish sages and modern-day religious studies, said Israel Knohl, a professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a colleague.

Greenberg's definitive two-volume commentary on the Book of Ezekiel described, among other things, how the prohibition of murder became an unbreakable tenet of Abrahamic religions because of the rise of a belief in man's connection to God, Knohl said.

The Israel Prize is the country's highest civilian award. Prizes are given in several fields on Israel's independence day every year.

Born in Philadelphia on July 10, 1928, Greenberg earned a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and was ordained a Conservative rabbi in 1954.

He immigrated to Israel in 1970 and became a prominent voice whose work occasionally touched on political topics. He countered those who used the Book of Joshua as a justification for certain forms of violence in defense of Israel, Knohl said.

In 1994, along with a colleague, he became the first person to win the Israel Prize for Bible research.

— Times staff and wire reports

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