Heller, Joshua ben Aaron

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HELLER, JOSHUA BEN AARON (1814–80), Lithuanian rabbi and author. Heller was a preacher in Grodno and became successively rabbi of Polangen and of Telschi. He was a disciple of Israel *Salanter and played an important role in the *Musar movement. Heller fought against the inroads of secularism menacing Jewish religious life in Russia. He emphasized that teaching methods at the yeshivah must imbue the students with strong religious convictions. Heller contributed to the Hebrew periodical Ha-Levanon and published the following works: Divrei Yehoshu'a (1865), on Jewish ethics and philosophy outlining a full ethical "training program"; Toledot Yehoshu'a (1866), a commentary on Avot; Ma'oz ha-Dat (1873), a defense, in dialogue form, of the oral tradition extolling the wisdom of the talmudic rabbis; Ḥosen Yehoshu'a (1872), a guide to Torah study.


D. Katz, Tenu'at ha-Musar, 2 (19542), 349–64; Fuenn, Keneset, 429.

[Jacob Hirsch Haberman]