Chasan [ χazan ] (Hebrew חזן; Pl: Chasanim, fem Pl: Chasanot, Yiddish Chasn ) or cantor is called in a synagogue or Jewish community leader of the prayers.
The name Chasan goes back to the time of the Roman Empire and was initially for the representative of the Archisynagogos, that is, the head of a Jewish community used. This was an honorable task: In the Theodosian Code of 438 its owners were exempt from taxes, and Pope Gregory the Great confirmed this provision in the year 600 in purely musical range, in terms of a cantor, the Chasan is occupied from about the 9th century. The function of the leader of prayer in Jewish worship was transferred from father to son in the Middle Ages. At that time, had a Chasan also be able Pijjutim, ie Hymns to be written and set to music.
In rabbinic time of each community member could act as cantor. This applies in principle to the present; However, since the Jewish liturgy is very difficult and a beautiful voice is desired, this feature is developed in gaonischer time for independent profession.
Traditionally, great knowledge of the Jewish liturgy is required by Chasan addition to a good voice, but most of all ethical behavior and piety. In Germany about Jewish circles also known was the Berlin Kantor Estrongo Nachama.
Training centers are now mainly in the USA (New York ), Israel and the UK. In Germany now also cantors are trained in the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam. The first formed there Kantor was introduced in June 2009 in his office. In liberal communities and women ( Chasanot ) can occupy the Cantor office.