Skip to main content



KEẒAẒAH (Heb. קְצָצָה; "a severing of connections," lit. "cutting-off "), a technical term used in the Talmud for a ceremony, whereby a family severs its connection with one of its members who marries a person beneath his social rank (Ket. 28b), or when one sells part of his estate (tj, Kid. 1:5, 60c). In both of these instances the keẓaẓah acts as a kind of publicity for the act done. It would seem from the Jerusalem Talmud that the keẓaẓah was at one time a form of kinyan ("act of possession"), but even in early times it fell, as such, into disuse. The Talmud gives the following description of the keẓaẓah. "How is the keẓaẓah performed? If one of the brothers married a woman unsuitable for him, members of the family come and bring a barrel filled with fruit and break it in the town square, saying, 'O brethren of the House of Israel, give ear, our brother so-and-so has married an unsuitable woman and we are afraid lest his seed mingle with our seed. Come and take yourselves a sign for the generations [which are to come], that his seed mingle not with our seed'" (Ket. 28b). A similar keẓaẓah took place when the renegade divorced his unsuitable mate, or when the estate which had been sold was repurchased (tj,ibid.).


Freund, in: Festschrift A. Schwarz (1917), 179f.; Krauss, Tal Arch, 2 (1911), 33; 3 (1912), 188.

[Abraham Hirsch Rabinowitz]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Keẓaẓah." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 27 Aug. 2019 <>.

"Keẓaẓah." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (August 27, 2019).

"Keẓaẓah." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved August 27, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.