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(311 words)

[German Version]

The term zaddiq (קידְּצַ/ṣaddîq; “Righteous”) is in most cases a vague, general title associating with religious devotion and leadership. It indicates social involvement and ethical perfection beyond the strict demands of the Halakhah and prominent position in the religious community. The verse in Pro 10:25 gave this term a cosmic meaning: the zaddiq is the foundation of the universe (axis mundi). The legends of the 36 zaddiqim who are the justification of the world’s existence developed from this concept.

In the Kabbalah, the term was used to indicate the ni…

Cite this page
Dan, Joseph, “Zaddiq”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 06 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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