Definition of chacham in US English:


(also haham)


  • A spiritual leader among Sephardic Jews, or, more generally, a person learned in Jewish law.

    • ‘This wonderful essay gave me the true meaning of being a talmid chacham.’
    • ‘In addition, the Jewish driver brought the talmid chacham directly to the location of the meeting.’
    • ‘Given all my father and his friends appeared to have invested in my activities, my creeping sense of doubt about my own personal motivations for being such a chacham or know it all when it came to matters of killing started to trouble me.’
    • ‘And, I believe, with the proper talmid chacham to help one, how could one not be excited to drink their words with thirst?’
    • ‘The chacham asks about the details, and our scripted reply is to talk about these specific legalities.’
    • ‘He and others also note the special role of the chacham in the process of hatarat nedarim to justify this emphasis.’
    • ‘Now, to understand why I was shocked, you first need to understand how big of a talmid chacham Rav Nevenzhal is, and to understand why he sat in the back, you need to understand how anav, modest, this man is.’
    • ‘Someone who is in awe of talmidei chachamim will himself become a talmid chacham.’


From Hebrew ḥāḵām ‘wise’.