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ḥasidei Ashkenaz

Ḥasidei Ashkenaz. 12th- and 13th-cent. movement within German Jewry. The Ḥasidei Ashkenaz, which was made up of many like-minded groups, originated in Regensberg and spread to Speyer, Worms, and Mainz, and then to the rest of Germany. It produced ethical works, such as Sefer Ḥasidim (Book of the Pious), and esoteric mystical works, such as Sefer Ḥayyim (Book of Life). Prominent leaders include Samuel b. Kalonymus he-Ḥasid (late 12th cent.). The movement was influenced by merkabah mysticism and by the works of Abraham ibn Ezra and Sa`adiah Gaon. It rejected all anthropomorphic descriptions of God and maintained that divine powers were immanent in all creation.

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Ashkenaz

Ashkenaz (ăsh´kēnăz´), eponym of a people perhaps localized in Armenia. He was grandson of Japheth. Gen. 10.3. Ashchenaz: 1 Chron. 1.6; Jer. 51.27. In modern times the term Ashkenazim refers to the German Jews as distinguished from the Sephardim, the Jews of Spain and Portugal. For the history of the Ashkenazim, see Jews.

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