Sixth month of Hebrew civil calendar: February-March.
Afikoman (al. Afikomen)
- This word, from the Greek meaning "after-dish," refers to the last
morsel eaten at the seder--half of the central matzah broken off and put
away at the beginning of the meal...Greek word meaning that which comes
after. It is represented in a broken piece of matzah wrapped in linen and
buried (hidden)...A Greek word meaning "dessert." This piece of the
ceremonial matzah is the final thing eaten at the Passover seder meal.
Aggadah (al. Agada, Agadah)
pl. Agadot - stories, parables.
Agunah - A woman whose
husband had disappeared, and who could not remarry without witnesses to his
Akedah (al. Akeida) -
Binding an animal for sacrifice; specifically, Abraham's binding of Isaac
for sacrifice to G-d--not consummated...The binding of the sacrifice.
Al Chet - Literally:
for the sin; an important Yom Kippur prayer listing sins for which we beg
Al Hanisim (al. Ha-nissim)
- thanksgiving for the miracles added to prayer and grace after the meal on
the festivals of Hanukah and Purim.
Al Mikrah Megillah -
the blessing before the reading of the Megillah.
Al Netilat Yadayim -
the blessing over the washing of hands before the meal.
Alenu Leshabe'ach - a
prayer of thanksgiving for being separated from the heathens.
Aliyah pl. Aliyot -
Literally: going up. To "have an aliyah" refers to the honor of being called
up to the bimah to recite or chant the blessings over the Torah. To "make
aliyah" or "go on aliyah" means to immigrate to Israel.
Am haaretz -
peasantry. Used by the Talmud and thereafter to mean ignorant....people of
Amidah - standing
prayer, quietly murmured, that is part of each daily service, alternatively
called the Tefillah or the Shemoneh Esre...a prayer, recited
silently, thrice daily, while standing up, the prayer of the eighteen
benedictions. Amora pl. Amoraim - Speaker, interpreter; expounder of
Talmudic (Mishnaic) law from compilation of Mishnah to redaction of
entire Talmud, in Babylon (where the amoraim were known as Mar or Rav)
and in Palestine (where they were designated Rabbi). Their discussions and
teachings, 220-550, form the Gemara, lengthier sections of the Talmud that
follow each Mishnah.
Anenu - a passage
added to prayer on public fast days.
Ani Ma'amin -
Literally: I believe; often sung at the seder and at Yom Hashoah observances
in memory of Holocaust victims who sang this song of faith on their way to
Anshei K'neset Hagdolah
- Sages of the Great Synod during the first part of the Second Sanctuary
Apocalyptic - Ideas
and teachings pertaining to the revelation (apocalypse) of the last days and
the end of the world.
Apocrypha - A Greek
adjective in the neuter plural (from apokruphos, “hidden, concealed”)
denotes strictly “things concealed.” Old Testament Apocrypha, specifically
the fourteen books written after the Old Testament canon was closed and
which, being the least remote from the canonical books, laid strongest claim
to canonicity...The body of Jewish literature written between the second
century B.C. and the second century A.D., not included in the canon of the
Apostate - One whose
actions are not consistent with the standards of behavior set by his
Aravah pl. Aravot -
willow branch taken as one of the four species on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Arba'ah Minim (al. the
Four Species) - Palm, myrtle, willow and citron; another name for the
lulav and etrog together, used on Sukkot.
Aron Hakodesh -
Literally: the Holy Ark; the special cabinet in which the Torah scrolls are
kept in the synagogue; the Holy Ark is called Heichal in Sephardic
Aseret Yemei Teshuvah
- the ten days of penitence.
Asham - A guilt
offering made by one who has sinned against his fellow man.
Ashkenazi pl. Ashkenazim
- Referring to Jews of Central and Eastern European origin.
Ashrey - Psalm 145
recited thrice daily.
Atah Chonantanu - a
passage added to the evening prayer after the Sabbath to note the difference
between the Sacred and the non-Sacred.
Athid Lavo - The
Atzeret - Conclusion;
used for concluding observance of festival; word derived from "gathering" or
"detention," original meanings. Shemini Atzeret is concluding day of
Sukkoth; Atzeret is Talmudic term for Shavuot, conclusion of Omer count...A
festive gathering for the conclusion of a festive season, a concluding
Aufruf - Calling up of
the bridegroom or bridal couple for the Torah blessings on the Shabbat
preceding their wedding.
Av - Eleventh month of
Av Beit Din (al. Bayt,
Bet) - Father of the court--judicial president in Talmudic era, and
Av Harachamim - a
prayer for the persecuted communities.
Avelut - third period
of mourning; the first year after death.
Avinu Malkenu -
Literally: our Father, our King; a prayer of supplication recited on Yom
Kippur...a prayer said on the Days of Penitence and fast days.
Avodah (al. Abodah) -
Service--specifically, the sacrificial Temple service as performed by high
priest; today, referring to Yom Kippur observance and other synagogue
rituals. Chasidic concept of life dedicated to G-d.
Azarah pl. Azarot -
the Temple Courtyard. Ezrat Nashim - the outer Courtyard in the
Azazel - Meaning
unknown; Talmud thus denotes the mountain on which scapegoat is sent, to
carry people's sins into the wilderness, on Yom Kippur.
Azharot - a passage on
the commandments in the Torah read on Shavuot.
Badeken - Traditional
formal veiling of the bride by the groom before the wedding ceremony.
Bamah pl. Bamot - an
improvised altar, outside the Sanctuary.
Bar Kokhba (al. Kochba)
- Leader of a Jewish revolt (132-135) against Hadrian.
Bar / Bat (al. Bas)
Mitzvah - Literally: son / daughter of the commandment; ceremony marking
a youngster's reaching the age of religious majority, traditionally thirteen
for boys and twelve for girls; in many congregations, thirteen for girls as
Baraita’ - An Aramaic
term for a statement of law, historical or aggadic tradition which is
attributed to the tannaitic period but which is not contained in the Mishnah.
Barchu - call upon the
congregation to bless G-d.
Barech - grace...the
part of the Seder when the grace after the meal is recited.
Baruch Dayan Ha'emet -
a blessing of acceptance of G-d's judgments.
Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo
- a phrase of blessing of G-d's Name upon hearing it uttered.
Basar - #1319. basar,
baw-sar'; a prim. root; prop. to be fresh, i.e. full (rosy, fig. cheerful);
to announce (glad news):--messenger, preach, publish, shew forth, (bear,
bring, carry, preach, good, tell good) tidings....Good news (same as
Bat Kol - an "echo" of
a Divine Voice.
Batlanim - male
householders who had leisure to give themselves to regular attendance.
Bedikat Chametz -
Search for leaven before Passover...casting out the leaven.
Beha'alotcha - a
portion in the Book of Numbers.
Bein Hametzarim - the
period between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av, "Between the
Beinoni pl. Beinonim -
of median piety.
Beit Din (al. Bayt, Bet)
- "House of Judgment [Law]" Jewish court employing religious and Talmudic
Beit haMikdash (al. Bayt,
Bet) - House of Sanctity; synagogue...The sanctuary or Temple in
Beit haShoevah (al. Bayt,
Bet) - The House of the Waterpouring.
Beit Midrash (al. Bayt,
Bet) pl. Batey Midrashot - Houses of Study.
Berachah (al. Brachah) pl.
Berachot (al. pl. Brachot, Birchot) - a blessing, benediction.
Berachot Hashachar (al.
Birchot, Brachot) - the blessings of awakening recited each morning.
Berit, B'ris -
Literally: covenant; refers to the covenant between G-d and Abraham and his
Berit Milah - often
referred to simply as b'ris.
Beshalach - a portion
in the Book of Exodus.
Betzah - roasted egg,
a symbol for the second sacrifice of Passover.
Beyn - #996. beyn,
bane (sometimes in the plur. masc. or fem.); prop. the constr. contr. form
of an otherwise unused noun from H995; a distinction; but used only as a
prep., between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also
as a conj., either . . . or:--among, asunder, at, between (-twixt . . .
and), + from (the widest), X in, out of, whether (it be . . . or), within.
Bikkur - examining or
Bikkur Cholim (al. Holim)
- Visiting the sick--a pious duty, carried out in the past by Chevra Kadisha.
Bikkurim (al. Bikurim)
- the Offering of the First Fruit.
Bimah - The raised
platform in the synagogue from which the Torah is read and from which
worship services are usually conducted; the platform is called tevah in
Sephardic synagogues...Reader's stand in synagogue.
Birkat Hachodesh - the
blessing of the New Moon.
Birkat haMazon -
Benediction over food; grace after meals.
Birkat HaMinim - 90 CE
Bitul Torah - the
neglect of the study of the Torah.
Bi'ur Ma'asrot - the
disposal of tithes.
Bo - a portion in the
Book of Exodus.
Boethuseans - A
religious party of the first century composed of wealthy and influential
members of the priesthood, similar in doctrine with the Sadducees.
Boneh Yerushalayim -
the blessing over the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
Bore Nefashot - a
short blessing after the eating of food that does not require Birkat Hamazon.
Bore Peri Ha'etz - the
blessing over fruit of the tree.
C.E. - Common Era
(same as A.D.).
Ceruvim - the Cherubim
in the Sanctuary.
Chag Habikkurim (al.
Habikurim) - Literally: Festival of the First Fruits; another name for
Chag Haggeulah -
festival of redemption.
Chag Sameach -
Literally: a joyous holiday; greeting used on the festivals.
Chai - Literally:
life. When Jews drink, they wish each other Lechayim (to life).
Chalitzah - This
Biblical ceremony, to absolve a man of marrying his childless brother's
widow, means "removal." The widow removes his shoe and publicly spits upon
Challah (al. Chalah) pl.
chalot - Egg bread eaten on Shabbat and festivals; the challah used on
Rosh haShanah is round, often containing raisins, symbolizing a sweet year,
distinguishing it from the Shabbat challah that is braided...the kohen's
share in the dough...White braided Sabbath bread; name of the dough tithed
from bread baking.
Chametz (al. Chamets)
- Food prepared with leaven, by extension referring to all foods and
utensils forbidden on Passover...Leavened bread and anything made with
wheat, rye, barley, oats, or spelt, which has not been supervised to ensure
that it has not leavened; refers to prohibited foods during Pesach.
Chanukat Habayit -
Literally: dedication of the home; the ceremony affixing the mezuzah.
Eight-branched candelabrum, with a place for a ninth candle (shamash) that
light the others, especially designed for Hanukah.
Charoset - A mixture
of fruits, nuts, and wine; one of the symbolic Passover foods. Its color and
consistency are reminders of the bricks and mortar used by the Israelite
Ultra-Orthodox followers of the eighteenth-century leader, Rabbi Israel, the
Ba'al Shem Tov.
Chatan - Bridegroom.
Chatan Bereshit -
Literally: bridegroom of Genesis; the man called to recite or chant the
blessings over the first section of the Torah on Simchat Torah.
Chatan Torah -
Literally: bridegroom of the torah; the man called to recite or chant the
blessings over the final section of the Torah on Simchat Torah.
Chatat (al. Hataat) -
Sin offering in Temple...A sin offering made by one who has sinned against
Chavurah (al. Chaburah,
Havra'ah) pl. Chavurot - a group of "subscribers" convened for the
purpose of offering the Pesach Sacrifice and eating of its meat...Informal
group, which meets together for Jewish study and celebration.
Chazan (al. Hazzan) -
the cantor, the leader in prayer.
Chazan Hakkeneset (al.
Hazzan) - synagogue employee.
Chazarat Hashatz -
repetition of the amidah prayer by the cantor aloud after it was recited by
Cheder - Old-fashioned
term for Hebrew school....Chamber.
Cheshvan (Bul) -
Second month of Jewish year.
Chet - Literally:
missing the mark; one of the Hebrew terms translated as sin. Chevrah Kadisha
- Group of people entrusted with the mitzvah of preparing a body for burial.
Chokmah - #2451.
chokmah, khok-maw'; from H2449; wisdom (in a good sense):--skillful, wisdom,
Chol - non-sacred.
Chol Hamoed - Ordinary
part of the festival--days in the middle of Pesach or Sukkot when work is
allowed...weekdays of the Festival.
Chukat - a portion in
the Book of Numbers.
Chumash pl. Chumashim
- one of the Five Books of the Torah.
Chuppah (al. Chupah,
Huppah) - Canopy under which pair stand at wedding ceremony, symbol of
home to be established...Canopy which represents the honeymoon chamber.
Ceremony marking the completion of the religious school course of study,
often held on Shavuot.
Ceremony marking the beginning of a child's formal Jewish education, often
held on Simchat Torah.
Da'ath - #1847. da'ath,
dah'-ath; from H3045; knowledge:--cunning, [ig-] norantly, know(-ledge),
[un-] awares (wittingly).
Darash - #1875. darash,
daw-rash'; a prim. root; prop. to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for
pursuit or search); by impl. to seek or ask; spec. to worship:--ask, X at
all, care for, X diligently, inquire, make inquisition, [necro-] mancer,
question, require, search, seek [for, out], X surely.
Daven - The Yiddish
word meaning "pray."
Dayenu - Literally: It
would have been enough for us; name of a popular seder song.
Defilement - ritual
Devar Torah -
Literally: a word of Torah; follows the Torah reading in a worship service,
taking the form of a sermon, talk, explication, story, discussion, or
Diaspora - Jewish
communities outside of Israel.
Dibre HaYamin - the
events of the days.
Din pl. Dinim -
Duchan - the stand in
front of the ark in the synagogue from which the kohanim bless the
Eglah Arufah - "the
heifer-of-the-broken-neck" prescribed in case of an unsolved murder.
Ein Kelohenu - "There
is no simile of our L-rd..." a passage recited after the morning prayer.
El Erech Apaim - a
prayer mentioning the thirteen Divine Attributes.
El Malei Rachamim -
Literally: G-d, full of compassion; memorial prayer.
Elohim - G-d.
Elokai Netzor - a
passage of personal requests recited upon the conclusions of the silent
Elul - Twelfth month
of Jewish year....prior to R-H.
Emor - a portion in
the Book of Leviticus.
Emunah - faith.
Episkopos - #1985.
episkopos, ep-is'-kop-os; from G1909 and G4649 (in the sense of G1983); a
superintendent, i.e. Chr. officer in gen. charge of a (or the) church (lit.
or fig.):--bishop, overseer.
Episunagoge - #1997.
episunagoge, ep-ee-soon-ag-o-gay'; from G1996; a complete collection; spec.
a Chr. meeting (for worship):--assembling (gathering) together.
Ereb - #6153. 'ereb,
eh'-reb; from H6150; dusk:-- + day, even (-ing, tide), night. (al. Erev)
the day before, the eve of.
Erusin - In ancient
times, the formal engagement ceremony before marriage.
Eruv - an act of legal
"mixing", the means of "mixing".
Eruv Chatzerot - an
act of legal "mixing" to enable transferring from one "private domain" to
another on Sabbath.
Eruv Tavshilin - an
act of "mixing" the cooked food prepared for a festival and the Sabbath next
to it in order to enable cooking and baking on the festival for the Sabbath.
Etrog - Citron fruit;
with the lulav, it is the symbol of Sukkot...citron fruit taken as one of
the four species on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Eusebes - #2152.
eusebes, yoo-seb-ace'; from G2095 and G4576; well-reverent, i.e.
Even Shetiyah - the
Foundation Stone in the Sanctuary.
Ezrat Nashim - the
outer Courtyard in the Sanctuary. Azarah pl. Azarot - the Temple
Fleishig - Foods
derived from meat or meat products.
Gabai pl. Gaba'im -
the leader of the Synagogue.
Gan Eden - The Garden
Gaon pl. Ge'onim -
(Excellency) Reverential title of heads of Talmudic academies of Sura and
Pumbedita, Babylonia. Rabbi Elijah of Wilna was accorded that title in the
eighteenth century...the head of a Torah Center in Babylonia in the
Gehinnom (al. Gehinom)
- Literally: Valley of Hinnom; a temporary place of punishment in the
Gelt - Yiddish term
for money; traditionally given as a Hanukah gift and used for the dreidel
Gemar Chatimah Tovah -
Literally: May the final sealing be good; traditional greeting from the end
of Rosh haShanah through Yom Kippur.
Gemara - Collection of
legal and ethical discussions of the rabbis of the third through the fifth
centuries, edited about 500 CE; together with the Mishnah forms the Talmud.
Gematria - Finding
meanings in the numerical value of Hebrew letters and words.
Ger - #1616. ger, gare;
from H1481; prop. a guest; by impl. a foreigner:--alien, sojourner,
stranger...Gioret pl. gerim - The masculine and feminine forms of the
Hebrew term for convert.
Ger Sheker - Proselyte
who declares full conversion for ulterior motives.
Ger Toshav - Proselyte
who accepts monotheism and the Noahide laws, and who receives courtesies and
Ger Tzedek - Full
convert of true conviction, in all respects to be considered a Jew.
Gerut - The process of
Get - Religious
divorce; the word is used to refer to a Jewish bill of divorcement.
Gevurot Geshamim -
"the Power of Rain", a Praise to G-d for the revelation of His powers in
Nature, added to the silent prayer.
Gezerah - Laws or
traditions added by the Pharisees as fences around the existing Law in an
attempt to prevent it from being broken.
God (names) -
Adonai, Elohim, El Shaddai, YHVH, Hakadosh Baruch Hu, Ribono shel Olam,
Harachaman, Avinu Shebashamayim.
Go'el - Redeemer.
Go'el Israel - "The
Redeemer of Israel", one of the eighteen benedictions of the Amidah prayer.
Goyim - foreigner.
Grogger (al. Greegers,
Graggers) - Noisemaker used to drown out Haman's name during the reading
of the Megillah on Purim.
Ha Melech - The king.
Ha'azinu, the song of.
A portion of Deuteronomy.
Haben - The son.
Hadas - a myrtle
branch taken as one of the four species on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Haftorah (al. Haftarah)
pl. Haftarot - Selection from the Prophets read or chanted after the
weekly Torah portion during the synagogue service on Sabbath and holidays.
Hag haMatzah - The
Festival of Unleavened Bread.
Hagadol - The great.
Hagah - #1897. hagah,
haw-gaw'; a prim. root [comp. H1901]; to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by
impl. to ponder:--imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, X sore, speak,
study, talk, utter.
Hagbalah - Days of
Haggadah (al. Hagadah,
Agada, Agadah, Aggadah) pl. Haggadot - A general Hebrew term for
utterance, applied specifically to the nonlegal portion of rabbinic
literature. It is also the title of the text recited at the festive meal (seder)
on the first two nights of Passover...Literally: telling; book in which the
Passover story is retold and the seder ritual is outlined...the tale of the
Exodus from Egypt as read at the Seder Night.
Hagigah (al. Chagigah)
- a sacrifice offered on the eve of Pilgrim Festivals.
Hagomel - A blessing
of thanksgiving for deliverance from perils.
Hakafah pl. Hakafot -
The carrying of the Torah scrolls in a procession around the sanctuary...the
circling of the Altar in the Sanctuary or the Bimah in the Synagogue.
assemble-ceremony of reading parts of Torah every seventh Sukkot.
Halakhah (al. Halachah,
Chalakah) - The way one goes; the word for law, or for the purely legal
and regulatory portions of the Talmud, and of all Jewish lore...Jewish law.
Halakhah Lemoshe Misinai
(al. Halachah, Chalakah) - a Law given to Moses on Sinai and not written
explicitly in the Torah.
Hallel (al. Halel) -
Special psalms of praise, recited or sung on the festivals....Psalms 113 -
Hamantashen - Filled
three-cornered pastries supposed to represent Haman's hat, traditionally
eaten on Purim.
Hamavdil - the
blessing of Havdalah.
Hanukah (al. Chanukah)-
Literally: dedication; name of the winter holiday commemorating the
Maccabean victory over the Syrians in 165 BCE.
Haptomai - #680.
haptomai, hap'-tom-ahee; reflex. of G681; prop. to attach oneself to, i.e.
to touch (in many implied relations):--touch.
Harpazo- #726. harpazo,
har-pad'-zo; from a der. of G138; to seize (in arious applications):--catch
(away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).
HaSatan - The
Adversary (same as Satan).
Hatafat Dam Berit -
Taking a single drop of blood from the penis as a sign f the covenant,
necessary in the conversion of an adult male already circumcised.
Hatarat Nedarim - the
repeal of vows.
Hatikva - The hope.
Hatov Vehametive- the
fourth blessing of Birkat haMazon -- "He Who is ood and bestows goodness..".
Havdalah - Literally:
separation; ceremony that marks the end of the Sabbath and the beginning of
the week...the blessing over wine to mark the difference between the Sabbath
and the weekdays.
Hayom Harat Olam -
verses recited during the Rosh haShanah mussaf prayer.
Hechag - Literally:
the holiday; one of the names for Sukkot.
Hechal - Hall of the
Heretic - One whose
beliefs do not accord with those of the established religion to which he
Hester Panim - the
withdrawal of Divine Favor.
Heter - permission,
Heter Iska -
"transaction permit" allowing a money lender to take interest by making him
a partner of the borrower sharing his profits.
High Holy Days - A ten
day period from Rosh haShanah to Yom Kippur.
Hillel - The most
prominent Jewish teacher of the first century (30 BCE - 10 CE).
Hilula - a celebration
Holy of Holies - most
Holy inner part of the Sanctuary.
Homiletic - The art of
preaching or public persuasion.
Hoshanah - Chant of
"Save us, L-rd." said while carrying Torah in procession.
Hoshana Rabbah (al.
Hoshanah Raba) - the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Ishtar - Fertility
Isru Chag - the day
following a festival.
Itro - a portion in
the Book of Exodus.
Iyar (Zif] - Eighth
month of Jewish year.
Jubilee - Every
fiftieth year, land lies fallow and land ownership is totally redistributed
into equal family shares.
Kabbalat Ol Mitzvot -
Literally: the acceptance of the yoke of the commandments; a convert's
agreement to lead a Jewish life.
Kabbalat Shabbat -
Psalms, readings and songs welcoming the Sabbath; the introductory portion
of the Sabbath eve service.
Kabod (al. kabowd) -
#3519. kabowd, kaw-bode'; rarely kabod, kaw-bode'; from H3513; prop. weight;
but only fig. in a good sense, splendor or copiousness:--glorious (-ly),
glory, honour (-able). (al. Kavod)
Kaddish (al. Kadish)-
Prayer praising G-d. This prayer is chanted at several points in a service.
In addition, it is recited at least once at each service in memory of those
who have died...Prayer of sanctification of G-d's name.
Kalat Bereshit -
Literally: bride of Genesis; the woman called to recite or chant the
blessings over the first section of the Torah on Simchat Torah.
Kallah (al. Kalah) pl.
Kallot - Bride...Conclave or retreat.
Kaparah pl. Kaparot (al.
pl. Kapparot) - expiation...Ceremony of transferring sinfulness to a
scapegoat just before Yom Kippur.
Kaporet - the covering
over the Holy Ark in the Sanctuary.
K'arah - Passover
Karath - #3772. karath,
kaw-rath'; a prim. root; to cut (off, down or asunder); by impl. to destroy
or consume; spec. to covenant (i.e. make an alliance or bargain, orig. by
cutting flesh and passing between the pieces):--be chewed, be con- [feder-]
ate, covenant, cut (down, off), destroy, fail, feller, be freed, hew (down),
make a league ([covenant]), X lose, perish, X utterly, X want ... (al. Karet)
- "Being cut off" from the people; Biblical punishment which might become
capital or consist of early natural death.
Karpas - A green herb
like parsley or a green vegetable such as celery or watercress, symbolizing
spring; one of the symbolic foods used on the seder plate.
Kashrut - Jewish
Katatome - #2699.
katatome, kat-at-om-ay'; from a comp. of G2596 and temno (to cut); a cutting
down (off), i.e. mutilation (ironically):--concision. Comp. G609.
Kavanah - Literally:
intentionality; referring to the spiritual attitude with which we approach
Kedushah - (Holiness)
When the reader or cantor repeats the Amidah (standing prayer), the
congregation rises for this antiphonal chant of a doxology from Bible verses
proclaiming oneness and sanctity of the L-rd...prayer of sanctification of
G-d's Name added to the third benediction of the amidah prayer.
Kedushat Hayom - the
benediction concerning the "sanctity of the day" included in the amidah
prayers on Sabbaths and Festivals.
Kehunah, Kehunah Gedolah
- Priesthood in the Sanctuary, High Priesthood.
Ken Ayin Hara (Yiddish,
Kinna Hurra) - Literally: May there be no evil eye. Keriah - Tearing of
a garment or a symbolic black ribbon as an expression of grief in
conjunction with a death.
Ketiva Vachatima Tovah
- wishes of "good inscription" on Rosh haShanah.
Ketoret - incense
offered in the Sanctuary.
Ketubah (al. Kethubhoth)
pl. Ketubot - (Writing) Traditional marriage contract, detailing duties
of wife and husband, and providing money penalties for divorcement of
wife...A second marriage contract.
Ketuvim - Literally:
the Writings; third section of the Bible.
Ketz - End of Days.
Kevah - Literally:
fixed; referring to the fixed order of Jewish liturgy.
Kevod Hamet (al. Kebod)
- Honor due to the dead.
Ki Tetze - a portion
in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Ki Tisa - a portion in
the Book of Exodus.
Kiddush (al. Kidush) -
Blessing recited or chanted over wine on Shabbat or festivals emphasizing
their holiness....pour out first cup of wine / blessing of
sanctification...by extension, a light meal after the wine.
Kiddush Hachodesh (al.
Kidush) - the sanctification of the New Moon.
Kiddush Levanah (al.
Kidush) - the blessing of sanctification over the monthly renewal of the
Kiddushin (al. Qiddushin,
Kedushin) - Literally: holiness; refers both to the wedding ceremony and
to the state of matrimony.
Kinah pl. Kinot -
(Lamentation) Elegy in poetic (piyyut) structure recited on Jewish days of
Kipah - The Hebrew
term for skullcap; the Yiddish term is yarmulke.
Kislev - Third month
of Jewish year.
Kittel (al. Kitel) -
White garment that is part of traditional Jewish burial clothes; worn by
some worshipers on Yom Kippur as a reminder of mortality and a symbol of
purity, and by some officiants at Rosh haShanah services and at the Passover
Seder. Also worn by some grooms at their wedding.
Klaf - Hand-written
scroll placed in a mezuzah, containing Deuteronomy 6:4-9; ll:13-21.
Kodashim Kalim -
sacrifices of minor sanctity.
Kodesh - Literally:
Kodesh hakodhashim -
room behind Holy Place. also hakodesh - the Holy Place.
Kohelet - the Scroll
Kohen (al. Cohen) pl.
Kohanim (al. pl. Cohanim) - Descendant of the ancient priestly class,
the progeny of Aaron...a priest.
Kohen haGadol (al. Cohen
haGadol, Cohen Gadol] - The High Priest.
Kol Nidrei (al. Nidrey)
- Literally: al vows; prayer that begins the Yom Kippur eve service; the
entire service is often called the Kol Nidrei service...a prayer and
announcement of repeal of vows recited upon the advent of the Day of
Korech - matzah and
bitter herb sandwich.
Kosher - Ritually fit
Kri - the traditional
pronunciation of words in the Torah.
K'tiv - the
traditional spelling of words in the Torah.
Kvatter / Kvatterin -
Godfather / Godmother; those who carry the baby into the Berit ceremony.
Judeo-Spanish; the everyday language of Sephardic Jews.
Lag baOmer - 33rd day
of 50 days of Omer.
Hashem - Psalm 20, recited on weekdays to mark sorrow and supplication.
Latreia - #2999.
latreia, lat-ri'-ah; from G3000; ministration of God, i.e.
Lech Lecha - the third
portion in the Book of Genesis.
Lechem Mishneh - two
loaves required for the blessing on Sabbath and Festival meals.
Literally: to judge oneself; the Hebrew word meaning "to pray."
Leshanah Tovah Tikatevu
- Literally: May you be inscribed [in the Book of Life] for a good year;
Rosh haShanah greeting, sometimes shortened to Shanah Tovah.
Levi - a Servant in
the Sanctuary, a Sage of the Talmud.
Leviathan - Sea
monster mentioned in Job, of which the pious will eat at the resurrection.
Levirate - the
institution of the brother-in-law (marrying his brothers widow).
Lulav pl. Lulavim -
Palm branch, with myrtle and willow sprigs attached; with the etrog, it is
the symbol of Sukkot...a palm branch taken as one of the four species on the
Feast of Tabernacles.
"Station"--groups of lay people who assisted the Levites at the daily
sacrifices one week a year.
Ma'aminim - the
Maariv - Evening
prayer service....evening prayers after sunset.
Ma'aser pl. Ma'asrot -
tithes given to the Kohen, the Levite or the poor.
Machah - #4229. machah,
maw-khaw'; a prim. root; prop. to stroke or rub; by impl. to erase; also to
smooth (as if with oil), i.e. grease or make fat; also to touch, i.e. reach
to:--abolish, blot out, destroy, full of marrow, put out, reach unto, X
utterly, wipe (away, out).
Machzor - (Repetition)
High Holy Day prayer book, In some Orthodox synagogues, a special prayer
book- -also known as a machzor--is used on the Pilgrimage Festivals.
Maftir - Last part of
Torah reading on a given Shabbos or festival...the man who is "called up" to
the reading of the concluding passage.
Magen Avot - a short
summary of the Sabbath amidah prayer recited on Sabbath Eve after the silent
Maggid - Preacher;
generally itinerant, and popular because of his clever
Mah Nishtanah - four
Malkot - the penalty
Malkut Shamayim - The
Kingdom of Heaven.
Maot Chitim (al. maoz
chittin) - Literally: wheat money; money collected prior to Passover to
assist the needy to celebrate the holiday and to buy special Passover foods.
Maoz Tsur - Best-known
Hanukah song. An English version of the song is entitled "Rock of Ages."
Maror - A bitter herb
such as horseradish, symbolizing the bitter plight of the enslaved
Israelites; one of the symbolic foods used on the seder plate.
Marranoes - forcibly
converted Jews in Spain.
Mashiach - Anointed
one (same as Messiah or Christ).
Masoretic Text - The
accepted Hebrew text of scriptures.
Mattan Torah (al. Matan)
- The giving of the law or instruction.
Mattanot Le-Evyonim -
Giving to the poor.
Matzah pl. Matzot -
Unleavened bread...The unleavened bread eaten in recollection of the hurried
departure from Egypt; the eating of matzah is obligatory only at the seder.
Mayim Hayim - Living
Mazal Tov - Literally: good
luck; congratulations. Mechilta - Halakhic midrash to Exodus.
Medieval - Relating to
or characteristic of the Middle Ages.
Megillah (al. Megilah) pl.
Megillot - Literally: scroll; there are five megillot in the Bible. The
one we read on Sukkot is Ecclesiastes, on Purim is Esther, on Pesach is Song
of Songs, on Shavuot is Ruth and on Tishah Be'av is Lamentations.
Melech - king.
Meni - Moon Goddess.
Menorah pl. Menorot -
Seven- or eight-branched candelabrum; people commonly refer to an eight-
branched Chanukiah as a menorah...the Lamp of the Sanctuary.
Menuhan - place of
Mesorah - the
traditional essential requirements in the writing of a Torah Scroll.
Mezuzah pl. Mezuzot -
(Doorpost) Ritual object consisting of a casing and a klaf that is put on
the doorpost(s) of the house.
Midat Hadin - the
Divine Attribute of Justice.
Midrash pl. Midrashim
- A collection of works compiled between the third and twelfth centuries
that seeks out underlying truths and meanings of the Bible; the result of
the process of delving into the ramifications of a biblical verse and of the
ancient rabbis' reading between the lines of Scripture.
Mikdash Me'at -
Literally: a small sanctuary; refers to the home.
Mikrah (al. Miqra) -
#4744. miqra', mik-raw'; from H7121; something called out, i.e. a public
meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal:--assembly,
calling, convocation, reading.
Minchah pl. Menachot -
from an unused root mean. to apportion, i.e. bestow; a donation; euphem.
tribute; spec. a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and
voluntary):--gift, oblation, (meat) offering, present, sacrifice...afternoon
prayer; name of Temple sacrifice...evening prayers during the day...a gift
offering in the Sanctuary...an offering made of flour and oil.
Minim - Sectaries;
Minyan - Quorum of ten
adult Jews necessary for public prayer. Miqvah - #4724. miqvah, mik-vaw';
fem. of H4723; a collection, i.e. (of water) a reservoir:--ditch. (al.
Mikvah) - Ritual bath.
Miqveh - #4723. miqveh,
mik-veh'; or miqveh (H1 Kings 10 : 28), mik-vay'; or ` miqve' (H2 Chron. 1 :
16), mik-vay'; from H6960; something waited for, i.e. confidence (obj. or
subj.); also a collection, i.e. (of water) a pond, or (of men and horses) a
caravan or drove:--abiding, gathering together, hope, linen yarn, plenty [of
Mishkan - #4908.
mishkan, mish-kawn'; from H7931; a residence (includ. a shepherd's hut, the
lair of animals, fig. the grave; also the Temple); spec. the Tabernacle
(prop. its wooden walls):--dwelleth, dwelling (place), habitation,
tabernacle, tent....the Sanctuary Tent.
Mishlo'ach Manot - the
sending of "portions" to friends on Purim.
Mishnah - Code of
Jewish law edited by Rabbi Judah HaNasi about 200 CE; together with the
Gemara forms the Talmud.
Mishpachah - #4940.
mishpachah, mish-paw-khaw'; from H8192 [comp. H8198]; a family, i.e. circle
of relatives; fig. a class (of persons), a species (of animals) or sort (of
things); by extens. a tribe or people:--family, kind (-red).
Mishpatim - a portion
in the Book of Exodus.
Mitzvah pl. Mitzvot -
Literally: Commandment; a religious precept or obligation; mitzvah refers to
one of the 613 commandments in the Torah....a good deed.
Mitzvat Aseh - a
commandment-to-do, a positive command.
Mitzvat Lo Ta'aseh - a
commandment-not-to-do, a prohibition.
Mizmor Letodah - Psalm
101 recited daily to commemorate the Thanksgiving Offering in the Sanctuary.
Mo'ed (al. mow’ed) - #4150.
mow'ed, mo-ade'; or mo'ed mo-ade'; or (fem.) mow'adah (H2 Chron. 8 : 13),
mo-aw-daw'; from H3259; prop. an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season;
spec. a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as
convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by
extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed
beforehand):--appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly,
congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity),
synagogue, (set) time (appointed).
Mohel pl. Mohalim -
Authorized functionary performing ritual circumcision.
Molad, Molad Halevanah pl.
Moladot - the appearance of the new Moon.
Moreh Tzaddikim -
teacher of righteousness.
Motza'ei Shabbat (al.
Shabat) - the night following the Sabbath.
Motzi (al. Hammotzee,
Hamotzi) - Literally: [G-d] who brings forth [bread]; blessing over
bread; standard blessing before meals at which bread is served...one of the
fifteen phases of the Seder ceremony.
Muktzeh - an object
forbidden to carry on the Sabbath and Festival because of its not being fit
or meant for use on that day.
Mussaf - (al. Musaf)
"Added" prayer service for Sabbaths and festivals, immediately following
morning prayer...the additional whole offering in the Sanctuary prescribed
by the Torah for Sabbaths, Festivals and New Moons; Today: an additional
Amidah prayer on said days as against the additional sacrifices.
Na'anu'im - the
wavings of the four species on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Nacham - #5162. nacham,
naw-kham'; a prim. root; prop. to sigh, i.e. breathe strongly; by impl. to
be sorry, i.e. (in a favorable sense) to pity, console, or (reflex.) rue; or
(unfavorably) to avenge (oneself):--comfort (self), ease [one's self],
repent (-er, -ing, self).
Nachash Hakadomony -
the Predatory Snake.
Nachem - a prayer for
Naga - #5060. naga',
naw-gah'; a prim. root; prop. to touch, i.e. lay the hand upon (for any
purpose; euphem., to lie with a woman); by impl. to reach (fig. to arrive,
acquire); violently, to strike (punish, defeat, destroy, etc.):--beat, (X be
able to) bring (down), cast, come (nigh), draw near (nigh), get up, happen,
join, near, plague, reach (up), smite, strike, touch.
Nasi (al. nasiy) -
#5387. nasiy', naw-see'; or nasi', naw-see'; from H5375; prop. an exalted
one, i.e. a king or sheik; also a rising mist:--captain, chief, cloud,
governor, prince, ruler, vapour...pl. Nesi'im - head of the people, a
head of a Tribe, a Prince.
Naso - a portion in
the Book of Numbers.
Natsal - #5337. natsal,
naw-tsal'; a prim. root; to snatch away, whether in a good or a bad sense:--
X at all, defend, deliver (self), escape, X without fail, part, pluck,
preserve, recover, rescue, rid, save, spoil, strip, X surely, take (out).
Nazah - #5137. nazah,
naw-zaw'; a prim. root; to spirt, i.e. besprinkle (espec. in
Nazoraeans - Judaizing
Christian sect (not to be confused with Nazarenes, a general term for
Neertzah (al. Nirtzah)
- acceptance, closing prayer...the last phase of the Seder ceremony.
Neilah - Literally:
closing; concluding service of Yom Kippur...closing of the gate.
Nesech - the libation
of wine over the altar in the Sanctuary accompanying the sacrifices.
Neta Revai - the fruit
of the fourth year after planting.
Netilat Lulav -the
commandment of the four species in the Feast of Tabernacles.
Nevi'im - Literally:
the Prophets; second section of the Bible...the latter prophets.
Niddah - Ritually
Nisan (Aviv) - First
(springtime) month of year, during which Passover falls.
Nissuin (al. Nisuin) -
In ancient times, the formal wedding ceremony.
Nisuch Hamayim - the
libation of water in the Sanctuary during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Noahide - One who
follows the covenant made with Noah.
Nusach - liturgical
melodies at services.
Ohel Mo'ed - the "Tent
Oketz - the stalk of
Olah - Burnt offering
Olam Haba - (al. Habba)
Literally: the world to Come; refers to the life of the soul after death.
Olam Hazeh - the
present world of toil.
Omer - Sheaf or bushel
Onan (al. Onen) -
Mourner (between death and burial)....a mourning relative.
Oneg Shabbat -
Literally: joy of the Sabbath; reception after Friday night services, which
includes refreshments, socializing, and, sometimes, Israeli dancing or a
Onkelos - A targum on
Orlah - fruit picked
during the first three years after planting which is forbidden by the torah.
Oseif - Gathering of
Parah Adumah - Red
heifer--special sacrificial animal.
Parashah pl. Parashot
- The weekly Torah portion; also called Sidrah or Sedrah or Sidra.
Pareve - Foods
containing neither meat nor milk.
Parochet - the curtain
over the Ark in the Synagogue; the curtain separating the Holy of Holies
from the Hechal.
Payes - Sidecurls worn
by Ultra-Orthodox men and boys.
Payot - corners;
therefore, earlocks of hair.
Pentateuch - the first
five Books of the Bible, the Five Books of Moses.
Perushim - the
upholders of the Oral Torah at the time of the Second Sanctuary.
Pesach pl. Pesachim -
Pesach Katan - the
second offering of the Paschal Lamb on the 14th of Iyar.
Pesach Sheni - the
14th of Iyar, the offering of the Pesach Sacrifice by those who were not
able to do so on the 14th of Nisan. Peshat - little meaning, literal.
Pesikta - Book of
Haggadic discourses for festivals and special Sabbaths.
Pharisees - Religio-political
faction in late Second Temple days that wanted to develop Judaism through
prayer, study of Torah, and midrashic interpretations of Torah; forerunners
of the rabbis.
Phobeo - #5399. phobeo,
fob-eh'-o; from G5401; to frighten, i.e. (pass.) to be alarmed; by anal. to
be in awe of, i.e. revere:--be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly),
Pidyon haben / habat -
Literally: redemption of the (firstborn) son / daughter; home ceremony that
takes place on the thirty-first day of a child's life.
Piku'ach Nefesh - the
care for human life.
Pikudey - a portion in
the Book of Exodus.
Pinchas - a portion in
the Book of Numbers.
Pirkey Avot - "the
Ethics of the Fathers", a tractate in the Mishnah.
Pitma - the wart of
Piyyut (al. piyut) pl.
piyyutim (al. pl. piyutim) - Poetic prayer...liturgical poem.
Pneuma - #4151. pneuma,
pnyoo'-mah; from G4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze;
by anal. or fig. a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by impl.) vital
principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or
(divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit:--ghost, life, spirit (-ual,
-ually), mind. Comp. G5590.
Proselyte - Convert to
written under another name.
Purim - Literally:
lots; festival that celebrates the survival of the Jewish people.
Qahal - #6951. qahal,
kaw-hawl'; from H6950; assemblage (usually concr.):--assembly, company,
Qehelathah - #6954.
Qehelathah, keh-hay-law'-thaw, from H6950; convocation; Kehelathah, a place
in the Desert:--Kehelathah.
Qoheleth - #6953.
qoheleth, ko-heh'-leth; fem. of act. part. from H6950; a (female) assembler
(i.e. lecturer); abstr. preaching (used as a "nom de plume", Koheleth):--preacher.
Rabbi pl. Rabanim -
Rachatzah - washing
Ur'chatz - celebrant washes, one of the fifteen phases of the Seder ceremony
Rochtzah - the phase of the Seder ceremony in which hands are washed for the
Rahab (al. Rachav) -
Proud, harlot, broad. The word "Rahab" means a wall or broad place. Theis is
where we get the term "broad" for a woman...False messianic kingdom.
Ramah - Seat of
Rasha pl. Rashim - The
Rav - a Sage of the
Re'eh - a portion in
the Book of Deuteronomy.
Refa'enu - "Heal
us..", one of the eighteen benedictions of the Amidah prayer.
Remez - alluding to.
Rochtzah - the phase
of the Seder ceremony in which hands are washed for the meal Rachatzah
- washing Ur'chatz - celebrant washes, one of the fifteen phases of
the Seder ceremony.
Rosh haShanah -
Literally: head of the year; Jewish New Year.
Rosh Hodesh (al. Chodesh)
- festival of the new moon.
Ruach HaKodesh - The
Sadducees - Religio-political
faction in late Second Temple days that focused on priestly functions and
the sacrificial system.
Sandak - Person who
holds the baby during the Berit Milah ceremony.
Sanhedrin - the High
Court in Jerusalem.
Sar - #8269. sar, sar;
from H8323; a head person (of any rank or class):--captain (that had rule),
chief (captain), general, governor, keeper, lord, ([-task-]) master, prince
(-ipal), ruler, steward.
Scribes - the Sages
who interpreted the Torah and its Laws.
Sebomai - #4576.
sebomai, seb'-om-ahee; mid. of an appar. prim. verb; to revere, i.e.
adore:--devout, religious, worship.
Seder - Literally:
order; ritual for the home celebration of the first (and second) evening(s)
of Pesach...the ceremony to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt on Passover
Seder Avodah (al. Abodah)
- the "order of Service" that the Kohen Gadol performs in the Sanctuary on
the day of Atonement.
Sefer Torah (al. Sifrei)
pl. Sefarim - Torah scroll.
Sefirah - the "days of
counting" between the Passover and Pentecost.
Selichot - Penitential
Selichot Service - A
service of preparation for the High Holy Days, usually held at midnight on
the Saturday preceding Rosh haShanah.
Semichah pl. Semuchim
- ordination, Ordained Rabbis.
Sephardi pl. Sephardim
- of Oriental Jewish communities.
Seraphim - fiery
Seudah - Feast.
Seudah Mafseket (al.
Hemafseket) - the "meal of cessation" before a fast.
Seudah shel Mitzvah -
A festive meal that honors the observance of a mitzvah; a meal prescribed by
the Torah or the Sages, same as Seudat Mitzvah.
Seudah Shelishit (al.
Shlishit) - Literally: third meal; a light meal eaten late on Shabbat
afternoon...the third meal eaten on the Sabbath.
Seudat Chavurah (al.
Havra'ah, Chaburah) - Literally: meal of condolence; prepared by friends
of the mourners and eaten in the house of mourning immediately following a
Sevivon - Hebrew word
for a dreidel (four-sided top used in a Hanukah game).
Sfeka Deyoma - doubt
as to the exact date of the day.
Sha'atnez - a cloth
combining wool and linen.
Shabbat - The Sabbath
Shabbat Bereshit (al.
Bereishit) - the first Sabbath after Simchat Torah on which the portion
of Bereishit is read.
Shabbat Chazon - the
Sabbath before the Ninth of Av.
Shabbat haGadol -
Literally: the Great Sabbath; the Sabbath preceding Passover.
Shabbat Mevarchim -
the Sabbath on which the forthcoming month is blessed.
Shabbat Nachamu - the
Sabbath after the Ninth of Av.
Shabbat Shirah - "the
Sabbath of Song", the Sabbath on which "the song of the sea" is read in the
portion of Beshalach.
Shabbat Shuvah -
Literally: Sabbath of Return; the Sabbath between Rosh haShanah and Yom
Shabbat Zachor - The
Sabbath immediately preceding Purim.
Shabbaton pl. Shabbatonim
- Seven High Sabbaths....sabbath program of study and celebration.
Shabbos - The Sabbath
Shachah - #7812.
shachah, shaw-khaw'; a prim. root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (espec.
reflex. in homage to royalty or God):--bow (self) down, crouch, fall down
(flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop,
Shacharit (al. Shararit)
- Morning Prayer. From Hebrew for "dawn"...Morning prayer service.
Shaddai - G-d
Shakan - #7931. shakan,
shaw-kan'; a prim. root [appar. akin (by transm.) to H7901 through the idea
of lodging; comp. H5531, H7925]; to reside or permanently stay (lit. or
fig.):--abide, continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-er), have habitation,
inhabit, lay, place, (cause to) remain, rest, set (up).
Shaliach - agent sent
as the one who sent the agent.
Shaliach Tzibur - the
precentor of the prayers in the Synagogue, the Cantor.
Shalom - The fullness
of peace and harmony.
Shalom Zachor - first
Friday following birth.
Shalosh Seudot - The
three festive meals prescribed for the Sabbath.
Shammai (al. Schammai)
- School of.
Shammash (al. Shamash)
- Literally: servant; term for the ninth candle used to light the other
candles in the Chanukiah ... the beadle in the Synagogue.
Shavuot - Literally:
weeks...The Day of Pentecost, receiving of the Torah, and the beginning of
the wheat harvest. Also, it represents the betrothal between Israel and the
Shebet - #7626. shebet,
shay'-bet; from an unused root prob. mean. to branch off, a scion, i.e.
(lit.) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or
(fig.) a clan:-- X correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.
Shebuah (al. shabuwa)
- #7620. shabuwa', shaw-boo'-ah; or shabua', shaw-boo'-ah; also (fem.)
shebu'ah, sheb-oo-aw'; prop. pass. part. of H7650 as a denom. of H7651; lit.
sevened, i.e. a week (spec. of years):--seven, week.
Shechita - the
slaughtering of animals for meat as prescribed by the Torah.
She'elat Geshamim -
the petition for rain.
She'elot u-Teshuvot -
questions and responses to queries on matters of Jewish law by rabbis and
Literally: [G-d] who has kept us alive; this is the blessing for beginnings
and other happy occasions in people's lives, such as birth and marriage. It
is also said at candlelighting, Kiddush and certain other specific times
during festival observances...a blessing over mitzvot which are performed
once a year or over new fruit in its season.
Shekhinah (al. Shechinah)
- G-d's Presence in the world. - Aram. and late Heb., a word not in
Scripture, but used by later Jews and by Christians to express the visible
divine Presence, especially when resting between the cherubim over the mercy
Sheloshim - the second
period of mourning; thirty-day mourning period.
Shem Hameforash - the
Ineffable Divine Name.
Shema - The main
statement of Jewish belief: "Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad"
(Hear, O Israel: the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One). Deut. 6:4-9.
Shemini Atzeret -
Literally: the eighth day of assembly; conclusion of Sukkot...The day
following Sukkot and the end of that festival.
Shemoneh Esre (al. Esray,
Shmoneh Esreh) - Eighteen" - the number of blessings originally in the
important part of the daily prayers recited in silence while worshipers
stand--hence this name is applied to all such standing prayers, although the
daily service now has nineteen and other services seven blessings. Combines
adoration with entreaty. Also called Amidah (standing) or simply
Sheol - Afterlife; the
Sheva Berachot (al.
Birchot) - Literally: seven blessings; these are recited or chanted at a
wedding ceremony prior to the sharing of a cup of wine by the bride and
Shevarim - a shofar
Shevat - Fifth month
of Jewish year.
Shin - Hebrew letter (first
letter of Shaddai).
Shitre Erusin - A
Shivah - the first
period of mourning; seven-day mourning period, the first day of which is the
day of burial.
Shivah haben - child
of the week.
Sh'lamim - peace
Shmitah - Release--the
seventh year in which the land lies fallow and debts are released or
annulled...the Sabbatical year at the end of each seven year cycle.
Shmuel - a Sage of the
Shochet - Ritual
slaughterer, required by Jewish dietary laws for the preparation of kosher
Shofar - Trumpet made
from a ram's horn...a ram's horn blown on Rosh haShanah and during the month
Shofar Hagadol - The
Shofetim (al. Shofitim)
- Judges; Book of the Bible...a portion in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Shome'a Tefillah (al.
Tefilah) - "The One Who hears prayer.." one of the eighteen benedictions
of the Amidah.
Shomer - Literally:
guardian; person who remains with the deceased so that the body is never
left alone prior to burial.
Shovavim Tat - a
series of winter weeks whose Mondays and Thursdays are observed as fast
Shuckle - To sway
Shulchan Aruch - code
of law applicable to today...the Book of codified Jewish Law, by Rabbi Yosef
Shulchan Orech - table
set for meal...one of the fifteen phases of the Seder ceremony.
Shushan Purim - Purim
celebration on Adar 15 by cities walled at the time of Joshua.
Sicarii - A fanatic
group of Zealots literally meaning cut throats as they were involved in
political assassination of both Jews and Romans.
Siddur (al. Sidur) pl.
Siddurim - Prayer book....daily and sabbath prayer book.
Sidra pl. Sedarim (al. pl.
Sidrot) - Bible portion of the week, read on Sabbath.
Sifra (al. Sifre) -
Halakhic midrashim to Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
Siloam - A pool of
water in Jerusalem.
Simchah - Literally:
joy; a happy event.
Simchat Torah -
Literally: joy of the Torah; holiday marking the conclusion of the yearly
cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of the new cycle; the final fall
Sivan - Ninth month of
the Jewish year.
Siyum - the completion
of the study of a Talmudic tractate. Sod - mystery.
Sofer pl. Soferim (al. pl.
Sofrim) - A specially trained scribe.
Sotah - a woman
suspected of adultery.
S'phirah pl. S'phirot
- Emanation(s) from the ultimate, infinite, indefinable G-d-head toward the
palpable world; aspects of G-d.
Sukkah (al. Sukah) pl.
Sukkot (al. pl. Sukot) - Literally: booths; name of the festival that
commemorates the Israelites' wanderings in the desert after leaving
Egypt...The Feast of Tabernacles or Booths.
Sunagoge - #4864.
sunagoge, soon-ag-o-gay'; from (the redupl. form of) G4863; an assemblage of
persons; spec. a Jewish "synagogue" (the meeting or the place); by anal. a
Christian church:--assembly, congregation, synagogue.
Ta'am Ha'elyon - the
"upper" mode of cantilation of the passage of the Ten Commandments.
Taanit - A section of
the Talmud on Fasts...a fast day.
Taanit Chalom - a fast
over a bad dream.
Tachanun - a prayer of
Tachath - #8478.
tachath, takh'-ath; from the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only
adv. below (often with prep. pref. underneath), in lieu of, etc.:--as,
beneath, X flat, in (-stead), (same) place (where . . . is), room, for . . .
sake, stead of, under, X unto, X when . . . was mine, whereas, [where-]
Tachrichim - Burial
Tachtiy - #8482.
tachtiy, takh-tee'; from H8478; lower most; as noun (fem. plur.) the depths
(fig. a pit, the womb):--low (parts, -er, -er parts, -est), nether (part).
Taharah - Ritual
purification of the deceased in preparation for burial....washing of the
Takhrikhim - Shrouds
prescribed by Jewish law.
Tal - (Dew) The prayer
for dew (in Palestine) recited on first day of Passover.
Tallit (al. Talit) -
Prayer shawl with ceremonial fringes on four corners.
Tallit Katan (al. Talit)
- A small prayer shawl; a special undershirt with four corners each
Talmid pl. Talmidim -
Talmid Chacham - a
scholar of the Torah.
Talmud - Comprised of
both the Mishnah and Gemara, the Talmud is the collected legal and ethical
discussions of the rabbis, edited around the year 500 CE.
Tamid - the daily
sacrifice in the Sanctuary.
Tammuz - Tenth month
on the Jewish civil calendar.
Tana pl. Tannaim (al. pl.
Tana'im) - rabbis in the Mishnaic period.
Targum pl. Targumim -
(Translation) Traditionally the name given the Aramaic translation of the
Bible, read to the populace in Babylonian periods. The custom of reading
services in Aramaic following the Hebrew goes back to hundreds of years
before the great diaspora. Except for some interpolations and paraphrases,
the Targum Bavli, also known as the Targum Onkelos, is a very
faithful translation. Less faithful to the text are the Targum Yerushalmi
and others of fragmentary character.
Tashlich - Traditional
Rosh haShanah afternoon ceremony in which individuals symbolically cast
their sins (crumbs) into a body of water...the casting away of sin.
Tefilin - Prayer boxes
worn during weekday morning worship. Tefillah (al. Tefilah) - Literally:
prayer; also refers to the central group of prayers in each service,
alternatively called the Amidah or Shemoneh Esre.
Tefillah Zakah (al.
Tefilah) - "a prayer of purity" recited upon the advent of Yom Kippur
before Kol Nidrey.
Teki'ah - a shofar
Tekufah pl. Tekufot -
one of the four seasons of the year.
Telos - #5056. telos,
tel'-os; from a prim. tello (to set out for a definite point or goal); prop.
the point aimed at as a limit, i.e. (by impl.) the conclusion of an act or
state (termination [lit., fig. or indef.], result [immed., ultimate or
prophetic], purpose); spec. an impost or levy (as paid):--+ continual,
custom, end (-ing), finally, uttermost. Comp. G5411.
Tenach (al. Tanach) -
Trilogy of Torah, Prophets, and Writings formed from initial letters of the
Hebrew Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim...The Hebrew Bible.
Teruah - An awakening
Teshuvah - Literally:
turning or returning; a Hebrew term for repentance...Repentance from sin,
spiritual reawakening. A desire to strengthen the connection between oneself
and the sacred.
Tetragrammaton - the
four Hebrew letters usually transliterated YHWH or YHVH that form a biblical
proper name of God.
Tetzaveh - a portion
in the Book of Exodus.
Tevet - Fourth month
of the Jewish year.
Tevilah - Literally:
immersion...immersing in a ritual bath. Therapeutae - Sternly ascetic Jewish
party whose views and practices were kindred to the Essenes in Palestine.
Tikkun Chatzot (al. Tikun)
- a prayer of lamentation over the destruction of the Sanctuary, recited
Tikkun Leil Shavuot (al.
Tikun) - Literally: service of the night of Shavuot.
Tikkun Olam (al. Tikun)
- Repairing our broken world.
Tikkun Soferim (al. Tikun)
(al. Sofrim) - the set of rules for the writing of a Torah Scroll.
Tishah Be'av - The
ninth day of the month of Av; a day of mourning for the destruction of the
ancient Temple in Jerusalem.
Tishri (al. Tishrei) (Ethanim)
- First month of Jewish year. Titkabel - a verse in the kadish, "Let the
prayers of Israel be accepted.." Todah - the thanksgiving offering in the
Tohuw - #8414. tohuw,
to'-hoo; from an unused root mean. to lie waste; a desolation (of surface),
i.e. desert; fig. a worthless thing; adv. in vain:--confusion, empty place,
without form, nothing, (thing of) nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness.
Toldah (al. towledah)
- #8435. towledah, to-led-aw'; or toledah, to-led-aw'; from H3205; (plur.
only) descent, i.e. family; (fig.) history:--birth, generations.
Torah - Literally:
teaching; in its most narrow sense, it is the first five Books of the Bible,
hand-written on a parchment scroll; in its broadest sense, it is all of
Judaism, which flows from those Books...Instruction (teaching) or law.
Tosefta (al. Tocefta)
- (Supplement) Anthology of tannaitic text parallel to Mishnah, but outside
Mishnaic canon, and more expansive. Rabbi Nehemiah, second century, began
the work; in the third century it was continued by Hiyya ben Abba and
Treif (al. Trefah) -
Literally: torn apart; food that is not ritually fit. It is the opposite of
Tru'ah - a shofar
Trumah - a heave
offering, contribution...the seventh portion in the Book of Exodus.
Tsaphoon - hidden.
Tu Bishvat - Fifteenth
day of the month of Shevat; a minor holiday known as the New Year of the
Trees, observed by planting trees.
Tzaddik pl. Tzaddikim (al.
Tzadik) (al. pl. Tzadikim) - Chasidic sages were so called; they were
often raised by their followers to the status of direct intermediaries with
G-d, super-human miracle workers...a just man, righteous, upright.
Tzafun - the phase of
the Seder ceremony in which the hidden afikoman is eaten.
Tzedakah (al. Tsedakah)
- Literally: justice or righteousness; the Hebrew word we use for
charity and charitable acts.
Tzedokim - Sadducees.
Tzidkatcha Tzedek -
verses recited after the minchah prayer on Shabat.
Tziduk Hadin - a
prayer of accepting G-d's Judgment.
Tzitzit pl. Tzitziyot
- Ceremonially knotted fringes to be worn on all four-cornered garments.
Untaneh Tokef - a
passage describing Heavenly Judgment added to prayer on Rosh haShanah and
Ur'chatz - celebrant
washes, one of the fifteen phases of the Seder ceremony Rachatzah -
washing Rochtzah - the phase of the Seder ceremony in which hands are
washed for the meal.
Ushpizin - the Seven
Shepherds of Israel who "visit" every Jew's Sukah on the Feast of
Uva Letzion - a prayer
composed of a selection of Scriptural verses.
Va'era - the second
portion in the Book of Exodus.
Va'etchanan - the
second portion in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Vav - Hebrew letter.
Vayechal - a paragraph
from Exodus chapter 32 and 34 read on a public fast. Vayelech - a
portion in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Vayechi - the last
portion in the Book of Genesis.
Ve'ahavta - Literally:
and you shall love; the prayer from Deuteronomy 6:5-9, that obligates Jews
to love G-d and to teach Judaism to future generations; part of the Shema.
Velamalshinim - a
passage relating to slanderers and informers, prescribed as a nineteenth
brachah added to the eighteen benedictions of the amidah prayer.
Vezot Habrachah - the
last portion in the Torah.
Vidui - confession.
Ya'aleh Veyavo - a
passage added to the amidah prayer and to the Grace after the Meal on
Festivals and New Moons when additional sacrifices were offered in the
Yachatz - The breaking
of the middle matzah of the ceremonial matzot during a Passover seder...one
of the fifteen phases of the Seder ceremony.
Yahrzeit - a day of
Yamin Noraim (al. Yamim)
- Literally: The Days of Awe; the ten-day period beginning with Rosh
haShanah and ending with Yom Kippur.
Yarmulke - The Yiddish
term for skullcap; the Hebrew term is kipah.
Yavam - Husband's
brother upon whom devolved the duty of marrying the former's widow if left
without children....the brother-in-law.
Yavneh - A city that
became the location of an academy and a central focus for the Jews once the
Romans destroyed Jerusalem.
Yebamah - Under
Biblical laws, childless widow who was commanded to marry late husband's
brother, so that a child might be named after the departed.
Yeshivah pl. Yeshivot
- Torah academy.
Yeshua - Hebrew name
meaning salvation (same as Jesus).
Yetzer - Impulse.
Yetzer haRa - Impulse
Yetzer haTov - Impulse
Yichud - Time spent
alone together by the bride and groom immediately after the wedding
ceremony...Room entered by bride and groom where the two, in the
consummation of the marriage, become one.
Yitro - the sixth
portion in the Book of Exodus.
Yizkor - ("May He
remember") Prayers for the departed, recited on Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret,
last day of Passover, second day of Shavuot.
Yod - Hebrew letter.
Yom haDin - Literally:
Day of Judgment; one of the names for Rosh haShanah.
Yom haPeduth - The Day
Yom haZikkaron -
Literally: The Day of Remembrance; one of the names for Rosh haShanah.
Yom Kippur (al. Kipur)
- Literally: The Day of Atonement.
Yom Kippur Katan (al.
Kipur) - the eve of a New Moon, a "little" Day of Atonement.
Yom Teruah (Rosh haShanah)
- The Feast of Trumpets.
Yom Tov pl. Yamim Tovim
- a Festival Day, holiday.
Yoma - A tractate of
the Mishnah on Yom Kippur.
Yoma Arichta - one
"long" day, two days considered as one.
Yotzrot - liturgical
poems added to the shacharit prayer.
Yovel - a Jubilee year
at the end of a fifty year cycle.
Zaqen - #2205. zaqen,
zaw-kane'; from H2204; old:--aged, ancient (man), elder (-est), old (man,
men and . . . women), senator.
Zeman Mattan Toratenu (al.
Matan) - Literally: the Season of the Giving of Our Torah; another name
Zeman Simchatenu -
Literally: the Season of Our Joy; another name for Sukkot.
Zikhrnot - A portion
of the Rosh haShanah service that deals with divine remembrance.
Zikkaron - A Memorial.
Zionism - The belief
that there should be a Jewish national homeland in the historic land of
Z'roah Adonai - Arm of
The Books of
the Original Testament
Bamidbar - Numbers
Bereshit (al. Bereishit)
Chavakuk - Habakkuk
Chumash Hapikudim -
The Book of Numbers
Divrey Hayamim -
Dvarim (al. Mishneh Torah)-
Echah - Lamentations -
read on Tishah Be'av.
Ester - Esther - read
Hoshea - Hosea
Irmeyahu - Jeremiah
Kohelet - Ecclesiastes
- read on Sukkot.
Melachim - Kings
Mishlei (al. Mishley al.
Mishlev) - Proverbs
Nechemiah - Nehemiah
Rut - Ruth - read on
Shir Hashirim - Song
of Songs - read on Pesach.
Shmot - Exodus
Shmuel - Samuel
Shofetim (al. Shofitim)
Tehillim (al. Tehilim)
Vayikra - Leviticus
Yonah - Jonah
Aharon - Aaron
Avraham - Abraham
Belshazzar, King of Babylonia
Chavakuk - Habakkuk
Eliyahu - Elijah
Esav - Esau
Ester - Esther
Hoshea - Hosea
Irmeyahu - Jeremiah
Mattitiyahu - Hebrew
name for Matthew
Menasheh - Manasseh
Moshe - Moses
Nechemiah - Nehemiah
Rechavam - Rehoboam,
King of Judah
Rivkah - Rebekah
Rut - Ruth
Shimshon - Samson
Shlomo - Solomon
Shmuel - Samuel
Tzidkiyahu - Zedekiah,
King of Judah
Yitzhak (al. Itzchak)
- Hebrew name for Isaac
Ya'akov - Jacob
Yechezkel - Ezekiel
Yechoniah - Jeconiah,
King of Judah
Yehoshua - Joshua
Yerovam - Jeroboam,
King of Israel
Yeshayahu - Isaiah
Yochanan - Hebrew name
Yonah - Jonah
Yosef - Joseph
Asher - the Tribe of
Binyamin - the Tribe
Efrayim - the Tribe of
Issachar - the Tribe
Levi - the Tribe of
Menashe - the Tribe of
Reuven - the Tribe of
Shimon - the Tribe of
Yehudah - the Tribe of
Zevulun - the Tribe of
- Dan, Gad, Naphtali, Joseph
Listing of the Mishnah
Zeraim - Order of the
Mishnah (seeds) regarding ritual laws, blessings, prayers:
Berakhot, Peah, Demai, Kilayim, Shebiit, Terumot, Maaserot, Masser Sheni,
Hallah, Orlah, Bikkurim
Moed - Order of the
Mishnah (festivals) regarding the Sabbath and all festivals:
Shabbat, Erubin, Pesahim, Sheqalim, Yoma, Sukkah, Besah, Rosh haShanah,
Taanit, Megillah, Moed Qatan, Hagigah
Nashim - Order of the
Mishnah (women) regarding marriage, divorce, relationships:
Yebamot, Ketubot, Nedarim, Nazir, Sotah, Gittin, Baba Qamma, Baba Mesia,
Baba Batra, Sanhedrin, Makkot, Shabuot, Eduyyot, Abodah Zarah, Abot, Horayot
Nezikin - Order of the
Mishnah (damages) regarding civil and criminal law:
Zebahim, Menahot, Hullin, Bekhorot, Arakhin, Temurah, Keritot, Meilah,
Tamid, Middot, Qinnin
Kodashim - Order of
the Mishnah (holy things) regarding sacrificial laws, Temple observance:
Kelim, Ohalot, Negaim, Parah, Tohorot, Miqvaot, Niddah, Makhshirin, Zabim,
Tebul-Yom, Yadayim, Uqsin
Tohorot - Order of the
Mishnah (purification) regarding things clean and unclean.