Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


or Has·sid also Chas·sid  (KHä′sĭd, KHô′-, hä′-)
n. pl. Ha·si·dim or Has·si·dim also Chas·si·dim (KHä-sē′dĭm, KHô-, hä-)
A member of a Jewish mystic movement founded in the 18th century in eastern Europe by Baal Shem Tov that reacted against Talmudic learning and maintained that God's presence was in all of one's surroundings and that one should serve God in one's every deed and word.

[From Hebrew ḥāsîd, pious, from ḥāsad, to be kind; see ḥsd in Semitic roots.]

Ha·si′dic adj.
Ha·si′dism n.

Hasidism, Chasidism

1. the beliefs and practices of a mystical Jewish sect, founded in Poland about 1750, characterized by an emphasis on prayer, religious zeal, and joy.
2. the beliefs and practices of a pious sect founded in the 3rd century B.C. to resist Hellenizing tendencies and to promote strict observance of Jewish laws and rituals. Also Assideanism. — Hasidic, adj. — Hasidim, n. pi.
See also: Judaism
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Hasidism - a sect of Orthodox Jews that arose out of a pietistic movement originating in eastern Europe in the second half of the 18th century; a sect that follows the Mosaic law strictly
Jewish Orthodoxy, Orthodox Judaism - Jews who strictly observe the Mosaic law as interpreted in the Talmud
Chasid, Chassid, Hasid, Hassid - a member of a Jewish sect that observes a form of strict Orthodox Judaism
2.Hasidism - beliefs and practices of a sect of Orthodox Jews
Orthodox Judaism - beliefs and practices of a Judaic sect that strictly observes Mosaic law
Chabad Hasidism, Chabad - a form of Hasidism practiced by Lithuanian and Russian Jews under communist rule; the beliefs and practices of the Lubavitch movement
References in periodicals archive ?
To take a minor, but representative, example: the author writes that, according to Gershom Scholem, the internalism of Hasidism is a response to Sabbateanism.
What is most significant for our discussion is that Hasidism developed the belief, based on kabbalistic interpretation of classical texts, that the local leader, the tsaddik ("righteous one") or rebbe (Yiddish for rabbi), was more than just a teacher and legal authority, but had a special relationship with God that enabled him to serve as an intermediary, an intercessor for individuals or for the community.
The founder of Hasidism, the Baal Shem Toy, encapsulated the cognitive element of well-being in his statement, "If you want to know where the essence of a person is, look at his or her thoughts.
In its tendency to value divine worship in the mundane and the secular, Hasidism is affirmed by means of "equanimity" (histavut), "nullification of being," "devotion," "stripping away corporeality," "self-annihilation" (see Elior 16).
In my work in Hasidic Brooklyn, I have faced a constant dilemma over how to reconcile the vast historical literature on Hasidism in prewar Europe with my own longitudinal ethnography--that is, ethnography conducted over a period of years.
Martin Buber, The Way of Man: According to the Teaching of Hasidism (London/ New York: Routledge, 2002), 11.
Her father, Paul Levertoff, was descended from Shneour Zalman, a Russian founding father of the Habad branch of Hasidism.
Just as the rabbis had regrouped after the destruction of the Second Temple and adapted new forms of Jewish life during one of the people's darkest passages, so Zeitlin hoped to reinvigorate Hasidism as darkness thickened around Eastern European Jewry.
Second, the internalizing of the messianic event is represented by Hasidism after the failure of Sabbatai Zevi, who notably converted to Islam at the threat of death.
Thus for Hasidism and other Kabbalistic teachings, there is a higher spirituality, meaning that you have the base, fundamental materialism, the substance which is called "goof", and then there is a higher level which is today called, "roohaneeoot" from "ruah"--spirit.
Most nigunim are wordless and are sung by individuals or groups using vocables, which vary from community to community (the 18th-century founder of Hasidism, Yisroel ben Eliezer, or "the Baal Shem Tov," believed that melodies could transcend the spiritual limitations of language).
In a similar vein, Jesus was a prophetic critic within Judaism, not unique, which we have mentioned above and now illustrate both by Jeremiah and by the founder and first leader of Hasidism in Eastern Europe, the Ba'al Shem Tov (1700-1760, "master of the good name").