The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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HEḲDESH (Bet Heḳdesh la-'Aniyim: lit. "house consecrated to the needy"):

Hebrew name for an asylum or a hospital; found in many medieval Jewish documents (see Charity; Jew. Encyc. v. 71, s.v. Egypt; and comp. Bédarride, "Les Juifs en France," p. 137). Its origin goes back to pre-Christian times (see Kohler in "Berliner Festschrift," 1903, p. 201; Isaac Lampronti in "Paḥad Yiẓḥaḳ," s.v. and ). See Hospital.

A. K.
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