BITTUL HA-TAMID (Heb. בִּטּוּל הַתָּמִיד; lit. "abolition of the daily offering"), interruption of prayers and of Torah reading in the synagogue (Heb. עִכּוּב הַקְּרִיאָה, ikkuv ha-keri'ah and, therefore, also called ikkuv ha-keri'ah ikkuv ha-tefillah, "delay the reading of the Torah," "delay the morning prayers") to seek redress of a wrong, mainly a judicial or moral one. This practice was prevalent mainly in the Middle Ages among Ashkenazi Jewry. The custom of interrupting public religious services was a form of protest and way of arousing public indignation afforded to an individual who felt that an injustice had been perpetrated upon him or her by the constituted authorities
Finkelstein, Middle Ages, index S.V. Interrupting the prayers; Baron, Community, index S.V. Interruptions of Prayers; I.A. Agus, Urban Civilization in Pre-Crusade Europe, 2 (1965), index; S. Assaf, Battei ha-Din ve-Sidreihem (1924), 25–29; H.H. Ben-Sasson, Perakim be-Toledot ha-Yehudim bi-Ymei ha-Beinayim (1962), 115–6.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.