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Aramaic; literally, to cheer up, to make laugh. A professional merrymaker, dating back to the Middle Ages, whose duty was to entertain the guests at weddings. A badhan was a sort of poet who spontaneously made up and sang appropriate rhymes to suit the important persons he met at the wedding. One of the last badhanim to become well known was Eliakim Zunser (1836-1913). Many of Zunser’s lyrics were popular among Eastern European Jews.

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