Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(861 words)

A hillula (pl. hillulot) is the anniversary of the death of a Jewish saint, known in Hebrew as a ṣaddiq (righteous individual) or a qadosh (holy man). The term, which in Aramaic means “wedding,” is used especially in North African contexts. It is generally traced to the Zohar, where it is used in reference to the demise of Rabbi Simeon Bar Yoḥay and is interpreted as indicating the marriage of his soul with the Divine. As such, the hillula represents the enduring life of a saint’s soul rather than the mortal death of his or her body. Given Bar Yoḥay’s standing as the puta…

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Oren Kosansky, “Hillula”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0009860>
First published online: 2010

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