Frankel, Zecharias (zĕkərĪˈəs frängˈkəl) [key], 1801–75, Jewish theologian, b. Prague. Frankel believed that only through an appreciation of the historical development of the Jewish tradition could reforms be made to meet contemporary needs without violating the spirit of Judaism. In 1854 he was elected head of the new rabbinical seminary of Breslau. The school's "positivist-historical" approach to tradition influenced American Conservative Judaism, and its curriculum was followed by many modern rabbinical schools. Frankel's many works on biblical-Talmudic law include the highly influential Darkhei ha-Mishnah [introduction to the Mishna] (1859; with suppl. and index, 1867). He also wrote numerous articles on Jewish cultural history.
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