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Schaechter, Joseph


SCHAECHTER, JOSEPH (1901– ), educator and Hebrew writer. Born in Galicia, he was ordained for the rabbinate and studied at Vienna University. Schaechter immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1938, and taught in secondary schools, first in Tel Aviv and then in Haifa. From 1951 he was the supervisor of secondary schools in Haifa. Disturbed by the gap between Orthodoxy and secularism in Israel society, Schaechter tried to turn Israel non-Orthodox youth back to its Jewish heritage. He sought to achieve this by approaching the Bible and Talmud as a philosophy of life. Schaechter felt that modern man was uprooted and cynical in the technological world, because he had forgotten to invest life with meaning and to look within himself. This inner search was the heritage of Israel. In his Pirkei Hadrakhah ba-Tanakh (1960) he showed the failings of both the Orthodox and non-orthodox education systems, the one teaching Bible as a book of mitzvot, the other as an archaeological guide book. Besides contributing to various literary periodicals, he wrote books on such varied topics as logic, science and faith, Talmud, and the prayer book.

His books include Mavo Kaẓar le-Logistikah (1937), Sintaksis (1944), Mi-Madda le-Emunah (1953), Mavo la-Talmud (1954), Mishnato shel A.D. Gordon (1957), Mavo la-Siddur (1958), Oẓar ha-Talmud (1963), Mavo la-Tanakh (1968), and several works on education, including Limmudei ha-Yahadut ba-Ḥinnukh ha-Al-Yesodi (1968), a summary of Schaechter's teachings by his students.


S. Kremer, Hillufei Mishmarot be-Sifrutenu (1959), 348–53; H. Weiner, Wild Goats of Ein Gedi (1961), 262–6; J.S. Diamond, in: The Reconstructionist, 30 (Dec. 25, 1964), 17–24. 17–24.

[Getzel Kressel]

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