Literally, “The Hope.” It is the national anthem of Israel. The lyrics speak of the 2,000-year hope that Jews will return to their land; the lyrics are adapted from a poem written by Naftali Herz Imber in 1877 in present-day Ukraine.
Literally, “separation." The Saturday night home ritual that separates the Sabbath from the beginning of the new week. The ritual uses wine, spices, and candles to transition from Sabbath to the weekdays.
This pre-wedding celebration derives from the Sephardic and Mizrachi world and traditionally centers on a bride. Henna is a red dye that is placed in the form of a paste on a bride's hands and feet to adorn her for her wedding. Usually hosted by a bride's women firiends, she is feted with song, dance, and sweets.
High Holy Days, the Holidays, the Holy Days
Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur
Traditional Israeli folk dance
Refers to the land (Eretz Yisrael), people (Am Yisrael) and State of Israel (Medinat Yisrael).
Hebrew word for the Hebrew language.
Lit. "A study of a prayer(s)." Refers to personal reflections on a prayer in the liturgy. (pl. iyunim–iyunei t'filah)
Compendium of Jewish law and lore developed in the land of Israel circa 450 C.E.
Kosher parchment; commonly refers to parchment inscribed with specific biblical verses (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21) and placed within a mezuzah case.
The Jewish community or the whole of Israel; often used to refer to Jewish unity or solidarity.
Tearing the garment or black ribbon worn by immediate mourners (spouse, parents, children, siblings).
Literally, “respect/honor for the dead.” In Jewish tradition, preparing a body and holding a prompt funeral are important ways to honor the deceased.
kabbalat ol ha-mitzvot
"Acceptance of the commandments;" a ger's intent to live a Jewish life.
“Receiving Shabbat.” A special collection of prayers recited to welcome Shabbat on Friday evening.
An Aramaic prayer recited in several iterations during a worship service. One iteration is Kaddish Yatom (Mourner’s Kaddish), which is recited by mourners (immediate family members) during the mourning period immediately following death, and on the yahrzeit (anniversary of a death).
A conclave or retreat; plural: kallot
A green herb or vegetable (parsley, celery, watercress) used as part of the Passover seder to symbolize spring and rebirth.
One’s personal intention or direction of the heart when praying or performing mitzvot; the intentions and devotions individuals bring to their own prayer; often juxtaposed with keva.
Ken Ayin Hara
Kinna Hurra, Bli Ayin Hara
"Against the evil eye; without the evil eye" (Yiddish); an interjection often uttered after mention of a positive; for example, "My grandson grew three inches over the summer, Ken Ayin Hara.
"Rend;" The traditional act of tearing a garment as an expression of grief; Many contemporary Jews wear a torn black ribbon during mourning to sympolize the torn garment.
Traditional Jewish marriage contract; plural: ketubot
Fixed prayer; the set structure of Jewish liturgy; often juxtaposed with kavanah.
Kibbud av va’eim
Literally, “honoring father and mother;” one of the Ten Commandments; understood to refer to the obligation to show honor to and care for one’s parents and grandparents
Literally, “honoring the deceased.”
"Sanctification;" blessing recited or chanted over wine (or grape juice), emphasizing the holiness of Shabbat and festivals.
Cup used for blessing wine on Shabbat, festivals and other events, i.e., weddings.
kiddush peter rechem
Kiddush Pe'ter Rechem, kiddush pe'ter rechem
"Sanctification of the womb's opening;" modern ceremony celebrating the birth of a first child.
Ceremony in which one partner (traditionally the groom) gives the ketubah to the other partner (traditionally the bride) thus "acquiring" the other.
A head-covering often worn during worship and while in a sanctuary, although some people choose to wear a kippah all the time; plural: kippot. In Orthodox communities, only men and boys wear kippot, while in liberal Jewish communities some women and girls choose to wear kippot. Also called a yarmulke (Yiddish) or skullcap.
A descendant of the priestly class; according to traditional Judaism, Kohanim will only attend the funeral and burial of their immediate family as they are otherwise forbidden to come near a corpse.
"All Vows;" prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar;
Literally, “(ritually) fit" or “proper;” refers to foods that are permitted to be eaten according to kashrut, the system of Jewish dietary laws and practices. Colloquially, we say that a food is kosher (or not) and a person “keeps kosher” (or doesn’t); can also describe ritual objects that are ritually fit for use (i.e., Torah scrolls, tallit, etc.).
Lit. "crowning." An Eastern European wedding tradition in which the mother (or mothers) are crowned, usually with a wreath of flowers, to celebrate having just seen their last child wed.
One who carries a baby into the b'rit milah ceremony, often the godparents; feminine: kvaterin
Literally, “sanctification” or “holiness.” The word also refers to the third section of the Amidah prayer.
“Congregation” or “community.”
kosher parchment inscribed with biblical verses from Deuteronomy (6:4-9, 11:13-21) in a mezuzah case.