"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."
The central section of prayers in every service. Also known as the T'filah (prayer) or the Sh'moneh Esreih (18), this compilation of prayers differs from service to service. The daily version inlcudes a number of petitionary prayers, which are not inlcuded on Shabbat.
"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.
Raised platform in the synagogue from which the Torah is read.
Prayer said upon surviving a life-threatening illness.
Prayers recited after meals; grace after meals.
Priestly Benediction—Numbers 6:22-27.
"Singer." Refers to the modern day cantor.
"Seeking out." Refers to the seeking of deeper meaning in a passage of Torah beyond the literal.
"Word(s) of Torah." (pl. divrei Torah) Refers to the address to the congregation delivered by the Bar/Bat Mitzvah after the Torah reading. The Hebrew root daled-vet-resh refers in the Hebrew Bible to God's words. Hence, this is an address that should be cognizant of and reflective of holy themes and ideas.
Yiddish, to pray. The origin of the word is believed to be from the Latin, divinus, meaning divine. Often Anglicized to davening, as in “She is davening at temple.”
"Wrapper." Refers to the person who dresses the Torah following its reading.
"encircle, round off, circle around, orbit;" procession of worshippers carrying Torah scrolls that circles the sanctuary; plural hakafot.
"Separation." Havdalah is the service on Saturday night that separates the Sabbath from the beginning of the new week. The ritual uses wine, spices, and candles to activate the senses as the n'shamah y'teirah (the additional soul believed to have entered the community on the eve of Shabbat to give the Jewish community a foretaste of the world to come) leaves the body weakened after Shabbat.
Lit. "A study of a prayer(s)." Refers to personal reflections on a prayer in the liturgy. (pl. iyunim–iyunei t'filah)
Aramaic prayer that praises God. Different versions of the kaddish are recited during worship, including the mourners' kaddish, which is recited in memory of the deceased.
"Intention or direction of the heart;" one’s personal intention when praying or performing mitzvot.
"Sanctification;" blessing recited or chanted over wine (or grape juice), emphasizing the holiness of Shabbat and festivals.
Yarmulke (Yiddish); a small, round headcovering most commonly worn during worship, although some may choose to wear it all the time; plural: kippot (Hebrew).
"All Vows;" prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar;
"Ritually fit;" kashrut (Hebrew); pertaining most commonly to food that is fit to be eaten according to Jewish law; kosher also applies to objects that are ritually fit for use (i.e., Torah scrolls, tallit, etc.)
"Learning Torah." The learning (or occupation with words of Torah) is considered greater than all of the commandments combined because, mystically, engagement with the words in the Torah is an act of yichud—unification with God in the world.
"Scroll;" One of the five m'gillot (plural) in the Bible: Esther, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentation and Ecclesiastes.
Evening prayer service. Prayed every day, though the content is different on weekdays, Shabbat, and Festivals.
"Lifter." Refers to the person who lifts the Torah following the communal reading. The magbia lifts and turns his/her back to the congregation so that all may physically see at least three columns of the scroll.
Mi Sheberach, mi she-bei-rach
"May the One who blessed;" a prayer often recited after a person has been honored with an aliyah; also commonly recited as a prayer for those in need of physical and/or spiritual healing.
Afternoon prayer service. Prayed every day, though the content is different on weekdays, Shabbat, and Festivals.
Quorum of 10 people necessary for public prayer in traditional communities; plural: minyanim.
"Repetition of the Torah." This 11th century law code was codified by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (also known as Maimonides or RAMBAM) in Alexandria, Egypt. It stirred controversy for 100 years because the RAMBAM dispensed with Talmudic methodolgy and the citation of sources in the interest of presenting a clear guide to the Jewish community on what to do and how to do it in all areas of life.
names for God
YHVH, Adonai, Elohim, El, Rachamim, El Shadai, Ha-makom, Ha-shem, Yah
The most holy of these names is YHVH—otherwise known in Greek as the four-letter Tetragrammaton. This Name was said once annually by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) on the afternoon of Yom Kippur in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem. After the Temple was destroyed by Rome in 70 C.E., knowledge of how this Name was pronounced passed from the community. Most scholars believe it was articulated as "Yahweh." Today, though the Hebrew letters—yod-heh-vav-heh—are printed in the Torah and religious writings of the Jewish people, it is never pronounced as it was once said. Instead, the name Adonai (meaning, "my Master" or "my Lord") is said. Note the vocalization (i.d., vowels) beneath YHVH is usually identical to the vocalization of Adonai. Some Jews write "God" as "G-d." This second spelling leaving out the "o" derives from this tradition of not pronouncing the holiest of God's names, YHVH. It is, however, a stretch to transfer this idea to the English designation of God, and the Reform movement does not accept this variant spelling, though many Reform Jews continue to do so.
"Locking;" the concluding service on Yom Kippur during which it is said that the Gates of Repentance close.
"Lights" that are kindled at the beginning of Shabbat and festivals. Traditionally, women recite this blessing, but men and boys may join in as well or lead the blessing.
Lit. "My master" or "My teacher"—the Yiddish pronunciation is Rebbe (In the Chassidic world, rabbis are referred to as Rebbe). In Orthodox communities the Rav (the suffix is possessive) is a master of the law. In Conservative and Reform communities, the rabbi serves as a community spiritual leader, a teacher and pastor, among many other functions.
Heb. Sh'e-lot u-t'shuvot. Lit. "Questions and Answers" posed to rabbis—a genre of Jewish literature developed from the period of the exile in Babylonia to the present among all religious streams. The Reform movement has a rich body of Responsa on virtually every aspect of Jewish ritual and ethical life.
Lit. "Book of the Torah" and refers to the Torah scroll with the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
"Forgiveness;" special penitential prayers recited during Elul and the High Holy Days.
Jewish affirmation of belief in one God. Lit. "Hear/Listen/Understand." The affirmation of God's unity is found in Deuteronomy 6:4.
Morning prayer service. Prayed every day, though the content is different on weekdays, Shabbat, and Festivals.
"[God] who has kept us alive;" blessing recited to acknowledge beginnings, happy occasions; and festivals.
Lit. "Set table." Refers to the 16th century code of law codified by Rabbi Joseph Caro in Safed, Israel. Includes a Gloss by Rabbi Moses Isserles from Germany writing his own law code simultaneously with Joseph Caro. Together, the Shulchan Aruch and Gloss unify Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewry.
"Order." Refers to the Prayer Book (i.e., the "order" of the prayers).
"Order." Refers to the weekly Torah portion. (Pl. sidrot)
"Phylacteries" (Greek); small leather boxes that contain verses of Torah and are bound to the forehead, arm and hand during worship, primarily in traditional communities.
"Phylacteries." Leather boxes and straps worn by religious Jews daily except on Shabbat, holidays, and fast days. "Laying tefillin" is the expression commonly used for putting them on.