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

K

Kabalah
lit.=acceptance: Jewish mysticism
kabalat panim
lit.=the acceptance of faces: bride's pre-ceremony wedding reception
Kaddish
mourner's prayer
kama 
how many/much?
kama zeh oleh 
lit.=how much does this rise?: "How much does this cost?"
kallah
study session
kapo
head of a Judenrat, the Jewish council running a ghetto
kaporah
lit.=atonement: (Yid.) suffering that one hopes may atone for sins
karger 
(Yid.) miser
karpas
vegetables (usu. parsley, celery, potato) dipped in salt water and eaten at Seder
kasha
couscous-like dish made of buckwheat
kashe
question, esp. on ritual observance
kasher
to make kosher, esp. meat or dishes
kashrut
the laws of kosher-ness
kapoteh
long, black coat worn by chasidim
kavanah
lit.=intention: sincerity, earnestness, esp. while praying or doing mitzvot
katzisher kop
(Yid.) forgetful one
kedoshim
lit.=holy ones: martyrs
kedushin
the marriage ceremony
kehillah
congregation; community
kemfer 
(Yid.) fighter; activist
ken ayina hora
lit.=without the evil eye: "Not to jinx it" (said after complimenting)
kesher
lit.=knot: emotional bond between people, esp. a couple
keter Torah
ornamental crown placed on Sefer Torah
ketubah
lit.=writ: marriage contract
kezatzkeh 
Russian dance involving kicks from a squatting position
khap
grab, snatch; understand [v]; insight [n]
kibbitz
(Yid.) chitchat
kibbutz (pl. kibbutzim)
Israeli collective farm
kichel
air-filled cookies
kiddish
celebratory meal after synagogue services
Kiddush
prayer/blessing for wine
kiddush HaShem
lit.=sanctification of the Name: selfless act, esp. martyrdom
Kiddush Lavona
prayer for the new moon
kinder(lach)
(small) children
Kinneret
lit.=small harp: lyre-shaped lake in northern Israel
kipah (pl. kipot)
(Heb.) skullcap
kiruv
lit.=closeness: outreach
kishef-macher
lit=magic maker: (Yid.) wizard, sorcerer; surprisingly effective one
kishka
seasoned mashed potatoes in a casing
kishkas
(Yid.) innards; "guts" ("She's got..."; "I feel it in my...")
Kislev
3rd Jewish month (Nov-Dec), 25th is Chanukah
kitel
white robe, esp. for Pesach and Yom Kippur
kitsel 
(Yid.) tickle
Klal Yisrael
(Heb.) The Jewish People
klezmer
Yiddish music: part Jewish, part big-band
klog is mir
(Yid.) "Woe is me!"
klutz
lit=wooden block, beam: (Yid.) clumsy one
klutz kasheh
an unanswerable question, or one that reveals deep ignorance; the kind of question a klutz would ask
Knesset
Israel's Parliament
k'neidlach
(Yid.) matzah balls 
k'nish
puff pastry filled with meat or potatoes
ko'ach
strength; endurance, energy
koch-alein 
lit.=cook alone: summer cottage with a kitchen
koch-leffel
lit.=cooking ladel: one who "stirs the pot" with rumors or gossip
kodesh
(Heb.) holy
kohen (pl. kohanim)
descendant of Moses, Aaron; thus, a member of the priest class
kol b'seder
lit.=all (is) in order: "Everything's fine!", "It's all good." (said to be source of "copacetic")
Kol Nidre
"All Vows," key prayer, by chazan on Erev Yom Kippur
kollel
all-day yeshiva, esp. for the married
kol tuv 
lit.=all (is) good: "Everything's fine."; "I'm all right."
kop'drayenish 
lit.=head-spinning: confusing, crazy-making
korban
(Heb.) holy sacrifice; (Yid.) scapegoat
kos
(Heb.) wine goblet
kosher
permissible to eat under Jewish law
Kotel (HaMa'aravi)
The (Western) Wall
kovod
(Heb.) honor [n]
krechts
lit.=creak: groan
krenk 
(Yid.) sick
kreplach
won tons
Kristallnacht
"Night of Broken Glass," Nazi pogrom on Nov.9-10, 1938; the worst pogrom ever, it marked the Holocaust's start
kriyah
lit.=ripping: the tearing of one’s clothes to signify mourning
kriyat haTorah
the reading of the Torah
krovim
lit.=close ones: relatives
kugel
casserole, usu. of potatoes or noodles; tease [v, slang]
kumsitz
lit.=come, sit: sing-along and storytelling session
Kuni Lemel 
fool [n] (after a fictional character)
kvell
derive deep pride or intense satisfaction
kvetch
(Yid.) whine(r), complain(er)
kvitsch
(Yid.) short shriek of surprise