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Acronym for ḥokhmah, binah, da‘at—“wisdom, understanding, knowledge.” Ḥabad is a Hasidic school of thought founded by Shneur Zalman of Liady (ca. 1745–1812). [See Lubavitch Hasidism.] The term is also used to refer to the group of followers.


(pl., haftarot; Yid., haftoyre) The reading from the Prophets following the reading from the Pentateuch on Sabbaths, holidays, and fast days.


(pl., halakhot; Yid., halokhe; adj., halakhic; from the root h-l-kh “to go”) Often translated as Jewish law, halakhah is law in its most expansive sense—a great body of prescriptions and proscriptions understood to describe divine instruction on to how people ought to live their lives. Used in contradistinction to agadah [See glossary entry agadah.]


(pl., ḥaredim; related to ḥaredah, “trembling, fear”; Ezr. 10:3, Is. 66:5) Term used to refer to “ultra-Orthodox” Jews who uphold the strictest interpretation of Jewish tradition and law. [See Orthodoxy.]


The Jewish Enlightenment, or Haskalah, was an ideological and social movement that developed in Eastern Europe in the early nineteenth century and was active until the rise of the Jewish national movement in the early 1880s. Its partisans were known as maskilim. In certain senses, Haskalah was an extension of the eighteenth-century European Enlightenment, but it was centrally concerned with Jews’ political status and their relationship to European culture. Haskalah sought to exploit the new possibilities of economic, social, and cultural integration that appeared to become available to Jews in the late eighteenth century with the removal of legal discrimination. [See Haskalah.]


(Heb., ḥeder; pl., ḥadarim; Yid., kheyder; lit., “room”), the most widely accepted and widespread institution for elementary education among East European Jewry since the Middle Ages. Study in heder was considered an integral part of the process of raising and socializing a Jewish child, including the inculcation of Jewish religious and cultural values through imparting basic knowledge of the canonical sources—Torah, Mishnah, Talmud—and of the liturgy. The teacher in a heder was called a melamed. [See Heder.]

Ḥoveve Tsiyon

(lit., “Lovers of Zion”) Followers of the Ḥibat Tsiyon movement that was established in Russia and Romania in the early 1880s. Ḥibat Tsiyon (also, Hibbat Zion; Love of Zion) was a pre-Zionist Jewish nationalist movement. [See Ḥibat Tsiyon.]