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

B

Ba'al
a pagan god Jews are told in the Torah not to worship
ba'al
(Heb.) master, owner; one who...
ba'al(at) habayit
lit.=master (mistress) of the house: host [n]
ba'al koreh
lit.=...who reads: Torah reader
ba'al nais
lit.=...of a miracle: miracle-worker (using prayer, not magic)
ba'al shem
lit.=... of The Name: mystic scholar
ba’al simcha
lit.=... of happiness: the celebrant, esp. the bar or bat mitzvah
ba'al teshuva
lit.=...who returns: newly observant Jew
ba'al toke'a
lit.=...of the sound: shofar blower
ba'alabusta
(Yid.) hostess; friendly woman (from the Heb. "ba'alat habayit") 
babushka
kerchief worn as headcovering
bachor
first-born male child
badchan
jester-like emcee at Jewish weddings
baheyma
domesticated beast; "Animal!"
Bamidbar
Numbers (4th bk. of Torah)
barimer
(Yid.) braggart, egomaniac
bar mitzva
13-year-old boy now responsible for fulfilling mitzvot; the ceremony at which this rite of passage occurs
Baruch dayan emes
lit.=blessed is the true Judge: said upon hearing of a death
bat...
daughter of...
bat kama aht
lit.=the daughter of how many (years) (are) you?: "How old are you?" (for females)
bat mitzva
12-year-old girl now responsible for fulfilling mitzvot; the ceremony at which this rite of passage occurs
batempte
lit.=tempting: appetizing, delicious
bayit
(Heb.) house, home
B.C.E/C.E.
Before the Common Era/Common Era
b'dikat chametz
the ceremonial, pre-Pesach search for chametz
becher
(Yid.) wine goblet
bedecken
the veiling of the bride
b'emet
lit.= in truth: "Really?"; "Really!"
Be'ersheva
lit.=well of the oath: Israeli city in the Negev
Beit...
pron."bate": House of... [Sefardi pron.]
Beit Din
lit.=house of law: rabbinical court
Beit HaMikdash
Holy Temple, twice destroyed
Beit HaT’futzot
lit.=House of the Scattered Ones: The Diaspora Museum, in Tel Aviv
Beit Lechem
lit.=House of bread: (Heb.) Bethlehem, Rachel's burial place
Beit (Ha)Midrash
room, building for religious study
ben...
son of...
ben kama atah
lit.=the son of how many (years) (are) you?: "How old are you?" (for males)
bentch
(Yid.) say Grace After Meals
bentch licht
(Yid.) light and bless the Shabbat candles
berye
(Yid.) virtuoso; adept one, esp. a host
Beth...
pron. "bett": House of... [Ashkenazi pron.]
bikur cholim
visiting the sick
bimah
lit.=stage: Torah-reading table in synagogue
Birkat HaMazon
lit.=blessing of the food: Grace After Meals
Birkat Kohanim
the blessing of the kohanim (see "duchan")
bitachon
(Heb.) trust [n]
bisel
(Yid.) small amount
biterer tropn
lit.= bitter drop: (Yid.) whiskey, liquor
biz hundret un tzvensik yor
lit.=to a hundred and twenty years: "(May you) live a long life." [Moses lived to 120]
B'li neder
lit.=without a vow: said upon making a promise
blitzpost
lit.=lightning mail: (Yid.) e-mail
blood libel
the pernicious libel that the blood of Christian children is used to make kosher wine or matzah
b’nai mitzvah
more than one bar/bat mitzvah celebrant
boch'r
yeshiva student
boreike
perogie, sometimes with a phyllo crust
borscht
cold beet soup
Boruch Atoh
"Blessed are You..."
boruch haboh
lit.=bless the arrivers: "Welcome!"
boychik
(Yid.) boy, term of endearment
bracha
blessing
B'reshit
Genesis
brit (mila)
lit.=covenant: circumcision
broch
lit= break(ing): (Yid.) past all repair; "Oh, no!"
broyges
lit.=angry: (Yid.) falling-out, grudge
b'samim
fragrant spices smelled during Havdala
b'shert
destined; one's destined mate/spouse
b'tayavon
lit.=in appetite: Bon Appetit!
b'tzelem Elohim
in God's image
bubbe
(Yid.) grandmother
bubbeleh
lit.=little doll: (Yid.) dear one, darling
bubbe meiseh
tall tale, urban legend (from a fictional character; no relation to the word "bubbe" or to grandmothers)
bulvan
(Yid.) ox-like person
bupkes
lit.=beans: (Yid.) nothing; something worthless
butchkeh
(Yid.) chit-chat, relate anecdotes (v)
b'vakasha
"Please"; "You're welcome."