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Re: Hasidim

Chasidim were mentioned in 1Macc. 7:13

 CHASIDIM (ydysj), one of three Jewish sects, of which the other two were
the Hellenists and the Maccabeans, and from which were developed afterwards
other sects, such as the Pharisees, the Essenes, etc. The appellation
CHASIDIM or the singular HASID, the benevolent, the pious, is already used
in the Psalms to denote those of the Jewish community who were distinguished 
by their love to God and good will towards men. ...It was therefore natural
that when, in later days, the influences and practices of these heathen
nations who conquered Palestine had cooled the zeal of many in Israel in the 
cause of God, when multitudes grew lax in the observance of the law, and
when the religion of their fathers was in imminent danger, those who feared
the Lord should separate themselves more visibly from their Hellenizing
brethren, unite together by special ties to keep the ordinances and hedged
themselves in more securely by the voluntary imposition of works of
supererogation thus becoming an organized sect characterized by the special
name Chasidim in a peculiar and sectarian sense,  Asidaiwn (1Mac. 2:42).
That this old sect should first come before us so late as the time of Judas
Maccabaeus, and unite themselves so readily with him..., is owing to the
fact that they found in him an earnest defender of the ancient faith, for
the maintenance of which they were always ready to lay down their lives.     
 The essential principles of the Chasidim were as follows: - Most rigidly to 
observe all the ritual laws of purification - to meet together frequently
for devotion, carefully preparing themselves for it by ablutions, and
wearing their phylacteries longer than others - to seek diligently for
opportunities of offering sacrifices (Nedarim, 10, a), to impose upon
themselves voluntary great acts of self-denial and mortifications;... like
the priests they observed the Levitical purifications during the time of
their being Nazarites and sometimes longer.... some of them withdrew
together from general society, and devoted themselves entirely to
contemplation and to the study of the written and oral law, whilst others
continued to prosecute the affairs of the world, therefrom maintaining their 
brethren engaged in devotion,.... 

(The above passages are an excerpt from Kittos Cyclopaedia of Biblical
Literature Vol. I, p 475, edited by W.L. Alexander, D.D., printed in 1863)
NOTE: Please excuse the excessive use of copying such a document. But this
text was printed prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the
Cairo Genizah. In its naivete, this cyclopaedias passage holds a key to
unraveling the mysteries within the DSS. Plus, due to the nature of the
texts age, chances are slim that one will come across it to check up on my
reference to it. 

Lechem ben HaAri

AKA: Brad Harrison
Phila. Pa
BA MA Gratz College