Alternative Spellings

churban, hurban, khurban, churben, hurben, khurben, churbn, hurbn


  • "Destruction of the Temple" (Glinert)
  • Destruction, generally
  • the Holocaust

Example Sentences

  • "Some of the walls inside the old city show burn marks dating back to the Churban." (Glinert)
  • "Jewish life flourishes, our communal institutions are strong, Israel is a strong and growing state; the term churban seems out of place in our times." (
  • "The struggling world economy represents a time of transition for us like the Churban represented for the ancient Jewish communities at the turn of the First Century." (,3365)
  • "In Yiddish, khurbn is the word for “total destruction,” the word for what the English-speaking world calls the Jewish “Holocaust” of World War II." (
  • "How does your approach to teaching the khurbn in a Yiddish language class differ from teaching the Holocaust in a more general Jewish studies class? (if applicable)" (

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish, Modern Hebrew


Hebrew חורבן churban 'destruction', Yiddish khurbn. Generally refers to the Temple in Textual Hebrew, and the Holocaust in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish.

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


North America


The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

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