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

S

saba
(Heb.) grandfather
sabra
(Heb.) prickly-pear fruit
Sabra
native Israeli
sakanot nefashot
lit.=dangers of (the) souls: life-endangerment
same'ach
(Heb.) happy
savta
(Heb.) grandmother
Sanhedrin
ancient rabbinical council of 70 sages
saychel
(Yid.) common sense
s'chach
loose thatch used for succah roof, must be from plants
s'char
reward, esp. in the metaphoric sense, for mitzvot
schav
cold soup of leafy vegetables
schlaf
(Yid.) sleep [v]
schlemazel
luckless one
schlemiel
bumbler, one who "can't do anything right"
schlep
carry; drag, lug; drag one's feet; travel a great distance [v], lazy one; unkempt person [n]
schlock
(Yid.) poorly made items or works
schlump
(Yid.) slump, flop [v]; stoop-shouldered person [n]
schmaltz
(Yid.) fat, grease, oil; maudlin sentimentality
schmateh
(Yid.) rag; cheap piece of clothing
schmear
(Yid.) smear, usu. of cream cheese on a bagel; bribe, as in "to grease one's palm" ["The whole schmear" means "the whole ball of wax; all of it"]
schmek
(Yid.) small sample, esp. whiff or taste of food
schmeggege
disorganized one, one who "doesn't have it together"
schmeichl
(Yid.) smile; smooth-talk
schmendrik
(Yid.) dismissible one
schmo
(Yid.) mediocre, average one
schmooze
(Yid.) intimate chat [n]; persuade [v]
schmutz
(Yid.) filth, scum
schnapps
whiskey
schneider
lit.=needle-user: tailor [n]; in gin, to win in a shutout
schnook
gullible one
schnorrer
moocher
schpatzir
stroll [n,v]
schpiel
(Yid.) story; sales pitch (n); play an instrument (v)
schpilkes
lit.=pins: anxiousness
schtatlan
Jewish community representitive to governing authority
schtark(er)
(Yid.) strong (one)
schtick
bit, piece; comic act; eccentricity
schtickl(ach)
little bit(s) or piece(s)
schtiebl
small synagogue, often a storefront or private home
schlotlz
(Yid) arrogance
schtreiml
large, round, fur-edged hat worn by chasidim
schtuk
trouble, danger
schtum
quiet (n)
seder
Pesach ceremonial meal
sedrah
reading from Tanach
sefer
(Heb.) book, esp. of religious topic
Sefer Torah
the Torah scroll itself
sefirat haOmer
counting of the days of the Omer
Sephardi
of Mediterranean Jewish tradition
se'udah
lit.= meal: feast, esp. for Shabbat or holiday
sha
"Shh! Quiet!"
Shabbat
the Sabbath
shacharit
morning prayer
shadchan
matchmaker
shailah
question, esp. on religious matters
shaliach
messenger; representative; ambassador; Israeli delegate to community, youth group, synagogue, etc.
shaliach tzibur (abbr. shatz)
lit.=messenger of (the) congregation: cantor
shalom
peace; "Hello/Goodbye"
shalom aleichem
lit.=peace to you: "Hello" (response is "aleichem, shalom")
shalom bayit
lit.=peace of the house: domestic harmony
Shalosh Regalim
lit.=three pilgrimages: Pesach, Shavuot, and Succot
shalosh se'udot
third (and last) meal of Shabbat
shamayim
Heaven; the sky
shamos
assistant synagogue manager
shamosh
candle that kindles the Chanukah candles
shanda
(Yid.) disgrace, scandal
Shas
an acronym for "Shisha Sidrei (Mishnah)," the "six volumes of the Mishnah," therefore a nickname for the Talmud as a whole (also the name of an Israeli Orthodox political party)
shatnez
the presence of both wool and linen in the same garment, forbidden by the Torah
Shavuot
holiday for receiving the Torah, in autumn
shayna maideleh
(Yid.) beautiful girl
Sh'china
G-d's presence
shchita
kosher slaughtering
shecht
slaughter, esp. in a kosher manner; to defeat soundly, as in sports [slang]
Shehecheyanu
blessing for annual, lifetime, or historic events
sheket
(Heb.) quiet, silence
Shema
lit.=Hear (O Israel): a key Jewish prayer
sherutim 
lit.=facilities: restroom
Sheva B'rachot
set of seven blessings said at weddings and at parties for one week after
sheytl
(Yid.) wig, esp. for married women
shiduch
match (see shadchan)
shikor
drunk; drunkard
shira (pl. shirim)
(Heb.) song
shita
method; tendency, general way of doing things
shiur
lesson; class
shiva
period of mourning observed for seven days after a family member's funeral
Shiv-asor B'Tamuz
17th of Tamuz, summer fast day for destruction of Holy Temple
shloshim
period of mourning observed for thirty days after a family member's funeral
shmad
conversion away from Judaism
Sh'mini Atzeret
eighth day of Succot, a holiday
shmita
Shabbat of the land: every seventh year, when Israeli land lies fallow
Shmonah Esrei
lit.=18: shacharit Amidah consisting of 19 blessings (1 was added later, but the name stuck)
Shmot
Exodus (2nd bk. of Torah)
Shoah
lit.=destruction: The Holocaust
shochet
slaughterer who slaughters in the kosher manner
shofar
ram's horn, blown like a bugle on holidays
shomer
observant of (a given mitzvah)
shok’l
sway meditatively during prayers
shoyn
(Yid.) already
shoyn fergessen
lit.=already forgotten; "I just had it, it's on the tip of my tongue."
shpritz
spray; shower; tirade, diatribe
shul
synagogue
shtetl
Eastern European Jewish village
shoter 
(Heb.) police officer
shtus
(Yid.) nonsense; foolishness
Shulchan Aruch
lit.=set table: Code of Jewish Law, a major work codifying the halachah
shvach
(Yid.) weak; tepid, unsubstantial
sh'varim
shofar blast of three short sounds
Shvat
5th Jewish month (Jan-Feb), 15th is Tu B'Shvat
shvitz
sweat [v]; sauna [n]
siddur
daily prayerbook
simcha
happiness; special happy occasion, esp. bris, wedding, etc.
Simchat Torah
holiday celebrating the Torah, in autumn
sitzfleish
lit.=sit-flesh: patience, the ability to sit still
Sivan
9th Jewish month (May-Jun), 5th and 6th are Shavuot
sivivon
(Heb.) dreidle, esp. in Israel
siyum
completion of the study of a section of scripture or Talmud; a celebration thereupon
slicha
forgiveness; "Forgive me/Pardon me"
Slichot
prayers of repentance said around High Holidays
smicha
rabbinic ordination
smol 
left. left hand, "Turn left."
sof
lit.=end; "Enough discussion, let's decide!"
sof-sof
lit.=end of ends: (Yid.) "Finally!"
sofer
scribe; author
soneh
enemy
S.S.
the Nazi infantry, "Brownshirts"
succah (pl. succot)
outdoor hut lived in on Succot
Succot
harvest holiday, in autumn
sufganiot
donuts, esp. jelly-filled, served on Chanukah
supersol 
lit.=super basket: supermarket