chazan

Alternative Spellings

hazzan, chazzan, khazan

Definitions

  • The official at a synagogue who leads the congregation in prayer and song. (JPS)

Example Sentences

  • "The hazzan began the prayer and the rest of the congregation joined in."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Heb חזן khazán, Yiddish חזן kházn

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

More often used by non-Orthodox Jews, as non-Orthodox synagogues are more likely to have a professional cantor.

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