ḤAZAK (Heb. חֲזַק; "be strong"), a salutation of well-wishing based on Moses' address to Joshua "Be strong and of good courage" (Deut. 31:7; 31:23; cf. II Sam. 10:12; Haggai 2:4). A fuller version, Ḥazak, ḥazak venitḥazzak ("Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened"), is recited at the Torah reading in the synagogue when one of the five books of the Pentateuch is completed (Isserles to Sh. Ar., OḤ 139:11). In the Sephardi ritual, the person who returns to his seat after having been called up to the Reading of the torah is greeted by his neighbors with Ḥazak u-varukh ("Be strong and blessed"); he replies Barukh tihyeh ("Be blessed"), or Kulkhem berukhim ("Be you all blessed"). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Eisenstein, Dinim, 129.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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