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Glossary

GLOSSARY OF HEBREW TERMS USED IN EXPLORING JUDAISM COURSE OUTLINE

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Son/Daughter of the Commandment – at 13 years – the traditional moment when a Jew becomes responsible for living Jewishly

Chanukkah Literally: ‘Dedication’.  Festival celebrating the re-dedication of the Temple (desecrated by Antiochus IV) in 164 BCE

Chumash Literally: ‘Fived’ – Edition of the ‘Five Books of Moses’ containing the Torah and ‘concluding’ [Haftarah] readings read on Shabbat mornings

Elul Month of spiritual preparation prior to Rosh Ha-Shanah

G’milut Chasadim Loving Deeds

Haggadah Text ‘telling’ the story of Pesach – Passover

Kabbalat Torah ‘Receiving the Torah’ – a Liberal Judaism innovation, marking the point when young 15/16 year olds are welcomed as adult members of the congregation after completing their studies

Kashrut Dietary law concerning what is fit for Jews to eat

Kiddushin ‘Setting apart’ of a couple in Marriage

Kippah Literally: ‘Dome’; ‘cap’ – skullcap

M’zuzah Literally:  Doorpost – the box, placed on the doorposts of our houses & on our gates containing the first two paragraphs of the Sh’ma [meaning, ‘Listen!’ – Deuteronomy 6:4-9 & 11:13-21]

Machzor Literally: ‘Cycle’ – Name for the Festival Prayer Book

Mishnah Another term for ‘Teaching’ – the first post-biblical code of law containing the teachings of the first rabbis, edited c. 200CE

Omer ‘Sheaf’ [of grain] – presented daily by the priests in Temple times for 7 weeks from Pesach to Shavuot

Pesach Passover – 7 day festival celebrating the Exodus from Egypt Purim ‘Lots’. Festival focussing on the reading of the Scroll of Esther

Rosh Ha-Shanah Literally: ‘Head of the Year’. The New Year – the first of 10 days of repentance, culminating in Yom Kippur

S’lichot Prayers of ‘Forgiveness’ prior to Rosh Ha-Shanah

Shavuot Festival of ‘Weeks’ celebrating the early summer harvest and also

z’man matan Torateinu –‘the season of the giving of our Torah

SiddurLiterally: ‘Order’ – Name for the Sabbath & Daily Prayer Book

Simchat Torah ‘Joy of the Torah’. Festival celebrating the ending & beginning of the cycle of Torah readings on the 8th day following Sukkot

Sukkot ‘Booths’ – 7 day harvest festival when we ‘dwell’ in a sukkah

T’fillin Leather straps & boxes worn on the arm and head for daily

Morning Prayer containing related Torah texts, e.g. the Sh’ma

Tallit ‘Shawl’ worn for morning prayer – with tzitzit – ‘fringes’ on the four corners

Talmud Literally: ‘Learning’ – the name for the combined work containing the Mishnah & G’mara (commentary on the Mishnah)

TaNaKH An acronym for the Hebrew Bible – which falls into three parts: Torah (Five Books), N’vi’im (Prophets) and K’tuvim (Writings)

Tikkun OlamRepair of the World

Tishah B’Av ‘9th of Av’ – commemorating the Jewish people’s experience of churban (destruction), especially, the destruction of the Temple

Torah             ‘Teaching’ – specifically, the Five Books of Moses

Tz’dakah Acts of justice (tzedek) – the Jewish form of Charity

Yom Ha-Sho’ah Holocaust Memorial Day [Sho’ah = Devastation]

Yom Ha’atzma’ut [Israel] ‘Independence Day’

Yom Kippur Day of Atonement – day of confession of our misdeeds