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HEDYOṬ (= 'Iδιότμς):

Term used in Mishnah, Talmud, and Midrash to designate a private person, a commoner, not belonging to the class of kings, priests, officers, etc. (e.g., Sanh. 90a, "three kings and four hedyoṭot"); also an ignorant man; one of low character; an uncultured, ill-mannered individual ("ha-hedyoṭ ḳofeẓ be-rosh"). "The lowest man rushes ahead" and gives his opinion first in the presence of prominent men (Meg. 12b). "Hedyoṭ" is used as opposed to "sons of kings" (Num. R. viii. 4); of man as opposed to God (ib.; Ḳid. 28b); of a common priest as distinguished from a high priest (Yeb. 59a); of a Samaritan as opposed to an Israelite (Sanh. 21b); of an untrained as opposed to a skilled worker (M. Ḳ. 10a); "leshon hedyoṭ" (vulgar or popular parlance) is spoken of in contradistinction to the language of the learned (B. M. 104a); "meshal hedyoṭ" (a proverb or popular saying) occurs frequently in the Midrash; "shiṭre hedyoṭ" (private writings, letters, or documents) are opposed to Biblical books (Shab. 116b); "parah hedyoṭit" means a cow of common stock, not trained for plowing (Ruth R. i. 19).

Bibliography:
  • Jastrow, Dict. i. 333;
  • Levy, Neuhebr. Wörterb. i. 453;
  • Bacher, Aus dem Wörterbuche Tanchum Jeruschalmis, Hebrew part, p. 26.
D. S. Man.
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