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01575--Frankel, Zecharias

Frankel, Zecharias (1801–1875). The founder of Conservative Judaism in Germany. At the time, it was called “Positive Historical Judaism.” The original name reflects the idea that Judaism is a historical religion unfolding over time and that historical unfolding is positive because it allows Jewish law to maintain its relevance in each generation. Frankel accepted certain reforms but was dedicated to the binding nature of Jewish law as a whole. He was also opposed to the linguistic acculturation of Reform and insisted on preserving Hebrew in the prayer services. In 1854, he was named the director of a rabbinical seminary (Juedisch-Theologisches Seminar), which became the model for modern seminaries that combine critical scholarship and traditional Jewish study.

Courtesy: Professor Shai Cherry

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