HASSIDEANS

HASSIDEANS (Assideans; Greek form of Hebrew Ḥasidim; "pious ones"), religious group or sect which originated in about the third or fourth century B.C.E. It centered around the revival and promotion of Jewish rites, study of the Law, and the uprooting of paganism from the land. The date of origin cannot be known with certainty. The Hassideans are first mentioned by name during the persecutions of Antiochus IV (Ephiphanes), king of Syria (175–164 B.C.E.), when its members joined the Maccabean opposition led by Mattathias in his revolt against the Syrians. They formed the nucleus of the Maccabean revolt and refused to compromise in any way with the Hellenizing policy of the Syrians. The Hassideans were exposed to torture and death for their refusal to desecrate the Sabbath and other Jewish observances. In I Maccabees 2:41 it is recorded that they were "mighty men in Israel… such as were devoted to the Law." In I Maccabees 4 they are described as welcoming peace with the Syrians when the latter offered them assurances of religious liberty. The Hassideans ceased to cooperate with the Hasmoneans (the successors of Judah the Maccabee) in their fight for political independence. Certain references to the Ḥasidim are found in the Psalms (12:2, 30:5, 31:24, 38:28, et al.), but it is doubtful that these accounts refer to the Ḥasidim. The passages speak of the efforts of the Ḥasidim to observe the Law, their persecutions by their adversaries, and their struggles against their enemies. References to Ḥasidim in the Mishnah and the Talmud (Ber. 5:1, Hag. 2:7, Sot. 3:4, Avot 5:10, and Nid. 17a) may refer to the Hassideans or merely to pious individuals of a later period. The Talmud refers to the strict observance of the commandments by Ḥasidim, to their ardent prayers, which they would not renounce even at the risk of their lives, and to their rigid observance of the Sabbath. Because of their meticulous observances the Hassideans have been linked with the essenes , but scholarly consensus places them as the spiritual forerunners of the pharisees . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.W. Lightly, Jewish Sects and Parties in the Time of Jesus (1925); R.T. Herford, Judaism in the New Testament Period (1928); S. Zeitlin, History of the Second Jewish Commonwealth: Prolegomena (1933); idem, Rise and Fall of the Judean State, 2 vols. (1962–67); Baron, Social2, 1–2 (1952); N.H. Snaith, Jews from Cyrusto Herod (1956); Schuerer, Hist, index, S.V. Pious; R. Kaufman, Great Sects and Schisms in Judaism (1967). (Menahem Mansoor)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ALCIMUS — (Hellenized form of the Hebrew name Jakim or Eliakim), high priest 162–160 (or 159) B.C.E. Alcimus was a member of a high priestly family and was the nephew of yose b. joezer of Zeredah. When Demetrius I Soter ascended the Seleucid throne,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • EreẒ ISRAEL – SECOND TEMPLE — ptolemaic rule seleucid rule the hasmonean revolt independent judea hasmonean rule the roman province Herod s Rule under the procurators …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • DISCIPLINE, MANUAL OF — ( The Sectarian Document or The Rule of the Community ; Heb. סֶרֶךְ הַיַּחַד, Serekh ha Yaḥad; abbr. 1QS), one of the dead sea scrolls , found in the spring of 1947 near Qumran; now in the Israel Museum s Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. The… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ESCHATOLOGY — In general, the term eschatology designates the doctrine concerning the last things. The word last can be understood either absolutely as referring to the ultimate destiny of mankind in general or of each individual man, or relatively as… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • HELLENISM — HELLENISM, term generally used by historians to refer to the period from the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.E.) to the death of Cleopatra and the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E. Egypt was the last important survivor …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • JUDAH MACCABEE — JUDAH MACCABEE, one of the great warriors of history, who laid the foundation of the future Hasmonean state. Judah, the third son of mattathias the Hasmonean, assumed leadership of the revolt against antiochus Epiphanes in accordance with the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • MACCABEES, FIRST BOOK OF — (I Maccabees), a historical work extant in Greek, covering the period of 40 years from the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes (175 B.C.E.) to the death of Simeon the Hasmonean (135 B.C.E.). Its name in the Septuagint and in the writings of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • TEMPLE — The article is arranged according to the following outline: first temple history structure the ground plan of the temple the detailed plan of the temple general description the porch THE MAIN ROOM (HEKHAL) OR HOLY PLACE …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.