> Also:   Assideans (anc. sect);  Hasideans (rel. sect. 4/3 cent., Er. Isr.);  Hasidim 
>(rel. sect. 4/3 cent., Er. Isr.)

> HASSIDEANS (Assideans; Greek form of Hebrew Hasidim; "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 (175164 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 Hasidim 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 Hassideans. The passages 
>speak of the efforts of the Hassideans to observe the Law, their persecutions by 
>their adversaries, and their struggles against their enemies. References to Hasidim 
>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 Hasidim, 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.
> [Menahem Mansoor]
> 

-- 
Be-ahavah oo-ve-shalom oo-ve-emet, Ethel Jean Saltz
Mac(hiavelli)-Niet(zsche)-Spin(oza)-Gal(ileo), 392 A.G. (after Galileo)
mailto: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For private reply, e-mail to ethel jean saltz <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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