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Schneider, Mordecai Bezalel

SCHNEIDER, MORDECAI BEZALEL

SCHNEIDER, MORDECAI BEZALEL (1865–1941), Hebrew grammarian. Schneider was born in Ligum close to Shavli, Lithuania, In addition to his comprehensive knowledge of Bible, Talmud, and Hebrew grammar, he also acquired a broad knowledge of classical literature and engaged in research in the Latin and Greek languages. His main occupation was in the sphere of Hebrew language. From an early age he maintained himself by teaching and from 1896 lived in Vilna, where for many decades he was a leading figure in Zionist activity and education. He began to publish from 1888 (in Ha-Ẓefirah) articles on educational topics, and in 1889 he published in Vilna an educational book, Beit ha-Sefer, which later appeared in several parts and numerous editions. As a result of this occupation he began linguistic research.

At first he published critical studies of many known grammar books in the periodicals Ha-Shilo'aḥ, Ha-Tekufah, Ha-Ẓefirah, Ha-Zeman, Tarbut, Haolam and Ha-Yom, and then commenced to publish his magnum opus in which he summarized his life's work in research into the language – Torat ha-Lashon ha-Ivrit be-Hitpatteḥutah ha-Historit me-Reshitahad ha-Zeman ha-Aḥaron (vol. 1, pt. 1, historical section, 1923, 19282; pt. 2, Torat ha-Kol (phonetics), 1924; pt. 3, Torat ha-Tavnit (morphology), first half 1924, second half 1925; vol. 2, Torat Shimmush ha-Lashon (syntax), pts. 1 and 2, 1939–40; pt. 3 was not published). He edited the periodicals Li-She'elot ha-Yom (1919), Meḥkerei Lashon 1920), and Zeramim (1932).

He continued working on his book in the ghetto of Vilna during World War ii. He was killed in Punar.

bibliography:

His autobiography, in: Hadoar, 21 (May 8, 1942); I. Klausner (ed.), Sefer Yovel ha-Esrim shel ha-Gimnasyah ha-Ivrit… be-Vilna (1936), 51–54. memoirs: M. Dworzecki, Yerushalayim de-Lita ba-Meri u-va-Sho'ah (19512), 29–30; S. Vardi, in: Leshonenu, 11 (1941–43), 305–6; Ẓ. Har-Zahav, Dikduk ha-Lashon ha-Ivrit, 1 (1951), 250–1.

[Getzel Kressel]

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