Alumni Services

Dr Asher Wade

Dr Asher Wade discusses a lifetime spent in Academia and reflects on the special place memories of Edinburgh have for him.


Dr. Asher Wade (a.k.a. Wallace S. Wade)

Degree Course Bachelor of Divinity
Year of Graduation


Dr Asher Wade

Your time at the University

The first reason I accepted the offer to attend Edinburgh University over Harvard University’s offer was that it being 1971 (the height of the anti-Viet Nam protests all across the U.S. university campuses), I had already, during my B.A. Philosophy degree in the States, experienced the complete disruption and distraction of any serious academic study, even amongst the professors, that I chose to leave America for a somewhat calmer atmosphere. I also had had a mentor during my American college years who had attended Edinburgh University and his enthusiasm and recommendations piqued my interest immensely.

Attending the Divinity teachings at New College, with its extremely intelligent and notable professors, as well as the friendly and helpful secretarial and logistic staff, were a comfort and a delight. Academically, I was immensely pleased with the friendly, but no-nonsense, rigor of open debate and the fearless intellectual ‘give-ness’ to push, if necessary, beyond conventional boundaries which was breath-taking!

Granted, the completely different university system (from American universities) of no quizzes, tests, essays,  with the emphasis almost exclusively, upon “self-motivation”, was not explained to me, especially during the ominously eerie ‘Reading Period’ in May where there were no lectures, seminars or instructors around and culminating in one “Final Exam” per course covering the entire year’s worth of material, did, I must say, catch me completely off-guard!

My most notable “extra-curricula” experiences [in order] were: learning the violin; learning the extreme value of the simple task of “crossing-the-street” [especially when traffic is hurtling down at you from the opposite direction]; moving out of the dormitory and into an Edinburgh neighbourhood; i.e. meeting and forging very close friendship with normal working families and their children; travelling extensively all though the UK and Europe (of course, on cheap student discounts); experiencing [for the first time] and falling in love with Chinese cuisine {and, you thought I was going to say, “Haggis”; ha!}; viscerally understanding what the phrase “freezing-to-death” really means together with the paradox of the temperature never going below 32F (?!); meeting and establishing life-long friendships with fellow students from many different countries (especially Germany); never quite comprehending the wearing by men of the Scottish Kilt (given, of course, the freezing, damp winds coming in off the Firth of Forth, which like X-rays, would penetrate even solid stone walls) and the accompanying tautological conundrum of, later, discovering what was worn {or, not worn} there under [yikes!]; the experience of ‘existing’ {quite pleasantly} without ever seeing the Sun for 9 straight months and the extremely funny comments at the end of May when people would exclaim how “everyone was smiling in the streets today” and my retort, “they’re not smiling, …they are squinting because of this odd and very bright object in the sky!”; the quixotic stirring of patriotic fervour in my breast at the sound of bagpipes from a military marching corps proceeding out of the Castle down the Royal Mile; the discovery of (and later the obsessive attendance at) Usher Hall and the glorious music and musicians I had the privilege to meet and speak with; but most of all, the personal and very oft academic discussions with my professors and mentors in the beautiful discovery of ‘knowledge’ for knowledge’s sake.

Academically, I was immensely pleased with the friendly, but no-nonsense, rigor of open debate and the fearless intellectual ‘give-ness’ to push, if necessary, beyond conventional boundaries which was breath-taking!

Dr Asher Wade

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

My three years at Edinburgh were each unique approaches to learning, studying and research. Beginning with my second year, I added a fourth approach to academics, that of ‘experimentation’ within the [above listed] three. My advisors proffered me the ability and security to test out my varying approaches to educational experimentation and for this, I am perpetually thankful.

Graduation, together with my many trips to Europe, paved the way for further research and my eventual acceptance at both Strasbourg University as well as Hamburg University for a subsequent doctoral programme. Due to a very close friendship forged in Edinburgh, as well as certain academic ‘perks’ at Hamburg, I accepted their offer and began research in Metaphysics and Relativity Theory even hiring myself a private tutor in theoretical physics as a mentor & ‘sounding board’ for my varying hypotheses and theories.

I was, thereafter, offered a teaching fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge, but stayed on in Hamburg and pursued a second doctorate in 19th Century German Jewish Polemics as my interests were broadening into other areas besides Ontology and Physics. While in Hamburg, I continued with my violin pursuits but also studied Latin, Classical Greek, and Hebrew {all in German}. I stayed a total of 9 years in Germany, meeting and marrying my wife and returned to the States in 1983.

In 1988, my family and I moved to Jerusalem where I continued studying Judaism and Rabbinic’s on fellowship for 2.5 years. I also began and completed a third, but professional, doctorate in clinical psychology in 2004. Shortly thereafter, I was appointed lecturer in psychology and also joined a medical clinic as a psychotherapist.

Alumni wisdom

Minimize your social lives and maximize your few short years in the Garden of Eden of academic and professionalism available to you ‘now’ during your student years. Granted at 64 yrs old, this is hindsight (which is always 20/20), but the truism of “deferred gratification” is so much sweeter than the instantaneous, yet fleeting and effervescent , ‘thrill-of-the-moment”, …but, don’t I realize that I have wasted my time – because no one will heed my words. –“Sigh” - That is pretty much why I pity God …He must have the loneliest and most frustrating job in the entire Cosmos  no one obeys, or even listens, to Him, either!