Jewish Learning

Shabbat Guide

Shabbat Guide

JUF is pleased to provide this basic guide to celebrating Shabbat.

The Holocaust Project

Encyclopedia Britannica Holocaust Project

JUF partners with Encyclopedia Britannica to bring you their collection of Britannica's Holocaust Project resources.

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Jewish Word Glossary

Glossary Key

abbr. = abbreviated
esp .= especially
Heb. = Hebrew
lit. = literally
n = noun
pl. = plural
pron. = pronounced
usu. = usually
v = verb
Yid. = Yiddish

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L
M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

abba
(Heb.) father
Acharonim
lit.=the last ones: post-Rishonim commentators in the Talmud
Achashverosh
Persian king in Book of Esther
Adar
6th Jewish month (Feb-Mar), 14th is Purim
aderabah
"but, in actuality..."
adom
(Heb.) red
Adon Olam
"Master of the World," a concluding hymn
afikomen
last bit of matzah, eaten at end of Seder
Agadah
non-legal rabbinic writings
agunah
lit.=chained one: wife of an M.I.A.; woman whose husband refuses to grant a divorce
ahava
(Heb.) love [n]
aidel
(Yid.) refined, socially graceful
ainikle
(Yid.) grandchild
aitzeh
advice
Aleinu
"It is Upon Us," a concluding hymn
aleph-bet
the Hebrew alphabet
al kiddush HaShem
for the sanctification of G-d
alav hashalom
"(May he/she) rest in peace."
aliyah
lit.=ascent: immigration to Israel (accent on last syllable); ascent on the bimah when called to have the Torah read in one's honor (accent on the second syllable).
alrightnik
(English+Yid.) social climber
am ha'aretz
lit.=nation of the land: ignorant person
Amidah
lit.=standing: long prayer said while standing
Amora'im
lit.=explainers: Gemarah-era commentators (200-500 C.E.)
amud
lit.=stander: lectern, podium
Ani Ma’amin
lit.=I believe: phrase that begins each of Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of Faith
Anglit
(Heb.) English langauge
apikoros
lit.=Epicurean: unbeliever, skeptic; heretic
aravot
willow sprigs, used on Succot
arba kanfos
lit.=four corners: tzitzit
Arba Kanfos
The Four Corners of the Earth
Aretz
lit.=land: Israel
aroisgevorfen
(Yid) wasted 
aron (hakodesh)
(the holy) cabinet for Sefer Torah
Artzrot HaBrit
lit.=Land of the Covenant (i.e. Constitution): Israeli name for the U.S.A.
Aseret HaDibrot
lit.= The Ten Declarations: The Ten Commandments
Aseret Yimei Teshuva
The Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, a time of introspection and semi-mourning
Ashkenazi
of Eastern European Jewish tradition
Ashrei
"Fortunate Are," a popular alphabetic prayer (Psalm 145)
Asoroh B'Tevet
winter fast for Babylonian siege of Jerusalem
asur
prohobitted under halachah
aufruf
event held the Shabbat before a wedding, the throwing of candy, etc. at a groom after he reads the Haftorah
Av
11th Jewish month (Jul-Aug), 9th is Tisha B'Av
av
(Heb.) father of...
avel/avelut
mourner/mourning
aveyra
sin; transgression of a "shalt not"
aviron
lit.=air-thing: airplane
avodah
work [n], esp. in service of G-d
avodah zarah
lit.=strange work: idolatry
ayef
(Heb.) tired, sleepy
ayrusin
marital engagement
ayin
(Heb.) eye
ayin harah
lit.= evil eye: hex, jinx, curse
ayshet chayil
a woman of valor
Ayshet Chayil
the entire last chapter of Proverbs, sung on Erev Shabbat and at weddings, describing a "woman of valor"
azoy
lit.= thus: "Really?"
azoy geyt doz
lit.=thus goes this: "That's how it goes!"