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German rabbi and champion of neo-Orthodoxy. Hirsch was vehemently opposed to the Reform movement and advocated the separation of his followers from any community where Reform Judaism had gained the upper hand. Due to his initiative, the German Parliament in 1876 legalized the secession of Orthodox Jews from the Jewish community. In 1836, Hirsch published an uncompromising defense of the institutions and laws of Judaism and a statement of his theories on neo-Orthodoxy. In opposition to the German Reform movement, Hirsch maintained that the acceptance of biblical and Talmudic authority was necessary to a true understanding of Judaism. He felt Judaism needed a reinterpretation and spiritualization of the traditional laws and practices to give them deeper meaning and significance in the modern world. Hirsch founded a day school which combined a thorough Jewish education with modern secular training. He published Horeb, a book on the religious duties of the Jewish people in exile, and voluminous commentaries on the Pentateuch and the Book of Psalms. A commentary on the Jewish prayer book, based on his writings, was published after his death.

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