Ancient Hebrew measure of grain that amounts to about 3.6 litres.
(the) Four Questions
Four specific questions asked at the beginning of the Passover seder, the answers to which shape the rest of the retelling of the exodus from Egypt.
From the Greek word meaning "sacrifice by fire", the Holocaust refers to the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II, including the genocide of six million Jews.
The 49-day period that begins on the second night of Passover and ends on Shavuot.
Hebrew word meaning "catastrophe", referring to the Holocaust.
1948 ̶ State of Israel
The year the modern State of Israel was founded.
1967 ̶ Six-Day War
A war in Israel fought on June 5-10, 1967 against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Because of the Six-Day War, Jerusalem was reunified and Jews gained access to the Western Wall. Israel also took control of the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Sinai Peninsula.
1973 ̶ The Yom Kippur War
A war between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria. The war began on October 6, 1973 (on Yom Kippur) and lasted until October 25, 1973.
Literally, “my master;” the Jewish proper name for God; Yud Heh Vav Hey, the unpronounceable name of God often is pronounced as “Adonai.”
"Dessert" (Greek); matzah is the official "dessert" of the Passover seder meal. During the seder, the children traditionally "steal"and hide the afikoman, and it must be redeemed by the seder leader.
King of Persia (modern-day Iran) and a main character in the Purim story. When his queen, Vashti, refuses to entertain guests at the king’s feast, he banishes her. Young women from throughout the kingdom are brought to the king to be considered, and Ahashverosh chooses Esther as his new queen.
witness; Jewish law requires two witnesses sign the ketubah (Jewish marriage contract). Customarily, both are Jewish men who are not related to either marriage partner or to one another. In Reform Judaism both men and women serve as witnesses. Plural: aidim
"Binding." The story in Genesis of the near-sacrifice of Isaac, Abraham’s son, which is read on Rosh HaShanah.
A concluding prayer of the worship service that reiterates humankind’s responsibility to make the world a better place and expresses the desire to bring the world together in peace.
"Going up." The honor of being called to recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading. Also refers to immigration to Israel, to "make aliyah" to Israel; plural: aliyot. Lit. "Ascent."
“nation” or “people.” Am Yisrael is often used to describe the people of Israel, especially throughout the Bible.
People of the Book.
Literally, “sacred people;” used to describe the Jewish people based on this verse in Leviticus 20:26: “You shall be holy to Me, for I the Eternal am holy, and I have set you apart from other peoples to be mine.”
Literally, “the people of Israel.” The nation or people of Israel. The Jewish people.
Am Yisrael chai
Literally, the people of Israel lives. A popular Jewish song.
Literally, “standing.” A central prayer of the worship service, often recited privately. A chain of blessings in which the first three and final three are always the same, and the intermediate blessings change based on the day (i.e., Shabbat, weekday, holidays). Also called the Sh’moneh Esreih (literally, “eighteen”) and HaT’fila (literally, “the Prayer”).
Irrational hatred of Jews.
The colloquial language spoken by the Jews during the time of the Talmud.
Literally, “four species.” The Torah specifies four species to bring together on Sukkot. The four species are: lulav (branches of palm trees), etrog (citron), hadasim (myrtle branches), and aravot (willows) (Leviticus 23:40).
Literally, “the holy ark,” often called “the ark.” cabinet in which Torah scrolls are kept in the synagogue’s sanctuary. In most synagogues in North America, the Aron HaKodesh is on the eastern wall so that when worshippers face the ark, they face toward Jerusalem.
Asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav
Literally, “who makes us holy through commandments.” This prayer formula is included in any Jewish blessing that involves fulfillment of a commandment, such as lighting Shabbat candles.
Lit. "Germany"; includes Jews of European origin.
Calling up of the wedding couple to recite the Torah blessings on the Shabbat preceding the wedding.
"Our Father, Our King"/"Our Parent, Our Ruler" A prayer (and song) chanted during the High Holiday period. Describes two simultaneous ways in which people might relate to God: the intimate relationship of a parent and the powerful awe of a ruler.
Literally, "service" or "work;" usually refers to communal service or prayer to God, from ancient sacrifices to modern-day worship rituals.
berachah, brachah, bracha
Brachot (plural). Literally, “blessing;” follows a set formula that praises God; unique blessings exist for many different occasions.
Brit HaChayim, b'rit haChayim
"Covenant of life." A home ceremony for welcoming and naming a baby girl.
Bris milah, bris, brit milah
"Covenant of circumcision," traditionally performed on the eighth day of a boy's life. One of the three covenants in the Hebrew Bible. This is the covenant of Abraham—see Genesis 17.
Lit. "A good hour." Colloquially, "May the child come at the right time"—said upon learning of a pregnancy.
Literally "in the image of God;" the concept—from Genesis 1:27: “God created humankind in God’s image”—that because all humanity is created in the image of God, each person is equally valued.
Before the Common Era.
Literally, “master of t’kiah,” meaning “one who sounds the shofar.”
Compendium of Jewish law and lore developed by the Rabbis from the first centuries of the Common Era (C.E.). Codified circa 500 C.E.
Idea that we should not be wasteful in our consumption and need to be stewards of God's creation.
Ceremony marking a boy's reaching the age of religious maturity; plural: b'nei mitzvah.
Baruch atah, Adonai
Literally, “Blessed are You, the Eternal;” the beginning of the formula of Hebrew blessings.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet
Literally, “Blessed is the Judge of Truth;” Customary words one recites upon hearing of a person’s death.
Literally, “Let us bless.” This prayer marks the beginning of Jewish communal worship in a service, It uses a call and response format through which the leader invites the congregation to bless God.
adjective meaning “meaty;” refers to any food products that contain meat.