KEẒAẒAH (Heb. קְצָצָה; "a severing of connections," lit. "cutting-off "), a technical term used in the Talmud for a ceremony, whereby a family severs its connection with one of its members who marries a person beneath his social rank (Ket. 28b), or when one sells part of his estate (TJ, Kid. 1:5, 60c). In both of these instances the keẓaẓah acts as a kind of publicity for the act done. It would seem from the Jerusalem Talmud that the keẓaẓah was at one time a form of kinyan ("act of possession"), but even in early times it fell, as such, into disuse. The Talmud gives the following description of the keẓaẓah. "How is the keẓaẓah performed? If one of the brothers married a woman unsuitable for him, members of the family come and bring a barrel filled with fruit and break it in the town square, saying, 'O brethren of the House of Israel, give ear, our brother so-and-so has married an unsuitable woman and we are afraid lest his seed mingle with our seed. Come and take yourselves a sign for the generations (which are to come), that his seed mingle not with our seed'" (Ket. 28b). A similar keẓaẓah took place when the renegade divorced his unsuitable mate, or when the estate which had been sold was repurchased (TJ, ibid.). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Freund, in: Festschrift A. Schwarz (1917), 179f.; Krauss, Tal Arch, 2 (1911), 33; 3 (1912), 188. (Abraham Hirsch Rabinowitz)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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