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He-Ḥalutz

HE-ḤALUTZ

HE-ḤALUTZ (Heb. "the Pioneer"), periodical of Jewish scholarship, edited by Joshua (Osias) Heschel *Schorr, which appeared in Lemberg, Breslau, Prague, Frankfurt on the Main, and Vienna from 1852 to 1889. Schorr, a second generation Galician maskil, devoted the periodical principally to incisive and radical criticism of the Talmud, attempting to prove by a series of studies that the talmudists had adapted Jewish tradition to their time and that later generations were therefore also permitted to do the same. Accordingly, Schorr argued that the words of the talmudists need not be accepted as necessarily applicable to modern times. Such pointed and bold criticism had almost never before been voiced in the Hebrew language. For his radical stand and the wit of his expression, Schorr was called the "Voltaire of Galicia." Publishing He-Ḥalutz with his own funds, Schorr, a man of wealth, could be independent. At first others who held similar views, such as Abraham *Geiger and Abraham*Krochmal, contributed to the periodical. Later, however, Schorr himself wrote all the material which included satires directed against the rabbis and topical articles, written in a critical, sarcastic vein, directed against the rabbinic-talmudic tradition. He-Ḥalutz, in turn, was denounced by all those it criticized. But this only served to increase the wit and sharpness of Schorr's writing. The scholarly research that appeared in He-Ḥalutz had the effect of supporting radical reform, although that was not the editor's intention. He-Ḥalutz greatly influenced M.L. Lilienblum and J.L. Gordon, the advocates of religious reform in Russia.

bibliography:

G. Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 896f.; Spicehandler, in: huca, 40–41 (1969–70), 503–22.

[Getzel Kressel]

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