Monday, March 5, 2007
Aderaba - Aramaic; on the contrary
Ad Mosai - Until when, this is an exclamation used generally when exasperated. Lubavitchers use this phrase when talking about Moshiach - Ad Mosai? How much longer do we have to wait for the coming of Moshiach?
Aidel – Yiddish, literally means refined
Aidel maidel – Yiddish, literally means refined girl (shameless plug for one of this blog's administrators)
Aliyah – Literally means “to go up”. Used when referring to when someone emigrates to Israel, or when someone is called up to read or say a blessing on the torah. Also when someone passes away, we say their neshama/soul goes “up” to shamayim/gan eden/heaven.
Amud - the podium from where the prayer service is led by the shliach tzibur. As in "davening from the amud". "Taking the amud" refers to the shliach tzibur going up to lead the service.
Ani Maamin – Literally means “I believe.” A shortened version of “Ani Maamin, be’emunah shalaima”
Ashkenaz- referring to Jews from northern Europe
Aufruf - the Shabbat before a wedding, when a chatan is called for an aliyah and reads the haftarah
Assur - forbidden
Aveilus – the time period of mourning in which a mourner has obligations and restrictions on what they are permitted to do. The mourning period for someone who has lost a parent is one year. Restrictions include no listening to music, attending weddings or other happy occasions, and no new clothes.
Aveira - a forbidden act; a sin
Avoda – literally means “work” but it often means spiritual work, or what G-d wants us to accomplish down here.
Ayin hara - the evil eye
Babka – An eastern European yeast cake, can come in any number of flavors including chocolate and cinnamon.
Bais Hamikdosh- The Holy Temple
Bais Medresh- House of Learning. Study Hall.
Bais Yaakov - a very religious secondary school for girls
Balabusta - a good housewife
Bar Mitzvah- a boy of age 13, responsible to do Mitzvot.
Baruch Dayan Emes – literally means “Blessed is the True Judge”. This is the phrase recited upon hearing of someone’s death. It is both a phrase used to comfort the mourner and an acknowledgement that G-d runs the world
Bas Melech - daughter of the king; a term referring to a Jewish girl or woman
Bashert – that it was meant to be from time immemorial. Also used to talk about our life partner - predetermined from the beginning of time.
Bedeken - when the groom covers the bride's face with her veil immediately before the chuppah
Bentch- Yiddish, literally means “to bless”, can be used a variety of ways – most commonly to denote the long blessings to be recited after eating bread. Can also refer to what G-d decides to bless us with, or how some Jews traditionally bless their children every Friday night. Also one person can always bentch another.
Bikur cholim - visiting the sick, an important mitzvah
Bimah- the stage where the Torah is read
Bitachon - trust in Hashem
Bli neder – Without a vow. Bochur, bochurim – literally means “boy” or “son” often refers to single men of high school, college, and marriageable age.
Bracha- blessing; pl. brachot
Broiges- a long-running grudge, something less than a feud but more than a dispute
Chag - holiday; pl., chagim
Challah - The braided bread traditionally eaten on Shabbos/Sabbath.
Chanukah – The Jewish festival of lights.
Charedim- Orthodox Jews on the far right of the spectrum- tend to reject secular pursuits
Chas v'shalom – G-d Forbid
Chassidim- a sect of Jews, who follow the teachings of 18th century Rabbi, the Baal Shem Tov
Chassidishe – literally means pious, this is an adjective to describe one stream of orthodoxy
Chatan (or Chosson) - a bridegroom
Chazal – A general term to mean "our sages". When used, it generally means, that somewhere in the huge cannon of rabbinic writings, it refers to this matter.
Chazzan- the cantor
Cheshbon Hanefesh- a spiritual accounting of the soul
Chevrusah- a partner in learning Torah; refers also to both partners
Chillul Hashem- Desecration of the Name of G-d
Chizzuk – something which strengthens someone
Cholent - special stew served on Shabbat
Cholov Yisroel- Milk produced at a farm in part owned by Jews
Chumash- The Pentateuch, or, the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
Chupa- the canopy over the marriage ceremony, also refers to the ceremony itself
Chutzpah, Chutzpahdik- disrespect, gall, overly confident.
Cohen, also Kohen - descendent of Aaron, Moses' brother and the first priest of the Jewish people
Dan L'Chaf Zechus- Hebrew, to Judge on the side of merit, to judge every person favorably until you know all the details
Daven- to pray
Davening- either the act of praying, or the prayer service
Dayenu - a song that is part of the Passover seder; literally, "it would have been enough for us"
Derech – literally means “the way”, can also refer to the stream of orthodoxy one follows
Derech eretz - good manners; courtesy
D'var Torah - commentary on or explication of Jewish law, tradition, or beliefs
Elul - the month before the High Holidays; a time to reflect on one's behavior and resolve to do better in the future
Emunah peshuta – simple or blind faith
Eretz HaKodesh – Literally, “the holy land”, refers to Israel, preferably in it’s biblical boundaries
Eretz Yisroel – literally, “the land of Israel”, refers to Israel
Erev - evening; eve before, when used with another word, such as Shabbos (see below)
Erev Shabbos – The time before shabbos/Sabbath, pre-sabbath preparation time
Gabbai- the guy in the shul responsible for arranging who leads the prayers and gets called up to the Torah, etc.
Galus- exile, diaspora
Gam Tzu La Tova- "This also is for the good." A classic phrase used to show faith that everything that happens is from G-d and therefore inherently Good.
Gan Eden – Literally the Garden of Eden, this can refer to the “heaven”/afterlife
Gebentched - one who is blessed
Gehinnom – Purgatory or Hell depending on who you ask
Gemara - part of the Talmud, the code of Jewish Law
Gematria - the Jewish system of numerology, based on the numeric value of Hebrew letters
Ger – a convert
Get - divorce decree that ends a Jewish marriage
Godol HaDor, Nosi HaDor – the leader of the generation
Grusha - Hebrew, means divorcee
Gutte gebentched yohr – Yiddish, means a Good, Blessed Year – this is a new year’s greeting
Gutte voche – Yiddish, means a good week, something said after the shabbos/Sabbath ends
Hachlata – a resolution, usually made in regards to some form of observance
Hachnassat Kallah - dowering the bride, an important mitzvah
Hachnassat Orchim - entertaining guests in your home, an important mitzvah
Haftorah - the Chanting of passages from the books of prophets, after the Shabbos Torah reading. (nothing to do with half a Torah)
Halacha- Jewish Law
Halachically - according to Jewish Law
Hashem – Literally means, “the Name”, an alternate name for G-d in Hebrew
Hashkofa – the stream of orthodoxy one follows, alt. philosophy
Hatzlacha - success
Havdalah - the ritual that ends the Sabbath and ushers in a new week
Heter - Allowance. EG a heter to use birth control pills granted by a rabbi
Hilchot bein adam lamakom - laws governing people's obligations to Gd
Hilchot bein adam lechavero - laws governing how people treat each other
Hot Chanie- a young (mid 20s to early 30s) Orthodox Jewish woman who "skirts" the laws of tzniut (modesty) by wearing tight clothing that barely covers elbows, collarbones, and knees. Hot Chanies often will not be seen in public unless wearing full make-up; a long, sleek sheitel (wig); and high heels. Also considered "The Plastics" of the frum (Orthodox) world. (Origin)
Kabbalat Panim - the first part of a traditional Jewish wedding, when bride and groom greet and entertain their guests
Kallah - bride
Kaddish- special prayer, often said by those in mourning. Requires a quorum (minyan) of 10 men to recite.
Kashrut- the concept that food must be kosher (ok for Jews to eat)
Kavannah - sincerity and fervor while praying
Kavod - honor
Kedusha- the holiest part of the prayer service, where everyone must be silent and not move. Also means holiness
Kesher - an emotional connection between two people
Kiddush- sanctification of the meal over wine. Also refers to a nice spread after shul is over.
Kiddush Hashem- sanctification of the name of G-d. Opposite of chillul Hashem. Something that brings honor to the Jewish People.
Kinneret – the body of water in Israel
Kippah Sruga- crocheted skullcap
Klezmer – a type of jewish music emanating from eastern Europe. e.g. Andy Statman
kol b'seder - everything's cool; etymological origin of the term "copacetic"
Kol Isha- the voice of a woman (usually singing), which men are prohibited from listening to
Kollel- place where married men sit and learn Torah all day
Kotel - the Western Wall
K'tiva v'katima tova – You should be written and inscribed for good, a new year’s greeting
Kugel - noodle or potato casserole; can be sweet or savory
Kumzitz- singalong with story telling
Kvetch - (verb) to complain; (noun) a complaining person
Layn -- to chant the Torah or Haftorah in synagogue, using the trop (cantillations).
L'Chaim- "To Life" a traditional toast, also an engagement party (see vort)
L'illui Nishmas – It should be "a light" for the soul, this is a phrase meaning that when something is done in the merit of a deceased person's memory, their soul lights up or attains extra merit in shamayim.
Levi - member of a special group of Jews, who used to care for the Temple in Jerusalem
Litvish – A stream of orthodoxy, originating in Lithuanian, frequently followers of the Vilna Goan, aka the GRA
Londsman - compatriot; fellow Jew
Loshon - Language, lit. "tongue." e.g. Loshon Hakodesh, the Holy Language (Hebrew), Mama Loshon, Mother Tongue
Loshon Hora- badmouthing; gossip. No dancing involvedL'sameach chatan v'kallah - gladdening the bride and groom; an important mitzvah
Lulav- a palm branch, used in the service for Sukkos
Macher -- also Big Macher: Big Shot. Literally, a maker or doer. An important person.
Machmir – strict or stringent
Maikel – lax or permissive
Makpid – exacting when it comes to details, rules, regulations
Mamash – Yeshivish, means “REALLY” i.e. I mamash liked him
Mashiach – the Messiah
Mashpiim – a Mentor, or Rabbi, or someone to turn to for advice
Masmid – someone who learns full time
Mazel Tov- literally "good luck", or congratulations
Megilah - literally "story" or "telling"; usually refers to the story of Queen Esther and Mordechai
Mekabel – literally means to receive, but means also to accept something as fact
Menachem Avel - comforting a mourner, an important mitzvah
Mentch- a Man. Someone to be proud of.
Meshuga- Crazy. Also: Meshugas (me-shu-gahss)- craziness, insanity, and Meshuganer- a crazy person
Meshulach- an emissary, one sent to collect funds
Mevatel – self-nullification, lit. "wasting"
Mezuman- the 3 people needed to say a special blessing before saying grace after meals
Middos – personality traits
Mikvah- ritual bath
Mincha- afternoon prayer service
Minhag- custom, pl. minhagim
Minhag hagoyim - a non-Jewish custom
Minyan- literally, a quorum. The number of men (10) required for a formal prayer group. Also the name of the group itself.
Mir – a famous litvish yeshiva, now based in Israel
Mitzvah- Commandment (from G-d). pl. Mitzvot, Mitzvos
Mizbayach – the table in the holy ark in the temple
MO – Modern Orthodox, a stream of orthodoxy in which followers are equally involved in the secular and religious worlds
Morah - teacher
Moshiach Tzidkenu – The righteous messiah
Motsi Shabbos/Shabbat – Literally means "After Sabbath", refers to Saturday night after the Sabbath ends.
Mussaf- the extra prayer service after Shacharis, on Sabbath and Festivals
Nebuchs – losers, pity cases
Neshama - soul
Nefesh, Nefesh Elokis, Nefesh HaBahamis - soul, and the parts of the soul. Nefesh elokis is the G-dly part of the soul, nefesh HaBahamis is the "animal" part of the soul. See Kabbalah or chassidus for more information.
Niggun – A wordless Chassidic song
Nusach Sfard- the liturgy chosen by the Chassidim, in opposition to the traditional liturgy usually used by European Jews, Nusach Ashkenaz
Parsha - Portion of the Torah reading
Peyes- curly side burns (it is the chassidic custom never to cut them)
Pirkei Avot - teachings of the fathers; a section of the mishnah
Pisher - a young child
Purim - the holiday that celebrates Queen Esther and Mordechai's victory over the evil Haman
Putz – not a polite word. Literally is the Yiddish word for a part of the male anatomy. Generally refers to a not nice person, a jerk, or as the word says in English, a d-ck
Rashi- Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, one of the greatest commentators on the Torah and Talmud. His commentary is included almost every chumash and talmud bavli printed today.
Rav - A non-chassidich community leader, personal rabbi or teacher
Reb Shlomo- Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
Rebbe- A chassidic Rabbi, who is the leader of his community; or a personal Rabbi or teacher
Rebbetzin – the wife of a rabbi
refuah shelemah - a complete recovery
Ribono Shel Olam - Master of the Universe
Rosh HaShana - Jewish new year
Schnorer- a beggar; a moocher; derogatory term for Meshulach
Sefira - the time period between the holidays Pesach and Shavuot
Segulah - Can have various meanings depending on context. Can mean, sign, symbol, treasure, portent. Can lead to something which is desired, e.g. drinking "segulah wine" can lead to becoming married.
Seuda - a festive meal
Sfard, Sephardic - referring to Jews of Spain and Northern Africa, also from Arab countries
Shabbos, Shabbat- the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday
Shabbos Kallah - a celebration of the bride on the Shabbos before her wedding
Shacharis- the morning prayer service
Shadchan – matchmaker, in modern Hebrew it means “stapler”
Shalom Bayis - peace in the home; harmony between a husband and wife
Shalosh seudos/Seudah shlishit - the third meal of Shabbat, often held communally at synagogue
Shamayim – heavens, literally and figuratively
Shavuot - holiday celebrating when the Torah was given to the Jews
Shayach - appropriate
Sheigetz - a non-Jewish man
Sheitel – wig, as worn by orthodox women
Sheilemus - Whole, complete
Shema – One of the fundamental prayers of Judaism, recited at least twice a day, and is contained inside a mezuzah.
Shemonah Esrei – One of the fundamental prayers of Judaism, recited once at each of the three daily prayer times, this is the silent devotion prayer.
Shemurah Matzah - hand made matzah, made from wheat "guarded" from the time of growing until the time of baking
Sheva Brochas (or Sheva Brachot) – The special seven blessings recited in the first week of a new marriage. Also the seven days of festive meals prepared in honor of bride and groom.
Shidduch, shidduchim – blind, pre-arranged dates for the orthodox world
Shiur - lesson or class
Shlep- v. to drag. n. someone who looks like he was dragged
Shliach, Shlichus – a messenger, generally used as a chabad term for lubavitchers doing outreach
Shliach Tzibur- one who leads the prayer service
Shlump- messy, sloppy, a slob
Shmoneh Esrei- part of the Jewish Prayer Service; the "18" blessings
Shmooze, Shmoozing- talk, chat casually
Shomer shabbos - observes the laws of shabbos
Shomer kashrus - keeps kosher
Shomer negia - does not touch a person of the opposite sex who is not a blood relative
Shpritz - spray
Shvarim - broken, refers to matzha
Shvits- sweat, steambath
Shteeble- an informal prayer group in someone's house, may become more formal
Shtreimel- A big, round, furry hat, favored by Chassidim
Shtyging – learning full time
Siddur - prayer book
Siman - sign
Simchas Torah - rejoicing in the Torah; one of the High Holidays
sit shiva - mourn the loss of a close relative by staying at home for seven days
Siyyum - joyous celebration observed when a study group completes a tractate of the Talmud or when the writing of a Torah scroll is completed
Slichos - Selichot (Heb. סליחות) are Jewish penitential poems and prayers, especially those said in the period leading up to the High Holy Days, and on Fast Days
Sufganiot - traditional doughnuts eaten on Chanuka (single: sufgania)
Sukka- a temporary shack, with branches or bamboo roof, used on Sukkos
Sukkos- The holiday of Tabernacles
Talmid Chochom - literally a wise student, generally refers to a man who is very learned in Torah and Jewish studies, this is a compliment
Talmud Bavli-The Babylonian Talmud. This is a synopsis of more than 300 years of analysis in the Mishnah in the Babylonian Academies. Generally regarded to have been completed by 700 CE.
Talmud Yerushalmi- The Jerusalem or Palestinian Talmud. A synopsis of almost 200 years of analysis in the Mishnah in the Academies of Israel (mainly Tiberius and Caeseria) and completed about 350 CE. Due to the locations of the Israeli Academies, they demonstrate a greater focus on agricultural law. To most Orthodox Jews, in disputes between the Talmuds, the Babylonian one is considered supreme.
Takanah - a proclamation. Literally a "fix" of an existing Jewish law to address a new circumstance or correct a problem.
Tanach or Tanakh- The Jewish Bible, the Old Testament
Tatty - Father
Tehillim - the Book of Psalms
Tenaim - literally the "conditions" of the forthcoming marriage; after a contract is written and signed, it is customary to break a plate, pieces of which are a segulah for unmarried people
Tfila, Tefillos - Hebrew; prayer
Tfila Betzibur - Public prayer; Prayer with the congregation
Tfilin, Tefillin- phylacteries. Small black boxes with hebrew text inside, to be worn during prayers.
Tisha b'Av - the ninth day of the month of Av, when both Temples were destroyed; a fast day
Torah- The 5 books of Moses; the Jewish Bible; the big scroll where it is written
Tracht Gut V’Tzein Gut- Yiddish phrase, means "Think Good and it Will Be Good"
Trop - symbols used as musical notes for the cantillation of the Torah
Tsuris – woe, problems, worries
Tuchas- bum, rear-end. Also tush
Tzedaka – Charity Tzion – Zion, aka Israel
Tzitzis – the four cornered fringed garment worn by orthodox males
Tznius – modesty, in dress, speech, and action
Yartzheit- anniversary of someone's death. There are a number of Jewish customs regarding the obligations of descendants on the yartzheit.
Yekke - a Jew of German background
Yeshiva- A Jewish School. Also refers to a Jewish place of higher learning
Yetzer Harah - Evil inclination
Yetzer Hatov - Good inclination
Yiddin - Jews
Yinglish- A mix of English, Hebrew and Aramaic; often spoken by children who return from Yeshiva, to the horror of the parents
Yirat Shamayim - fear of heaven
Yisroel - a Jew who is neither a Cohen or a Levi (i.e., the majority of Jews)
Yontif- actually Yom Tov, good day, or holiday
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Alef, Alefbet, etc. He doesn't know Alef...
Baal Shem Tov
Dor Yesharim (has a wiki page)
Gam Ze yavor
Taharas Mishpocha (if you could link to Mayim Rabim...)
Melacha which is assur on Chol Hamoed - There is a dispute among the Rishonim if the prohibition against performing labor on Chol Hamoed (the intermediate days of Pesach and Sukkos) is Biblical (Rashi) or Rabbinic (Tosfos). There are many different categories of labor that is permitted on Chol Hamoed. The first Mishna discusses the permissibility of performing labor on Chol Hamoed when otherwise, the person will suffer a substantial loss. Even in such cases, one cannot perform labor that involves excessive exertion.
Thirty-nine melochos + hasra’ah - There are thirty-nine main categories of labor that are forbidden on Shabbos and in order for one to be liable to receive a punishment for intentionally performing a prohibited labor on Shabbos; he must receive a legal warning prior to performing the act not to perform this specific labor.
tumas ohel (if the tumah source and a person or object is under the same roof)
Shomeres yom kneged yom - This is the law during these days: if she saw blood only one day, she must observe one day in cleanness, corresponding to the day of uncleanness, i.e., she immerses on the day following the day of uncleanness, and if she does not see blood on this day, then she is clean in the evening.
Gezeirah Shavah - One of the thirteen principles of Biblical hermeneutics. Gezeirah shavah links two similar words from dissimilar verses in the Torah.
Yibum - levirate marriage - the act of the brother-in-law marrying his widowed sister-in-law, when the brother died without children.
Cuthean (converts to Judaism after an outbreak of wild animals in Eretz Yisroel and their conversion was debated as to its validity) They observed some commandments, but not others.