Abba: "Daddy." When used for HaShem it refers to the closeness between the Father and a loyal child.
Adonai: The LORD -- Lord of lords
(The) Adversary: Known by many names including Heylel, Lucifer, Devil and Satan.
Ahavat Yisrael (Ahavas Yisroel): unconditional love for fellow Jews
Alav hashalom: Hebrew phrase: "rest in peace"
Aliyah: the honor of being called upon to read from (or recite a blessing over) the Torah during Shabbat, holidays, and select weekday services. Also refers to "going up" to Israel and hence, immigrating to Israel.
Am Israel: "People Israel."
Afikoman: Small piece of matsah reserved for "desert" at the seder meal.
Aggadah: Legends, lore, stories and other non-legal material from rabbinic literature. Also: a fairy tale.
Aliyah: An ascent: to Jerusalem, to the bima to bless Torah, emigration to Israel.
Amain: Hebrew for Amen.
Amidah: Standing prayer, also known as the Shemoneh Esrei or Tefillah. The central rote prayer in Jewish services.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes ("Manifest god"): Circa 167 B.C.E. this Greek (Salucid) despot withstood the People of HaShem and failed. See Chanukkah for more.
Antisemitism: Anti-Jewish. The term does not apply to abuses against non-Jewish Semites (including Arabs). The term does apply to abuses to against non-Semitic Jews (including Messianic Jews). First used in 1860 by the Austrian Jewish scholar Moritz Steinschneider in the phrase "anti-Semitic prejudices."
Apikores: An heretic
Apologetics: The intellectual discipline of defending spiritual truth.
Ark: Sacred storage are for holding Torah scrolls, located in the front of a shul.
Arian Christians: Those Christians who reject the deity of Y'shua and the Trinity doctrine espoused in the Nicene Creed. The term "Arian" is taken from Bishop Arius. Arianism is specifically listed as a heresy by the heretical Church.
Arius (250 or 256 ? 336 CE): Bishop Arius. One of the last serious defenders of Y'shua's true nature within the Church. Arianism is specifically listed as a heresy by the heretical Church.
Ars: Israeli slang for a 'flashy roughneck', analogous to the Italian guido, although sometimes engaged in more criminal activities.
Ashkenazic: Pertaining to the Ashkenazic Jewish community, i.e. whose roots go to Germany, Eastern Europe or Russia, and specifically to their Hebrew dialect/pronunciation.
Avinu: Hebrew: father. Hence "Avraham avinu" means "Our father Avraham."
Avoda: Service to God
Avram: The Hebrew birth name of father Avraham. HaShem renamed him Avraham to mark the birth of the Avrahamic covenant.
Avraham: Also known as Abraham. Father of all Jewish People.
Avrahamic covenant: The covenant that established the Hebrews as a distinct people.
B.C.E.: "Before our common era", same as B.C.
B'rit Hadashah (Christian): 1). The New Covenant, 2). the Books of the New Testament. Jews do not accept these books as scripture.
Ba'al: "Master": Ancient demigods worshiped in the Middle East.
Ba'al teshuva or ba'al teshuvah -- Sometimes abbreviated as BT: A Jew who turns to embrace Observant/Orthodox Judaism. Baal teshuvah literally means, "master of repentance" or "master of return" i.e., one who has repented or "returned" to God.
B’sha’ah tovah: the traditional Hebrew congratulations given to a pregnant woman or her loved ones, implicitly wishing that the baby will be born healthy and safe
B’tzelem Elokim: the Jewish belief that all humans are created in the Divine Image of G-d
Baal koreh: the one who reads from the Torah scroll
Baal teshuva: One who returns to (masters himself through) traditional religious Jewish observance.
Babylon: The Babylon Empire of King Nebuchadnezzar. Modern Iraq.
Babylon the Great (a Christian prophecy): Future Roman based Global religion that will worship the coming global dictator.
Balak: Biblical character, Numbers 22:2–25:9, also the 40th weekly Torah parsha .
Bar mitzvah/bat mitzvah: a male child of 13 or a female child of 12, who attains the age of religious obligation and responsibility as adults.
Baruch HaShem: "Praise or thanks be to God." This phrase should be constantly upon our lips.
Beit din: A Jewish religious court. Plural form: battei din.
Bekishe: A long black coat worn by Chasidic Jews. Typically constructed out of black silk or polyester, sometimes with other colors.
Beit HaMikdash: The "House of the Holy"; the Jerusalem Temple of HaShem.
Beracha (berakhah, bracha, brokho, brokhe): A blessing, often begining with "Baruch Atta Adonai..."
Bimah: The typically elevated platform in synagogue used as a podium for Torah readings during services and as the pulpit for shiurim (talks/lessons).
Bochur: A student, usually an unmarried male, aka talmid
Brit milah: Circumcision: The removal of the male foreskin. Required of Jewish males and converts. Ashkenazi pronunciation: bris milah, "covenant of circumcision"; Yiddish pronunciation: bris). A Jewish religious circumcision ceremony performed on 8-day old male infants by a mohel or a recognized Jewish medical professional. The brit milah is followed by a celebratory meal (seudat mitzvah). (Genesis 17:1-14). Physical sign that one has embraced the Covenant of Avraham. Already circucised converts must received a symbolic brit known as hatafat dam brit.
CHABAD-Lubavitch: CHaBaD: chokhmah, binahm da'at (i.e. wisdom, insight, understanding). An Chassidic Jewish Movement founded by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady, aka the Alter Rebbe, (c. 1745-1812). Headquartered in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and known for its outreach to Jews from non-Orthodox backgrounds.
Chag: A Jewish holiday
Chag haSmicha: Greeting for a graduation ceremony celebrating the bestowing of rabbinical ordination upon a class or individual.
Chag Sameach: Used as a holiday (chag) greeting. The name of the holiday is inserted in the middle of the words, such as: "Chag Chanukah Sameach." Most properly used during the chol ha-moed (intermediate days) of the Passover and Sukkot holidays.
Chag Kasher V'Same'ach: Wishing you a happy and kosher holiday.
Chai: The Chai symbol is commonly seen on necklaces and other jewelry and ornaments. The Hebrew word Chai (living) is made up of the two Hebrew letters Cheit and Yod attached to each other. Some say it refers to the Living God; others say it reflects Judaism's focus on the importance of life and its commitment to its continuance. Whatever the reason, the concept of chai is important in Jewish culture. The typical Jewish toast is l'chayim (to life). Charitable gifts are routinely given in multiples of 18 (the numeric value of the word Chai).
Chalaka: Hebrew term for the ceremony of a three-year old Jewish boy’s first haircut
Chalav Yisrael (aka Cholov Yisroel): Dairy products which derive from milk that has been milked completely under the supervision of a religiously observant Jew.
Challah: Sabbath bread
Chanukkah (Hanukkah): Feast of Re-dedication (I Maccabees 4:56?59, John 10:22,23), festival of Lights: Eight days beginning on Kislev 25
Chasidim (or Hasidim): "The pious ones." Specifically one under the direction of the Baal Shem Tov of any of this talmidim (students), for instance, a Breslov Chassid, an Chabad Chassid. Also used for any devout follower of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi.
Charedi: A stream of strictly observant Orthodox Judaism characterized by their total rejection of modern secular culture, also known as “ultra Orthodoxy.”
Chas veshalom: Hebrew phrase meaning “G’d forbid”
Chatat: A sacrificial sin-offering in Temple times
Chavruta: a religious study group of 2-5 partners
Chazzan: A Jewish cantor
Cherem: Disfellowshipment, an ecclesiastical censure that is the total exclusion of a Jew from the rest of the Jewish community.
Chevra kadisha: Said to be the holy service any Jew can render. A group of Jewish men and/or women who care for the bodies of deceased Jews prior to the burial of the met (body) according to Jewish tradition. They are also charged with its protection from any desecrationprior to burial
Cholent: a traditional Jewish stew, simmered overnight and eaten for lunch on Shabbat afternoon
Chumash: A commentary on the Five Books of Moses (the Torah).
Chuppah: The Jewish wedding canopy
Chutzpadik: A Yiddish word meaning impudent, brazen, or not showing due respect.
Cohen Gadol: High Preist, leader of the cohenim (priests) of Israel.
Cohen Gadol (Christian understanding): "High Priest" and Mediator Since his execution it is believed that Yeshua has been the God's appointed Cohen Gadol. Judaism of course rejects this.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Christian): AKA the Holy Inquisition: A still existing Catholic Order that slaughtered millions of people in the name of God. Covenant: agreement. The Covenant refers to HaShem's eternal covenant with the Jewish people.
Derech HaShem: "The Way of God."
Devekut: Attachment to the Beloved leading to Unity.
Diaspora: The forced displacement or exile of the Jews from Eretz Israel. It is used and dated in various ways. Most agree that the Diaspora will continue until Messiah comes and calles all Jews home to the Land of Israel. Those Jews now living in Israel have escaped the Diaspora.
Doctrines: Debatable beliefs. Doctrines may be binding but are not generally considered essential for acceptence in the group.
Doctrine of Original Sin (Christian): The Christian belief, established by Augustine, is that all humans are inheritors of "the sin of Adam" and in need of redemption by Jesus.
Dogmas: Required beliefs. Rejecting established dogmas are viewed as serious deviation that in some groups can result in expulsion from the community. For Jews Rambam limits these to thirteen.
Ebionites (Early Christian): Some use this term to refer to the original followers of Y'shua, but that is doubtful. More commonly used for a Gnostic faction that rejected traditional Torah beliefs in favor of anti-material monism. Chief heretical rival of the Nicolaitans (the faction that became Christianity: Revelation 2:9, 3:9). Their belief in the incorporeal nature of Y'shua is expressly rejected at I John 4:3 and II John 1:7.
Echad Elohiym Hebrew: "One God": the title used in early Genesis and elsewhere.
Elohim: An ancient title of the Holy One. Our ancestors knew there was only one true G-d. Mystically they conceived of Him as Havaya, a conjugation of the verb "to be." The Beloved is "He Who Is" and "He Who causes all else to Be." They called this unknowable Being "Elohim," meaning, "Mighty Force(s)."
Emissaries (Christian): Same as Apostles.
Emunah: Active faith.
Eretz Israel: The Land of Israel.
Essenes: Pious separatist Jews (separated themselves from the P'rushim and Israeli society under the leadership of the "Teacher of Righteousness") and dwelt especially at Khirbet Qumran, Damascus, and Bethabara (Yochanan the Immerser's community.
Evrit: or Hebrew: The language of the Bible, also known as the Holy Tongue. For thousands of years, Jews have prayed, studied, written and read in this ancient language. According to tradition, the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet hold the secrets to the creation and the key to G-d’s wisdom. Modern Hebrew is biblical Hebrew updated for modern society.
Flagellation (Christian and others): A masochistic or sadistic act in which the participants receive erotic or religious stimulation from whipping or being whipped. Common among Catholic monks in the early centuries, still practiced by some. Supposedly done in order to "share in the sufferings of Christ."
Frum (or "FFB": Frum from birth): Jews who are born and raised as religiously observant (Orthodox) Jews and continue to live that way. Most are considered Heredim (Ultra Orthodox)
Gaon of Vilna: Great Jurist and Talmudist. Declared Hasidim a heresy in 1772 (see Mitnagdism.
Gentile: A non-Jew, Ger: of the nations.
Ger: Used in two ways in and outside the Bible:
Biblically: A non-Jew, specifically one that is affiliated with People Israel by worship and culture.
In common usage: a convert to Judaism.
Ger Tzadik: A righteous convert or righteous non-Jew.
Gezerot: "Protective legislation" (known as shvut where these laws relate to Shabbat)
Gilgul Neshamot: The cyclical rolling of souls. Reincarnation. The Jewish doctrine that souls sometime "roll" from one body to the next before resting and awaiting the resurrection.
Gnosticism: Gnostic: A set of diverse, anti-biblical Syncretistic religious movements and beliefs consisting of various philosophical systems generally united around the theme that material existence is illusory and that through revealed Gnosis (secret initiate teachings) "clear reality" can be perceived. The "god concept" for Gnostics is most closely akin to Plato's conception of Pleroma (the constant unfolding of the diverse Divine emanations: the Aeons, the "Eternities" or "Worlds without end") and Godhead as seen in his Timaeus (dialogues). Some versions of the Nicene Trinity heresy are influenced by Gnosticism although more from Nicolaitan Paganism. Gnosticism is completely contrary to biblical religion. Apostle John refers to it an anti-christ (anti-anointed) doctrine (I John 4:3; II John 4:7). Grafted in: Conversion to Messianic Judaism (based on Romans 11). One of the terms used for Messianic conversion. Like the word "adoption" (Romans 8:15) it signifies that those who embrace Y'shua as Cohen Gadol (High Priest and Mediator) become members of the Messianic Jewish religion.
Golden Bowl (Occult): The mystically confirmed "bowl" in which the life force resides. When the golden bowl is cracked the life force (ruach) seeps out and the person dies (see: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7).
Goy: Yiddish: A non-Jew (plural goyim)
Grace: Greek: Che'n (pronounced "khane"): the unmerited graciousness or bestowal of undeserved favor by another.
Grafted in (Christian): Conversion to Messianic Judaism (based on Romans 11). One of the terms used for conversion. Like the word "adoption" (Romans 8:15) it signifies that those who embrace Y'shua as Cohen Gadol (High Priest and Mediator) become members of the Messianic Jewish religion.
Graphe: (Greek) meaning "writ," the "documents" (i.e. "scriptures" as the KJV has it).
Great Disappointement (Christian): October 22, 1844.
Based on Daniel chapter 9 William Miller announced that Jesus Christ would return to this earth take full possession of it. The first date for this event was given as sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. When this date didn't pan out, a new date was 'revealed': April 18, 1844. The final corrected date was set for seven months later on October 22, 1844. With this prophecy Adventist preacher Samuel S. Snow (1806?1890) established what is known as the Seventh-month movement to proclaim this final date. Snow proposed that the delay had been the stripping away of those Adventists who lacked faith in order to establish and strengthen the rest as the faithful remnent.
Ha'luach Ha'ivri: The Hebrew calendar dating back to the creation of the Earth in 1 HH: 3761 B.C.E.
HaShem: The KING/the Name -- King of kings
HaShem hagadol: The Great Name)
Halakhah: Jewish Law comes from three sources: from the Torah, from laws instituted by the rabbis and from long-standing customs. Halakhah from any of these sources can be referred to as a mitzvot. See also: Mitzvah Hamesh (or hamsa) hand: A popular image used by many cultures for good luck. No one seems to know why!
Hasidic Judaism (also spelled Chasidic): A branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularization and internalization of Jewish mysticism.
Hasidism (also spelled Chasidism): the path of the Hassidic Jews. Hasmonean Empire: Hasmonean Kingdom of Israel (140?37 BC)
HaTikvah: "The Hope": The national anthem of Israel.
Haskalah: "The Enlightenment." This Jewish trend arose during the 1800's and encorporated non-Jewish critiques on Jewish society's insularity, and economic insufficency. It seeks to redefine Jewish tradition (rather than replace it) through assimilation. From this trend arose Reform Judaism and many other non-Orthodox forms.
Havah: "Life," often known as Eve, wife of Adam.
Havdalah: "Separation": Prayers closing the weekly Shabbat observances.
Hebrew: or Evrit: The language of the Bible, also known as the Holy Tongue. For thousands of years, Jews have prayed, studied, written and read in this ancient language. According to tradition, the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet hold the secrets to the creation and the key to G-d’s wisdom. Modern Hebrew is biblical Hebrew updated for modern society.
Hechsher: A rabbinical product certification qualifying items -- usually foods -- as being compliant to the dietary laws of Kashrut. A rabbinic hechsher confirms that food items may be eaten by observant Jews under our halakhah (law). However if one has diabetes, for instance, candy is still to be avoided despite having a kosher hechsher. Or we might say, although a product is "kosher," it may not be "fit" for all people.
Hell (Christian): An unbiblical Nicene Christian myth based on the abode of the god Hades.
Hellenist: Culturally Greek.
Hellenistic Jews: Jews unduly influenced by Greek culture.
Heylel: Name used for the Adversary at Isaiah 14:12. Usually translated/referred to as Lucifer.
Hitbodedut: Seclusion with HaShem. For more on this topic
Hitlahavut: Burning ecstasy of oneness with or enthusiasm for HaShem. For more on this topic
Ibbur Neshamot: The Jewish doctrine of the impregnation or incubation of souls.
This is a more specialized form of reincarnation (gilgul neshamot) in which a soul is sent from the 'spirit realms' to impregnate a woman in order to achieve some goal or task. For Christians Y'shua is an example of this sort of incarnation (being born of a virgin is not part of this concept). The idea is completely consistent with the Oral Torah.
Ibbur neshamot are always from a positive source.
Inquisition: A Catholic Order that slaughtered millions of people in the name of God. Now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Israeli: A citizen of Israel (regardless of religion).
Israelite: There are two main meanings:
Biblical usage: One who is a physical descendant of Ya'akov (Jacob/Israel).
Modern usage: One who lives in the Land of Israel (same as Israeli).
Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshua or Y'shua; Greek: Iesous/Iesus): Y'shua was renamed Jesus by the Catholic Church as part of its "anti-judaizing" campaigns. "Jesus" is not a translation of his name.
Jew: One whose mother is Jewish (one whose father is Jewish according to Karaite Judaism), or one who has formaly converted into Judaism through a reognized beit din.
Judah: One of the 12 House of Israel.
Judaism: The religion and culture of the Jews, of the House of Judah; authorized biblical religion.
Judaizer (Christian): Originally applied to Noahides (i.e. Gentiles who worship the God of Israel without converting to Judaism). Later applied as a negative to those who maintained the Jewish teachings of Y'shua rather than the Pagainized teachings of the Vatican. Judaizing was a capital offence for hundreds of years in Christian countries.
Kabbalah: The discipline and school of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Rabbinic Judaism.
Kabbalah consists of esoteric Jewish teachings that focus on the relationship between the utterly transcendent Creator (En Soph) and material existence (HaShem's creation).
- Strictly avoid ALL forms of "Christian Kabbalah," "Practical Kabbalah," "Hermetic Kabbalah" and other forms. These often contain and foster dangerous heresies. Kabbalah is for serious, advanced talmidim only.
Karaite Jews: Religions successors of the Tzadok (Sadducee) Movement of 1st Century Judaism. Today they are the minority movement.
Kashrut: The body of Jewish law dealing with which foods may and may not be eaten by Jews, and how those foods need to be prepared. The word Kashrut is Hebrew and translates as "fit," "proper" or "correct" according to Jewish Law as established by Torah and/or Rabbinic injunction and application. Kashrut is a section of Jewish Law ( Halakhah)
Kingdom (Christian concept): The Kingdom refers to the 1000 year (millennial) reign of Y'shua HaMoshiach. The Kingdom will be followed by the New Heaven and New Earth of the Olam Haba (world to come).
Kippah (Kippot plural) or Yarmulke: is the correct Hebrew term for the skullcap worn by Jews (primarily by male Jews although some women wear them as well). It is properly pronounced as "key-pah." See Yarmulke.
There is no biblical command to wear kippot even though it is the most common of our outward practices. Keeping ones head covered is a command of the Oral Torah. The command is in perfect harmony with the Scriptures and as Messianic Jews we are encouraged to observe this tradition:
Cover your head so that the fear of heaven may be upon you. -Talmud Shabbat 156b
R. Huna son of R. Joshua would not walk four cubits bareheaded, saying: The Shechinah [Divine Presence] is above my head. -Talmud Kiddushin 31a
R. Huna son of R. Joshua said: May I be rewarded for never walking four cubits bareheaded. -Talmud Shabbat 118b
Klal Y'Israel: The people of Israel: the Jews
Kodesh: Strong's #H6942: a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity: - consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.
Kook: HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook. September 7,1865-September 1, 1935. Son of Perel Zlota and Shlomo Zalman Ha-Cohen Kook in Grieva (Griva), Courland, (midway between Warsaw and Saint Petersburg). First (Ashkenazi) chief rabbi of modern Israel (apointed in 1921) and spiritual grandfather of Religious Zionism.
Kosher: Primarily describes foods that meet the standards of Kashrut. The word is also correctly used to describe ritual objects that are made and maintained in accordance with Jewish law and are hence are deemed "fit" for ritual use. The term has now entered common usage to reference anything that is fit or proper, "a kosher house," "a kosher job," etc, but the term technically only refers to Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut.). Food that is not kosher is referred to as treif (literally: torn as when an animal contaminates food by tearing it).
Loshon hora (lit., evil talk) is defined as information which is either derogatory or potentially harmful to another individual. A derogatory statement about someone is loshon hora, even if will definitively not cause that person any harm. To focus on the shortcomings of another person is in itself wrong. A statement that could potentially bring harm to someone -- be it financial, physical, psychological or otherwise -- is loshon hora, even if the information is not negative. (It should be noted that the term loshon hara refers even to true statements which are derogatory or harmful. Negative statements that are untrue or inaccurate are termed hotzaas shem ra, slander -- Sefer Chofetz Chaim page 50.M:
Ma'ariv: Evening prayers (see prayers).
Magen David: The "Shield of David" or as it is more commonly known, the Star of David.
Maimonides: Rabbi Moses ben-Maimon; Rambam. Born Passover Eve, 1135, died in Egypt on 20th Tevet, December 12, 1204. He is one the main sages we turn to for clarifications on the Law of G-d. His Mishnah Torah remains one of the influential books on Torah Law and practice. Although other counts exist, his 613 Principles is the standard accepted by most Jews.
Mamser: A child born from a halachically forbidden union. According to the Mishnah, a mamzer is the offspring of a Biblically forbidden union (M.Yebamoth 4, Mishnah 13). The Shulhan Arukh adds that a true mamzer can only be produced by two Jews (Shulhan Arukh Even haEzer 4:19). Some hold that the child of an unmarried Jewish woman is not a mamser.
Mekubbalim: Students/practitioners of Kabbalah.
Melachah: Work or labor.
Melchizedek (Malki-Tzedek): This obscure figure appears several times in the Bible for example: Genesis 14:18 and Psalms 110).
Menorah: Jewish candelabra. Normally holds 3, 7 or 8 candles.
Merovingian: The House of European nobility.
Originated from Merovech (Meroveus or Merovius in Latin and Merovee in French) founded the Salian Frankish Merovingian dynasty. According to tradition, Merovech was born of a sea god (his mother was raped by a bestea Neptuni Quinotauri similis; mero is the root of "mermaid"). This beast is known as a Quinotaur, which is to say, a five-horned sea bull. The House was established through Charles "The Hammer" Martel" (aka Carolus Martellus, ca. 688 ? 22 October 741).
Messiah: English for Mashiach: "Anointed." See also Mashiach.
Messianic: Of the Messiah/Mashiach: "the Messianic age." See also Mashiach.
Messianic Jews (Christian): Jews and Gentiles who belong to one of "Judaizing" Christian sects that believe the Messiah/Mashiach has come and can be identified as Jesus (Y'shua). These sects seek to convert Jews to their version of Christianity. So called 'Jews for Jesus' is a major example.
Messianic Jews (Jewish): Some members of Chabad are 'Messianic Jews' because they believe the Seventh and final Lubuvitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was the Messiah.
Some Breslover Jews, especially the Nanach sect, i.e. the followers of Saba, Rabbi Yisroel Dov Ber Odesser, are Messianic Jews because they believe Saba is the Messiah.
Mezuzah: Deuteronomy 6:9, 11:19: tube containing the Shema. It is attached to the right of the doorway
Minchah: Midday prayers (see prayers).
Mitnagdism: "the Opponents." Positive use: Traditional Rabbinic Jews who stress the spiritual enlightenment that comes through Torah study alone. Negative use: Traditional Rabbinic Jews opposed to the blossoming of Hasidism. Championed by the Gaon who, in 1772 declared Hasidim a heresy.
Miqra: "That which is read." Another name for the Tanakh.
Mitzvah: (plural mitzvot): Commandments. Codified Jewish Law (Halakha):
- Halakhah (Jewish Law) comes from three sources: from the Torah, from laws instituted by the rabbis and from long-standing customs/traditions of the people. Halakhah from any of these sources can be referred to as a mitzvot.
- The word mitzvah is commonly used in a casual way to refer to any good deed. Because of this imprecise usage, halakhic discussions usually specify the type of mitzvot begin discussed:
- Mitzvot d'oraita (an Aramaic word meaning "from the Torah": there are 613 such mitzvot)
- Mitzvot d'rabbanan (Aramaic for "from the rabbis").
- Minhag refers to a mitzvah that arises from established custom.Mitzvot from all three of these sources are considered binding, although there are differences in the way they are applied.
Mosaic (Sinai) Covenant: The Mount where HaShem revealed Torah of Moshe (Moses).
Moshe: Moses the Law Giver: Most important figure in Judaism.
Moshiach: "Anointed" (implied: of HaShem):
- A consecrated (anointed) person (as a king or priest). specially, The Messiah. "Mashiach" is a slightly more common spelling in English however "Moshiach" is most correct in our opinion (and according to the usage of the 1st and 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe and other authorities).
- Many anointed persons are called "moshiach" in the Scriptures. For instance:
Exodus 29:29 And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him, to be anointed [Hebrew: moshiach] therein, and to be consecrated in them.
Leviticus 4:3 If the priest that is anointed [Hebrew moshiach] do sin according to the sin of the people
I Samuel 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed [moshiach] thee to be captain over his inheritance
I Samuel 24:6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed [moshiach], to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed [moshiach], of the LORD.
II Samuel 23:1 Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed [moshiach] of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said...
Isaiah 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed [moshiach], to Cyrus...
Na-venadnik: Yiddish: one who is a perpetual exile, a stranger among strangers, a homeless wanderer. Term popularized by Elie Wiesel in The Oath.
Nazarene (Christian): Translated as "branch" (Isaiah 11:1): [netser or natsar depending on how the vowel sounds are handled]. In either case, the words "Nazareth" and "Nazarene" can be traced to this term:
Nazarenes: Pre-Christian Torah observant first and second century CE students of the historic Y'shua (Acts 24:5).
- na?tsar, נָצַר, meaning "to watch,"
- ne?tser, נֵ֫צֶר, meaning branch.
Nephilim: Huma hybrids referenced at Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33 as "giants." Also called Rapha (Joshua 12:4).
Nicene Christianity: The religion that embraces the teachings of the Nicene Creed. Most Christian denominations and sects accept this Creed even though it violates Torah.
Nicene Creed: An anti-Torah creed created by the Catholic Church to establish their new religion. It promotes the essential anti-biblical believe in a triune godhead composed of three gods, known as Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Nicolaitan Heresy: The heresy of mixing biblical religion with other belief systems (Revelation 2:6, 15). Also known as Universalism.
Netser: See Nazarene.
Netilat Yadayim: The Jewish hand washing ritual.
Noahide: A Gentile who embraces the Seven Law 'Rainbow Covenant' established through Noah. Also referred to as "Noachide," Noachim," "Bene Noach" and "Ger tzadik". For more see Here.
Notzrim ("Nazarenes"): See Nazarene. A Talmudic term often used by Jews to refer to those who accept Y'shua (Jesus) as Mashiach.
Novus Ordo Mundi: "New World Order." According to some this is phase one of the coming global domination (Novus Ordo Seclorum: "New Order of the Ages"). A theorized clandestine cabal working to establish the reign of Rex Mundi (known as Antichrist, Dijal etc).
Novus Ordo Seclorum: "New Order of the Ages." Phase two of the global conquest. Clandestine cabal working to establish the reign of Antichrist (see: Novus Ordo Mundi).
Return to alphabetical list O:
Olam HaZeh: 'The world as it is'.
Olam Haba: 'The world as it will be once the Kingdom is established', also used for the afterlife generally.
Oneg Shabbat, (Hebrew: "Joy of Sabbath"), informal Sabbath (or Friday evening) gathering of Jews in a synagogue or private home to express outwardly the happiness inherent in the Sabbath holiday. Now more social than religious, the group entertains itself with music, drama, community discussions, lectures, or the singing of religious melodies ? all in keeping with the biblical injunction, "and call the Sabbath a delight" (Isaiah 58:13). Usually refreshments are provided to complement the congenial atmosphere and perpetuate in spirit the Talmud?s recommendation to eat three full Shabbat meals.
Oral Torah: Mishna and Talmud: See "Torah"
Return to alphabetical list P:
P'rushim: The Pharisee sect of Judaism. Today known as Rabbinic Judaism ("the Judaism of the rabbis).
Paradigm: World view: The unified sets of inflected beliefs based on a single or foundational stem or concept: Since "this" is true, "that" must be true as well. An individual or groups accepted view of reality, the "obvious truths," whether objectively accurate or not.
Parsha: The weekly Torah portions (List of the Weekly Parsha and commentaries at chabad.org).
Parush: See: P'rushim
Patriarchs: Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov: the fathers of our faith
Pauline (Christian): Pertaining to the teachings of the Apostle Paul.
Phylactery: See Tefillin.
Pleroma: The constant unfolding of the diverse Divine emanations: the Aeons, the "Eternities" or "Worlds without end."
Prayers: There are three specific periods of prayer daily:
- Evening: Ma'ariv
- Morning: Shacharit
- Midday: Minchah
Predestination: See Calvinism
Rabbi: A teacher of the Written and Oral Torah; a leader of a Jewish congregation or other ministry. While any such teacher is technically a rabbi, to be accepted as one by a given group one needs to receive formal certification that group accepts. Normally rabbis are very well trained in religious studies. Many are also well trained in secular subjects.
Rabbinic Judaism: The largest form of Judaism today. Descended from the Pharisee (P'rushim) movement of the first century.
Rambam: See: Maimonides
Rapha: See: Nephilim.
Rapture (Christian): The non-biblical belief that all "true Christians" will be miraculously teleported to safety during the tribulation period, thus avoiding the final testing.
Rebbe: Used in different ways, from the same root as rabbi: An especially honored rabbi, a teacher of rabbis, the spiritual leader of an Hasidic fellowship.
Reincarnation: See: Gilgul Neshamot and Ibbur Neshamot
Replacement Theology (Christian): The anti-biblical and anti-Semitic belief that the religion of Christianity (or some sect thereof) has replaced Judaism and the Jewish people as the Elect of God. It is generally believed by advocates of this view that the Jews have been cursed by God and "handed over to Satan for eternal damnation." It is believed that in order for Jews to be "saved" they must abandon Judaism and convert to Christianity.
Resurrection: The physical resurrection of the dead in the Olam Haba (world to come) is an established dogma of certain segments of Rabbinic Judaism (especially common among the Hasidim).
Rex Mundi: "Global Potentate." This term is used for the coming global ruler by many aligned with the Merovingian Elite and their supporters. They consider him to be a positive force in the world. This is the same prophecied being called anti-Christ by Christians and Dijal by Islam.
Ruach HaKodesh: The Spirit Presence of HaShem. HaShem is One. The Ruach Hakodesh is not an entity apart from Him as believed by Christians. It is the Presence of God.
Sabbath: See Shabbat
Saint Nick (Christian): Old Nick, Lucifer, Nicolaitan Bishop Nicolas of Myra (member of the Nicean Council), Santa Claus. See here for more on Santa and his holiday.
Sanhedrin: Literally "sitting together": The Jewish assembly formerly consisting of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.
The Sanhedrin was dismantled in 358 C.E.
In October 2004 (Tishrei 5765), a group of rabbis representing various Orthodox communities in Israel undertook a ceremony in Tiberias, where the original Sanhedrin was disbanded. They say they re-established the body according to the proposal of Maimonides and the Jewish legal rulings of Rabbi Yosef Karo. Most Jewish authorities do not accept this modern 'Sanhedrin's' authority.
Saturnalia: The Pagan festival in celebration of the god Saturn (aka Kronos or Cronus): December 17-23: origin of the Nicene holiday Christmas.
Semikhah (aka smicha, aka smicha lerabbanut [rabbinical ordination]): Rabbinic Jewish ordination. The first two classes are still issued today, the last one is not.
Yoreh Yoreh ("May he decide? He may decide!"):: The recipient of this semikhah has demonstrated sufficient education and proper judgment to be able to render halachic judgments on matters of religious law as it pertains to daily life such as kashrut, nidda, and permissible or forbidden activities on Shabbos or Yom Tov.Shabbat: From the root Shin-Bet-Tav meaning to cease, to end, or to rest. Also known as the Sabbath. The cyclical seventh day of the week. On modern calendars Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Also known as Yom Shekulo Sabbat (the eternal Shabbat). For more see my study here
Yadin Yadin ("May he judge? He may judge!"): The recipient of this semikhah has demonstrated sufficient education and proper judgment to be able to render halakhic judgments on matters of religious law as it pertains to monetary and property disputes.
Yatir Bechorot Yatir: The recipient of this semikhah demonstrated sufficient education and proper judgment to determine the ritual status of firstborn animals that have developed a blemish. This degree required extensive veterinary knowledge.
Shacharit: Morning prayers (see prayers).
Shalom Alaikum: "Peace be unto you." Also: Sholem aleychem (Yiddish). The proper response is "Aleichem shalom," or "Upon you be peace."
Shamor: observe or guard. Hebrew: Shamor et yom ha-Shabbat l'kad'sho - Deuteronomy 5:12
Shamor et yom ha-Shabbat l'kad'sho: "Observe the Sabbath day to sanctify it."
Shamor Shabbat: "Guardian of the Sabbath." One who properly observes the Sabbath.
Shamor et yom ha-Shabbat l'kad'sho
Shulchan Aruch (Shulcan Oruch): Yosef Karo's 1563 Code of Jewish Law. Still the most authoritative legal code of Judaism. It was authored in Safed, Israel and published in Venice two years later. Together with its commentaries, this is the most widely accepted compilation of Jewish law ever written.
Shvut: The "Gezerot" or "Protective Legislation" applicable to Shabbat
Sefirot: The Ten Emanations of God according to the Kabbalist (mystical) Jewish system.
Order of the Sefirot:
- Keter Elyon (Supreme Crown) or Ratzon (Will)
- Chochmah (Wisdom)
- Binah (Intelligence)
- Chesed (Love) or Gedullah (Greatness)
- Gevurah (Power) or Din (Judgment)
- Tiferet (Beauty) or Rachamim (Compassion)
- Netzach (Lasting Endurance)
- Hod (Majesty)
- Yesod Olam (Foundation of the World) or Tzaddik (Righteous One)
- Malchut (Kingdom) or Atarah (Diadem), or Shekhina (Feminine Divine Presence)
Shema: The central statement of Jewish faith:
Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad
"Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Shemini Atzeret: ("Eighth Day of Assembly"): Tishri 22 (the eighth day after entering the sukkah for Sukkot).
Shofar: Most traditionally a ram's horn that is sounded at specified times like a trumpet (any properly prepared kosher animal horn can be used, other than that of the cow).
Shul: A Jewish congregation's meeting place. This term is mainly used for Orthodox meeting places but be used more generally.
Siddur: Jewish prayer book
Silver cord (Occult): The ephemeral tie that binds materially embodied beings to their higher self (see: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7).
Simchat Torah: "Rejoicing with/of the Torah" Tishri 22. The eighth day after entering the sukkah anually. Completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings, beginning of the annual cycle of Torah readings. A day of celebration and dancing with the Torah scrolls. Often viewed as part of Sukkot, but that is technically incorrect as it occurs on the day after.
Stauros (Christian): Execution stake. According to the New Textament Y'shua died on a stauros not a cross (which is an ancient Pagan symbol).
Sukkot: Begins Tishri 15. Instituted at Leviticus 23:33. Also known as the Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles during which we dwell in a sukkah (a small hut with a thatched roof) as reminders of the 40 year sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness.
Tallit: Two varieties of square coverings worn by adult Jewish males in order to obey the command to wear tzit tzit. Observed in one of two ways:
- Wearing tallit gadol: This is the traditional fringed Jewish prayer shawl. Tallit gadol is only worn during prayer, meditation, and worship.
- Wearing tallit katan: This is a fringed smock style undergarment (some Orthodox wear it as an outer garment). It should be worn at all times by Torah observant Jews according to the Shulcan Aruch and other authorities. Some rabbis feel the command to wear tzitziyot does not apply after sunset while others wear it constantly, even while sleeping. It can not be worn too often by Jewish men. Women are no obligated to wear tallit. Orthodox women typically do not, non-Orthodox sometimes do.
Talmid: (plural Talmidim): learner, student
Talmud: Oral Torah: The foundation of Rabbinic Jewish Law. Karaite Jews do not accept the Talmud.
Tanakh: The Hebrew Scriptures. Also known as the "Old Testament" and the Hebrew Bible. The term "Old Testament" should be avoided due to the false implication that the "New Testament" has superseded it. The anem is an acronym:
Biblical Hebrew has no vowels so two "a" vowel diacritics are added for pronunciation (and written as dashes below the Hebrew letters T-N-KH).
- T: The Torah or "Teaching." Torah in this context refers to the Five Books of Moshe/Moses (Genesis - Deuteronomy).
- N: The Nevi'im or "Prophets."
- Kh: Khetuvim, The "Writings."
Tefillin: Etymologically related to the word "tefilah" (prayer) and the root Pe-Lamed-Lamed (judgment). Leather straps and two black boxes containing Torah scrolls (Exodus 13:1-10; 13:11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21.
Traditionally worn by men (only) during Shacharit (Morning) Prayers (not worn on Shabbat or festival days). One attaches the straps to the non-dominant arm and forehead and recited certain prayers. The term tefillin is preferable to the word "phylactery" which means "amulet" and misses the whole point. "Laying Tefillin" is a righteous daily mitzvot for Jewish males.Ten Enumerations: See: Sefirot
Ten Words: See: Sefirot
Theologian: (Greek root) An expert in Theology.
Theology: (Greek root) The study of Theo: God.
Tikun: Fixing or repairing the world: According to the Kabbalistic teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria there are two stages of Existence: the world as it is (the Olam Hazeh) and the world to come (the Olam Haba). The collective purpose of the Jewish people is to repair that which has been broken (i.e. our world of Tohu - Chaos) and bring in the world of Tikkun - Rectification for the blessing of the Creator and the created.
Todah Rabah: "Thank You" in Hebrew.
Torah: The "Mind of HaShem": Torah is revealed in many ways including: The five books of Moses (Genesis - Deuteronomy 2), the revealed Will/Wisdom of HaShem (in prayer, meditation etcv) and the study of the Written and Oral Torah.
Tribulation Period (Christian): The final seven year period of the present age. Often viewed as the Tribulation (first 3 1/2 years) and Great Tribulation (second three and a half).
- Written Torah: The Five Books of Moshe (Genesis - Deuteronomy)
- The Tanakh ("Old Testament") is sometimes called the Torah as well.
- Oral Torah: Timeless oral traditions later codified as the Talmud and Mishna
- Personal revelations from HaShem during prayer, study and meditation. These must always be consistent with the Written Torah.
Tohu: See Tikkun.
Trinity (Christian): The anti-biblical Nicene dogma that the One God exists as a Triune Being composed of "God the Father," "God the Son," and "God the Holy Spirit." This dogma is at odds with all forms of Judaism and biblical religion. Doctrinally some regard it as idolatry while others argue that for Gentiles to hold such a belief in ignorance is not idolatry. For a Jew it certainly would be classified as both heresy and idolatry.
Tz'dukim: The Sadducee sect of Judaism. Along with other sects they became known as Karaite Judaism, a minor but still existing sect.
Tzaddik (plural Tzaddikim): Righteous person or saint. Can be applied to Jews or Gentiles. Technically one whose merit at least surpasses his/her iniquity is a tzaddik. A 'true tzaddik' is one with great emunah (active personal faith) and holiness with almost no iniquity. Such tzadikim are rare but in each generation there are at least 36 present on the planet. These 36 righteous ones (by HaShem's determination) are known as the Tzadikim Nistarim. Generally they are unrecognized by anyone as such although a few people have been proclaimed Tzadikim Nistarim due to their obvious holiness.
Tzedakah Boxes: Donation boxes in homes, shuls and other places. Money is placed in this and later donated to various worthwhile causes.
Tzit tzit: Numbers 15:38-40: The fringes placed on square garments: The command for Jewish males (only) to wear tzit tzit is obeyed in one of two ways:
Tallit gadol: This is the traditional fringed Jewish prayer shawl. Tallit gadol is only worn during prayer and worship.Tzitziyot: See tzit tzit.
Tallit katan: This is a fringed smock style undergarment (some Orthodox wear it as an outer garment). It should be worn at all times by Torah observant Jews. Some rabbis feel the command to wear tzitziyot does not apply after sunset while others wear it constantly, even while sleeping. It can not be worn too often.
Tziyon: Zion, Tzion,
Way Christian: Hebrew: derech. A name used for first and second century followers of Y'shua.
Return to alphabetical list
Y'shua or Yeshua (Christian): The name of the historic Jesus of Nazareth. Meaning: "HaShem Saves": Matthew 1:21.
Yarmulke: Yiddish word for a kippa or Jewish skull cap. Wearing one is a matter of Jewish tradition and custom. One is not obligated to wear any particular style and indeed any hat fulfils the tradition.
The word comes from either the Tartar word for "skullcap" (according to The Joys of Yiddish) or from the Aramaic word yerai malka meaning "fear of" or "respect for the King" (which certainly fits the Jewish intention of the tradition.Yerushalayim: Hebrew for the Holy City, Jerusalem
There is no biblical command to wear kippot (yarmulke) even though it is the most common of our outwardly recognzed practices. Keeping ones head covered is a direct command of the Oral Torah. The command is in perfect harmony with the Written Torah that says to be always mindful that God is looking upon us, and is widely observed by traditional Jewish males.
Cover your head so that the fear of heaven may be upon you. -Talmud Shabbat 156bSee also Kippa
R. Huna son of R. Joshua would not walk four cubits bareheaded, saying: The Shechinah [Divine Presence] is above my head. -Talmud Kiddushin 31a
R. Huna son of R. Joshua said: May I be rewarded for never walking four cubits bareheaded. -Talmud Shabbat 118b
Yeshiva: school. Most commonly used for a school that teaches Talmud but can be used more broadly.
Yetzer: Innate human impulses: Based in part on the word vayyitzer (formed) used at Genesis 2:7. Due to its unusual double Yods it was concluded by the sages that humans were formed with a dual impulse (yezer for positive (tov) and negative (ra) choices:
Ya'akov: Jacob: Biblical patriarch
- Yetzer Tov: The Impulse to do good or positive actions.
- Yetzer Ha-Ra: The impulse to do negative actions.
Yeshua: See Y'shua.
Yitzchak: Isaac: Biblical Patriarch
Yochanan the Immerser: AKA John the Baptist
Yom Shekulo Sabbat: the Eternal Shabbat
Return to alphabetical listZ:
Zakhor: Remember. Hebrew: Zakhor et yom ha-Shabbat l'kad'sho - Exodus 20:8
Zohar: "Splendor or Radiance." The foundational work on the Jewish Kabbalah.
Return to alphabetical list
* By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © 01.17.11 (last update June 29, 2020)
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