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Friday, 15 December 2017
Yom Shishi, 27 Kislev 5778



Starting January 2012, In the Rabbis Dust will be posted here in audio format. Look out for it soon!





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Jewish Terminology Dictionary




Abba - father

Ahavas Yisrael - Loving a fellow Jew

Afikoman -The broken piece of matzah put aside at the beginning of the Passover meal (seder) and eaten at the end of the meal.

Alef-Bet -The Hebrew alphabet. The name is derived from the first two letters of the alef-bet

Aliyah - lit. Going up; Call to the Torah; move to the land of Israel.

Am Yisrael - All Jews, the nation of Israel.

Arbah Minim -Literally four species. Fruit and branches used to fulfill the commandment to "rejoice before the Lord" during Sukkot.

Ark -An acronym of aron kodesh, literally, holy chest. The cabinet where the Torah scrolls are kept. The word has no connection with Noah's Ark, which is "teyvat" in Hebrew.

Atonement -In Judaism, atonement (Hebrew: kaparah) or reconciliation between God and humanity, is achieved by the process of repentance (Hebrew: teshuvah), seeking forgiveness and making amends with fellow human beings.

Avodah, Avodas Adonai- Service of G-d.

Ayin Hara - The evil eye.




Ba'al Teshuva, Ba'alas Teshuva - One who returns to Torah Judaism / Torah Observance.

Ba'al Tokea - the Common (or Christian) Era. Another way of saying b.c.

Bar Mitzvah -Literally son of the commandment. In Conservative and Reform Judaism, a Jewish boy who has achieved the age of thirteen and is consequently obligated to observe the commandments. Also, a ceremony marking the fact that a boy has achieved this age.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah - Literally daughter of the commandment. In Conservative and Reform Judaism, a Jewish girl of 12 to 14 years of age, considered an adult and responsible for her moral and religious duties. Also ceremony that initiates and recognizes a girl as having achieved this status.

Bar Mitzvah - When a young man reaches the age of thirteen he accepts the responsibility of fulfilling the the Torah and its commandments. This is a much-celebrated event by family and friends, as it is his inauguration into Jewish adulthood.

Beit Din - Rabbinical court.

Beit Ha Mikdash - The (First or Second) Temple in Jerusalem.

Beit Medrash - House of Study.

organized in the order of the weekly Torah portions.

Bima - Pulpit.

Bracha - Blessing, a prayer.

Brit Milah - Literally covenant of circumcision. The ritual circumcision of a male child before the age of eight days.




C.E. Common (or Christian) Era. - Used by Jews instead of a.d., because a.d. means "the Year of our Lord."

Chag - Jewish holiday

Chametz - The five grains of wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats or products produced from them, which Jews are prohibited to eat or own on Passover.

Chasidism - lit. "pious ones". A Jewish movement that arose in 18th century Ukraine, teaching closeness to G-d through simple piety and ecstatic singing and dancing.

Challah - A sweet, egg, bread, usually braided, which is served on Sabbaths and holidays.

Chaim -the natural  Life

Chasan -The Jewish Groom.

Chessed - Lovingkindness and grace towards others.

Chol Ha-Mo'ed - lit. The Intermediate Days; the "work days" of Passover and Sukkos. The Festivals of Passover and Sukkos both have holidays at the beginning and end (though technically the holiday at the end of Sukkos is a separate holiday), and "intermediate days" in the middle. During these days, much work is permitted, but many holiday laws remain in effect.

Chumash - Literally five. A compilation of the first five books of the Bible and readings from the prophets, organized in the order of the weekly Torah portions.




Days of Awe - Ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, a time for introspection and considering the sins of the previous year.

Dalet - The fourth letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

Daven, Davening - Pray, praying.





Eretz Yisrael - The Land of Israel

Erev... - lit. `Evening', the eve of [a Sabbath or a festival]

Esther - One of the heroes of the story of Purim.

Etrog - A citrus fruit native to Israel, used to fulfill the commandment to "rejoice before the Lord" during Sukkot.




Four Species - Fruit and branches used to fulfill the commandment to "rejoice before the Lord" during Sukkot.

Frum - Religious, devout, pious




Gadol - Great, large.

Gematria - A system of numerical values and mystical significance for each letter, word, phrase, chapter,

Geulah - Redemption

Gelt - Money given during Hanukkah. Traditionally chocolate covered in gold foil.

Goy -  Non-Jewish person, a nation.

Grogger - A noisemaker used to blot out the name of Haman during the reading of the Megillah on Purim.




Haftorah - lit. `Final passage'. The passage from the Prophets read in the synagogue after the reading from the Torah.

Ha-Shem - Literally The Name. The Name of God, which is not pronounced. The phrase "ha-Shem" is often used as a substitute for God's Name.

Haggadah - A book containing the story of the Exodus and the ritual of the Seder, read at the Passover Seder.

Halakah - The legal part of Talmudic literature, an interpretation of the laws of the Scriptures

Haman - The villain of the story of Purim.

Hamentaschen -Literally Haman's pockets. Triangular, fruit-filled cookies traditionally served or given as gifts during Purim.

Har Sinai - Mount Sinai.

Hanukkah - Literally dedication. An eight-day festival beginning on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev,


commemorating the victory in 165 b.c. of the Maccabees over Antiochus Epiphanies (c. 215-164 b.c.) and the rededication of the Temple at Jerusalem. Also called Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights. Also spelled Hanukkah.

Haroset - A sweet mixture of apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon served at the Passover Seder.

Hellenism - A name applied to the culture of the ancient Greeks, especially that of Athens at its height in Fifth century b.c. It is also applied to the works of those who later adopted Hellenic values and principles. The Hellenistic Age, a time when Greek culture spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean, is generally dated from the death of Alexander the Great to the rise of Augustus in Rome (323-330 b.c.).

Hoshanah Rabbah - Literally great hosanna. The seventh day of Sukkot, on which seven circuits are made around the synagogue reciting a prayer with the refrain, "Hosha na!" (please save us!).





Ima - Mother.

Immanu-el- God is with us




Jew - A person who was born of a Jewish mother, A person who converted to Judaism.


Judasim- the practice of the observant Jewish person is called their Judasim.




Kallah - Bride.

Karpas - A vegetable like parsley or romaine lettuce used in the Pesach Seder.

Kiddush - Literally sanctification. The traditional blessing and prayer recited over wine on the eve of the Sabbath or a festival.

Kippah - The skullcap worn by Jews during services, and by some Jews at all times. See yarmulke.

Kittel - A white robe worn at festive occasions like at one's own wedding, Yom Kippur and Pesach. A pious person is usually buried in the kittel he wore during his lifetime at the festivities.

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Part of the Code of Jewish Law.

Kol Nidre - Literally all vows. The evening service of Yom Kippur, or the prayer that begins that service.

Kosher - Literally fit, proper or correct. Describes food that is permissible to eat under Biblical dietary laws.




L'Chayim - Literally to life. A common Jewish toast.

L'Shanah - Tovah Literally for a good year. A common greeting during Rosh Hashanah and Days of Awe.

Lashon Hara - speaking any form of evil about another Jew. It is forbidden to speak Lashon Hara about another person, even if it is true.

Latkes - Potato pancakes traditionally eaten during Chanukah.

Lulav - One of the "four species" taken on Sukkos, but often used colloquially to refer to all four. During the Sukkos holiday, there is a commandment to take four species - the Lulav, a palm frond; the Esrog, a species of citrus fruit; the Hadas, myrtle; and Aravah, willow - and wave them in a special ceremony with a blessing.




Maccabee - Judah and his family who led the Jews against Antiochus IV. Also means hammer.

Magen David - Literally shield of David. The six-pointed star emblem commonly associated with Judaism. See Star of David.

Malach - Messenger, angel sent to carry out a mission for Hashem.

Manna - Special food God gave the Hebrew people when they were in the desert.

Maror - Bitter herbs. Traditionally horseradish served at the Passover Seder.

Mashiach - lit. `The anointed one'. The Jewish Messiah, in english means anointed. Christ is Greek for "Messiah."

Matzah - Unleavened bread.

Mazal Tov - Good luck, congratulations.

Megillah - Literally scroll. One of five books of the Bible (Esther, Ruth, Song of Songs, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes). Usually refers to the book of Esther.

Menorah - A candelabrum. Usually refers to the nine-branched candelabrum used to hold the Chanukah candles. Can also refer to the seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple. Instructions for construction of the menorah are found in Exodus 25:31-40.

Messianic - adjective of the noun Messiah.

Messianic Jews - Jews who have accepted Y’shua (Jesus) of Nazareth as the promised Messiah of Israel and Saviour of the world, and maintain Jewish identity and worship style.

Messianic Movement - A ministry promoting Jesus (Y’shua) as the Messiah to Jew and Gentile, helping others to know Him, the Bible, Biblical Jewish roots of Christianity, Israel, and God's plan of eternal redemption/salvation. Most Messianics believe it is clear from the Scriptures that salvation is an undeserved and unearned gift from God through His grace. Works of the flesh do not earn one's salvation. They believe the Scriptures also teach that God is a righteous and just God who never changes; therefore the laws given to the Jewish people, which have never been abolished, stand as a true test of our love for Him.

Mezuzah - Literally doorpost. A case attached to the doorposts of houses, containing a scroll with passages of scripture written on it. The mezuzah is not a good-luck charm nor does it have any connection with the lamb's blood placed on the doorposts in Egypt. It is a constant reminder of God's presence and God's commandments from Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Midrash - From a root meaning, "to study," "to seek out" or "to investigate." Stories elaborating on incidents in the Bible, to derive a principle of Jewish law or provide a moral lesson.

Mishkan - The Tabernacle.

Mishnah - The first section of the Talmud, being a collection of early oral interpretations of the scriptures as compiled about A.D. 200.

Mitzvah - Literally commandment. It refers to any of the 613 commandments that Jews are obligated to observe. It can also refer to any Jewish religious obligation, or more generally to any good.

Mordecai - One of the heroes of the story of Purim.

Movement - Roughly equivalent to "denomination," although the distinctions between Jewish movements are not as great as those between Christian denominations.




Nachas - Joy, happiness especially from our children.

Navi - Prophet.

Ne'ilah - Literally closing. The closing service of Yom Kippur.

Nisan - The first month of the Jewish calendar.

Nun - The fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet





Omer - A measure of barley. See The Counting of the Omer.

Oral Torah - Jewish teachings explaining and elaborating on the Written Torah, handed down orally until the Second century C.E.

Orthodox - One of the major movements of Judaism, believing that Jewish law comes from God and cannot be changed

Ohel Moed-Tent of meeting

Olam Haba-The world to come




Parsha - Portion of the Torah read each week, one of the fifty-four weekly divisions of Torah.

Pesach - Passover, an eight day festival celebrating G-d's deliverance of the Jews when they were slaves in Egypt. The first two days and the last two days of Pesach are observed as holy days. The in between days are termed Chol Hamo'ed - intermediate days.

Purim - Even though Purim represents a very significant event it is considered a minor holy day since it is not part of the Torah. It centers on the plot by the wicked Haman to murder all the Jews in King Ahasuerus 127 provinces and how Elohim used Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai to bring relief and deliverance to the Jewish people.




Rabbi - Literally means teacher. A recognized person knowledgeable of Jewish law. Usually ordained at a seminary and empowered to conduct services, weddings, and burials.

Rabeinu - Our teacher.

Rasha - Evil person.

Reform - One of the major movements of Judaism, believing that Jewish law was inspired by God and one can choose which laws to follow.

Rosh Hashanah - Literally first of the year. The new year for the purpose of counting years.

Rosh Hodesh - Literally first of the month. The first day of a month, on which the new moon appears.




Sabbath-shabbat - The most important day of the week is the Sabbath, called Shabbat in Hebrew. This begins at sundown on Friday, since the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar calendar and a new day therefore begins at this time. Shabbat is a day for rest and prayer.

Seder - Literally order. The family home ritual conducted as part of the Passover observance.

Sefer Torah - pl., Sifrei Torah. Torah scroll.

Sefiras HaOmer - Counting of the 49 days of the omer between Pesach and Shavuos.

Sekhakh - Literally covering. Material used for the roof of a sukkah during the holiday of Sukkot.

Shabbos Goy - A non-Jew who does work on Sabbath that a Jew cannot do.

Shalom - Peace, also used as a greeting as "hello" or "goodbye".

Shalach Manos - Literally sending out portions. The custom of sending gifts of food or candy to friends during Purim.

Shammus - Literally servant. The candle that is used to light other Chanukah candles.

Shavuot - Literally weeks. A festival commemorating the giving of the Torah and the harvest of the first fruits.

Shechinah - The Divine Presence

Shema - Hebrew for "Hear [O Israel]," the first word of Deuteronomy 6:4.

Shemini Atzeret Literally the eighth (day) of assembly. The day (or two days) after Sukkot.

Shevarim - One of four characteristic blasts of the shofar (ram's horn). See Rosh Hashanah.

Shofar - A ram's horn, blown like a trumpet as a call to repentance. See Rosh Hashanah.

Siddur - Literally order. Prayerbook. See Jewish Liturgy.

Simkhat Torah - Literally rejoicing in the law. A holiday celebrating the end and beginning of the cycle of weekly Torah readings. Usually considered part of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Star of David -Magen davied - The six-pointed star emblem commonly associated with Judaism. It is actually a relatively new Jewish symbol. It is supposed to represent the shape of King David's shield (or perhaps the emblem on it), but there is

really no support for that claim in the Bible or in any early rabbinical literature. Today, the Magen David is a universally recognized symbol of Jewry. It appears on the flag of the state of Israel.

Sukkah - Literally booth. The temporary dwellings observant Jews in Israel, live in during the holiday of Sukkot.

Sukkot - Literally booths. A festival commemorating the wandering in the desert and the final harvest.

Synagogue - From a Greek root meaning "assembly." The most widely accepted term for a Jewish house of worship.





Tallit - A shawl-like garment worn during morning services, with tzitzit (long fringes) attached to the corners as a reminder of the commandments.

Talmud The most significant collection of the Jewish oral tradition interpreting the Torah.

Tallit Katan - lit. 'small garment'. Refers to a small four-cornered garment, with Tzitzis attached, customarily worn throughout the day.

Tanakh or Tanach - The Old Testament. Acronym of Torah ( Law ), Nevi'im (Phophets), and Ketuvim (Writings).

Tashlikh - Literally casting off. A custom of going to a river and symbolically casting off one's sins. See Rosh Hashanah.

Tehillim - lit. `praises'. The book of Psalms.

Tet - The ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Todah Rabah - Thank you!

Torah - Literally the Law. Torah is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Bereshit (In the beginning...) (Genesis); Shemot (The names...) (Exodus); Vayikra (And He called...) (Leviticus); Bemidbar (In the wilderness...) (Numbers); Devarim (The words...) (Deuteronomy).

Teshuvah - A Hebrew word for repentance, about face, or to turn around. It is a time for one to annually examine his life and restore relationships between God and man.

Tzitzit - Fringes attached to the corners of garments as a reminder of the commandments. Numbers 15:37-41 commands to wear tzitzit (fringes) at the corners of garments as a reminder of the commandments. This is the part of the garment (the hem) the woman who sought a healing from Y'shua touched in Matthew 9:20.




Vav - The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Ve'ahav-ta- And you shall love.




Y-H-V-H -The name of Yahveh (the Lord of Host)

Y'shua-Jesus the Jewish Messiah

Yod-The tenth letter of the Hebrew alpha-bet-means the word hand. Yod is also the first letter in the name –Yahveh (Lord God) and in the name of Yshua the Messiah. Yod is also connected to the tithe which is also a Yod-tenth and belongs to Yahveh alone.

Yarmulke - The skullcap worn by Jews during services, and by some Jews at all times. May derive from Aramaic "Yirei Malka" (Fear of the King). The most commonly known and recognized piece of Jewish garb is actually the one with the least religious significance. It is an ancient practice for Jews to cover their heads during prayer. This probably derives from the fact that in Eastern cultures, it is a sign of respect to cover the head (the custom in Western cultures is the opposite: it is a sign of respect to remove one's hat). Thus, by covering the head during prayer, one showed respect for God. In addition, in ancient Rome, servants were required to cover their heads while free men did not; thus, Jews covered their heads to show that they were servants of God. In medieval times, Jews covered their heads as a reminder that God is always above them. Covering the head is a custom rather than a commandment.

Yamim Nora'im-Days of awe


Yom Kippur - Literally Day of Atonement. A day set aside for fasting, depriving oneself of pleasures, and repenting from the sins of the previous year.

Yom Adonai-Day of the Lord

Yom Ha Pedut-The day of redemption

Yom ha Zikkaron-The day of rememberance

Yom Tov - Jewish holiday.






Zion - Part of Jerusalem. Defined in the Bible as the City of David. The name is symbolic of Jerusalem, of the Promised Land, of Israel's hope of returning to Palestine (hence the term Zionism).