Religion Past and Present

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(378 words)

[German Version]

The postbiblical Hebrew word maḥzor is derived from the root חזר/ḥzr, commonly used in Aramaic, meaning “return” or “repeat.” It occurs in the talmudic and midrashic literature in the sense of “cycle,” with particular reference to the solar and lunar cycles. In the post-talmudic period, it came to be used to refer to a cycle of Jewish religious texts as they were read in the course of the year. In the Cairo Genizah, it refers to a cycle of biblical readings or a collection of liturgical poems. In the oriental Jewish communities, the words maḥzor and siddur or seder were common…

Cite this page
Reif, Stefan C., “Maḥzor”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 06 June 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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