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>Can anyone compare and contrast the Chasidim
and how, or if, the latter might relate to the DSS sect?<
There is a very useful article in Enc.Jud., vol. 7, col. 1489ff, s.v. HAVER,
which indicates a possible ideological link between the Xaver of the Essenes
and the Xaver described in the Mishnah some 2-3 centuries later (both groups
(since both seem to have been involved in scrupulous tithing and purity laws,
and may have had similar rules for joining the group).
However, there would seem to be no connection between those Xaverim and the
better-known Xaverim of talmudic to medieval times, when the term *Xaver*
(not "Khaver", since it is spelled with Xet, not Khaf!) comes to mean member of
one of the talmudic academies - hence in a far different era unconnected with
the DSS times (just as the Xasidim of the DSS era have no known connection with
13th -century Xasidei Ashkenaz, nor the latter with 18th-century Xasidim).
The term Xaver comes from the root *x-b-r*, meaning to be be "joined" or "bound
cal sense of "Fellow of an Academy."
Later, Islam adapted the title Xaver, Arabicizing it as *Habr*.
(I use "H" here because the normal Arabic transliteration is *habr* with an
underdotted h, which I can't reproduce here).They used it in the general con-
notation of "a non-Muslim religious authority" (such as a rabbi or bishop),
and also to mean a learned man or scribe. Obviously the original referent
in Arabic was "a learned rabbi who is a member of a talmudic academy" (which
meant, in those days, either Sura or Pumbedita, which were geographically
and culturally quite close to Kufa and Basra (the sites of two early academies
of Islamic law founded about the 8th century). Basra is still on the map!
If a DSS refers to any individual as a Xaver, or to any group as Xaverim
(here I plead ignorance, but surely a DSS expert will inform us), this may
well have connoted an "associate" or member of the sect, and may *possibly*
have been connected with the Essenes (and later with the *Xaverim* discussed
in the EncJud article cited above (and see mishnaic refs., e.g. M. Demai 2:3,
to the Xaver as someone meticulous about the purity laws).
Judith Romney Wegner