ḤABBAR, ḤABBAREI , persecutors of the Jews in Babylon, mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud. They created hardships for Jews, forbidding them to light lamps on their (the Ḥabbareis') festive days (Shab. 45a; Git. 17a), to perform burials and slaughter of animals (Yev. 63b) in accordance with Jewish law, and interfering with the proper observance of the festivals by the Jews (Beẓah 6a; see Rashiibid.). The rise of the Ḥabbarei in Babylon may be established as occurring between the death of R. Ḥiyya the Great and that of Rabbah Bar Bar Ḥana, i.e., at the end of the first quarter of the third century c.e. (Yev. 63b). It is possible that the Ḥabbarei were Zoroastrian priests, fire worshipers, whose influence increased in Babylon in the course of that century after the rise to power of the Sassanid dynasty.
Kohut, Arukh, 3 (1926), 339f.; S. Krauss, Tosefot Arukh ha-Shalem (1937), 178f.; J. Obermeyer, Landschaft Babylonien (1929), 262f.