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Zekhut
(6,754 words)

In classical Judaism zekhut —“the heritage of supererogatory virtue and its consequent entitlements”—stands for the empowerment, of a supernatural character, that derives from the virtue of one's ancestry or from one's own virtuous deeds, specifically, those not commanded but impelled by utter generosity of the heart, done without hope let alone prospect of recompense and without pressure of any kind. No single word in English bears the same meaning, nor is there a synonym for zekhut in the canonical writings, only the antonym, which is sin. Sin represents an act of rebellion, zekhut ,…

Cite this page
Neusner, Jacob, “Zekhut”, in: Encyclopaedia of Judaism. Consulted online on 22 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-9029_EJ_SIM_0005>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004141001, 20040701



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