Important keywords in Judaism

Actions Committee, early name of the Zionist General Council, the supreme institution of the World Zionist Organization in the interim between Congresses. The Zionist Executive’s name was then the "Small Actions Committee."

*Adar, twelfth month of the Jewish religious year, sixth of the civil, approximating to February-March.

*Aggadah, name given to those sections of Talmud and Midrash containing homiletic expositions of the Bible, stories, legends, folklore, anecdotes, or maxims. In contradistinction to *halakhah.

*Agunah, woman unable to remarry according to Jewish law, because of desertion by her husband or inability to accept presumption of death.

*Aharonim, later rabbinic authorities. In contradistinction to *ris-honim ("early ones").

Ahavah, liturgical poem inserted in the second benediction of the morning prayer (*Ahavah Rabbah) of the festivals and/or special Sabbaths.

Aktion (Ger.), operation involving the mass assembly, deportation, and murder of Jews by the Nazis during the *Holocaust.

*Aliyah, (1) being called to Reading of the Law in synagogue; (2) immigration to Erez Israel; (3) one of the waves of immigration to Erez Israel from the early 1880s.

*Amidah, main prayer recited at all services; also known as She-moneh Esreh and Tefillah.

*Amora (pl. amoraim), title given to the Jewish scholars in Erez Israel and Babylonia in the third to sixth centuries who were responsible for the *Gemara.

Aravah, the *willow; one of the *Four Species used on *Sukkot ("festival of Tabernacles") together with the *etrog, hadas, and *lulav.

*Arvit, evening prayer.

Asarah be-Tevet, fast on the 10th of Tevet commemorating the commencement of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

Asefat ha-Nivharim, representative assembly elected by Jews in Palestine during the period of the British Mandate (1920-48).

*Ashkenaz, name applied generally in medieval rabbinical literature to Germany.

*Ashkenazi (pl. Ashkenazim), German or West-, Central-, or East-European Jew(s), as contrasted with *Sephardi(m).

*Av, fifth month of the Jewish religious year, eleventh of the civil, approximating to July-August.

*Av bet din, vice president of the supreme court (bet din ha-gadol) in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period; later, title given to communal rabbis as heads of the religious courts (see *bet din).

"Badhan, jester, particularly at traditional Jewish weddings in Eastern Europe.

"Bakkashah (Heb. "supplication"), type of petitionary prayer, mainly recited in the Sephardi rite on Rosh Ha-Shanah and the Day of Atonement.

Bar, "son of . . . "; frequently appearing in personal names.

*Baraita (pl. beraitot), statement of *tanna not found in *Mishnah.

*Bar mitzvah, ceremony marking the initiation of a boy at the age of 13 into the Jewish religious community.

Ben, "son of . . . ", frequently appearing in personal names.

Berakhah (pl. berakhot), *benediction, blessing; formula of praise and thanksgiving.

*Bet din (pl. battei din), rabbinic court of law.

*Bet ha-midrash, school for higher rabbinic learning; often attached to or serving as a synagogue.

*Bilu, first modern movement for pioneering and agricultural settlement in Erez Israel, founded in 1882 at Kharkov, Russia.

*Bund, Jewish socialist party founded in Vilna in 1897, supporting Jewish national rights; Yiddishist, and anti-Zionist.

Cohen (pl. Cohanim), see Kohen.

"Conservative Judaism, trend in Judaism developed in the United States in the 20th century which, while opposing extreme changes in traditional observances, permits certain modifications of hala-khah in response to the changing needs of the Jewish people.

"Consistory (Fr. consistoire), governing body of a Jewish communal district in France and certain other countries.

*Converso(s), term applied in Spain and Portugal to converted Jew(s), and sometimes more loosely to their descendants.

*Crypto-Jew, term applied to a person who although observing outwardly Christianity (or some other religion) was at heart a Jew and maintained Jewish observances as far as possible (see Con-verso; Marrano; Neofiti; New Christian; Jadld al-Islam).

*Dayyan, member of rabbinic court.

Decisor, equivalent to the Hebrew posek (pl. *posekim), the rabbi who gives the decision (halakhah) in Jewish law or practice.

*Devekut, "devotion"; attachment or adhesion to God; communion with God.

*Diaspora, Jews living in the "dispersion" outside Erez Israel; area of Jewish settlement outside Erez Israel.

Din, a law (both secular and religious), legal decision, or lawsuit.

Divan, diwan, collection of poems, especially in Hebrew, Arabic, or Persian.

Dunam, unit of land area (1,000 sq. m., c. % acre), used in Israel.

Einsatzgruppen, mobile units of Nazi S.S. and S.D.; in U.S.S.R. and Serbia, mobile killing units.

*Ein-Sof, "without end"; "the infinite"; hidden, impersonal aspect of God; also used as a Divine Name.

*Elul, sixth month of the Jewish religious calendar, 12th of the civil, precedes the High Holiday season in the fall.

Endloesung, see *Final Solution.

"Erez Israel, Land of Israel; Palestine.

*Eruv, technical term for rabbinical provision permitting the alleviation of certain restrictions.

*Etrog, citron; one of the *Four Species used on *Sukkot together with the *lulav, hadas, and aravah.

Even ha-Ezer, see Shulhan Arukh.

*Exilarch, lay head of Jewish community in Babylonia (see also resh galuta), and elsewhere.

"Final Solution (Ger. Endloesung), in Nazi terminology, the Nazi-planned mass murder and total annihilation of the Jews.

*Gabbai, official of a Jewish congregation; originally a charity collector.

*Galut, "exile"; the condition of the Jewish people in dispersion.

*Gaon (pl. geonim), head of academy in post-talmudic period, especially in Babylonia.

Gaonate, office of *gaon.

*Gemara, traditions, discussions, and rulings of the *amoraim, commenting on and supplementing the *Mishnah, and forming part of the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds (see Talmud).

*Gematria, interpretation of Hebrew word according to the numerical value of its letters.

General Government, territory in Poland administered by a German civilian governor-general with headquarters in Cracow after the German occupation in World War II.

*Ge’ullah, hymn inserted after the *Shema into the benediction of the morning prayer of the festivals and special Sabbaths.

*Gilgul, metempsychosis; transmigration of souls.

*Golem, automaton, especially in human form, created by magical means and endowed with life.

*Habad, initials of hokhmah, binah, daat: "wisdom, understanding, knowledge"; hasidic movement founded in Belorussia by *Shneur Zalman of Lyady.

Hadas, *myrtle; one of the *Four Species used on Sukkot together with the *etrog, *lulav, and aravah.

*Haftarah (pl. haftarot), designation of the portion from the prophetical books of the Bible recited after the synagogue reading from the Pentateuch on Sabbaths and holidays.

*Haganah, clandestine Jewish organization for armed self-defense in Erez Israel under the British Mandate, which eventually evolved into a people’s militia and became the basis for the Israel army.

*Haggadah, ritual recited in the home on *Passover eve at seder table.

Haham, title of chief rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese congregations in London, England.

*Hakham, title of rabbi of *Sephardi congregation.

*Hakham bashi, title in the 15th century and modern times of the chief rabbi in the Ottoman Empire, residing in Constantinople (Istanbul), also applied to principal rabbis in provincial towns.

Hakhsharah ("preparation"), organized training in the Diaspora of pioneers for agricultural settlement in Erez Israel.

*Halakhah (pl. halakhot), an accepted decision in rabbinic law. Also refers to those parts of the *Talmud concerned with legal matters. In contradistinction to *aggadah.

Halizah, biblically prescribed ceremony (Deut. 25:9-10) performed when a man refuses to marry his brother’s childless widow, enabling her to remarry.

*Hallel, term referring to Psalms 113-18 in liturgical use.

*Halukkah, system of financing the maintenance of Jewish communities in the holy cities of Erez Israel by collections made abroad, mainly in the pre-Zionist era (see kolel).

Halutz (pl. halutzim), pioneer, especially in agriculture, in Erez Israel.

Halutziyyut, pioneering.

*Hanukkah, eight-day celebration commemorating the victory of *Judah Maccabee over the Syrian king *Antiochus Epiphanes and the subsequent rededication of the Temple.

Hasid, adherent of *Hasidism.

*Hasidei Ashkenaz, medieval pietist movement among the Jews of Germany.

*Hasidism, (1) religious revivalist movement of popular mysticism among Jews of Germany in the Middle Ages; (2) religious movement founded by *Israel ben Eliezer Ba’al Shem Tov in the first half of the 18th century.

*Haskalah, "enlightenment"; movement for spreading modern European culture among Jews c. 1750-1880. See maskil.

*Havdalah, ceremony marking the end of Sabbath or festival.

*Hazzan, precentor who intones the liturgy and leads the prayers in synagogue; in earlier times a synagogue official.

*Heder (lit. "room"), school for teaching children Jewish religious observance.

Heikhalot, "palaces"; tradition in Jewish mysticism centering on mystical journeys through the heavenly spheres and palaces to the Divine Chariot (see Merkabah).

*Herem, excommunication, imposed by rabbinical authorities for purposes of religious and/or communal discipline; originally, in biblical times, that which is separated from common use either because it was an abomination or because it was consecrated to God.

*Hevra kaddisha, title applied to charitable confraternity (*hevrah), now generally limited to associations for burial of the dead.

*Histadrut (abbr. For Heb. Ha-Histadrut ha-Kelalit shel ha-Ovedim ha-Ivriyyim be-Erez Israel). Erez Israel Jewish Labor Federation, founded in 1920; subsequently renamed Histadrut ha-Ovedim be-Erez Israel.

*Holocaust, the organized mass persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by the Nazis (1933-1945).

*Hoshana Rabba, the seventh day of *Sukkot on which special observances are held.

Hovevei Zion, federation of *Hibbat Zion, early (pre-*Herzl) Zionist movement in Russia.

Illui, outstanding scholar or genius, especially a young prodigy in talmudic learning.

*Iyyar, second month of the Jewish religious year, eighth of the civil, approximating to April-May.

I.Z.L. (initials of Heb. *Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi; "National Military Organization"), underground Jewish organization in Erez Israel founded in 1931, which engaged from 1937 in retaliatory acts against Arab attacks and later against the British mandatory authorities.

*Jadld al-Islam (Ar.), a person practicing the Jewish religion in secret although outwardly observing Islam.

*Jewish Legion, Jewish units in British army during World War I.

*Jihad (Ar.), in Muslim religious law, holy war waged against infidels.

*Judenrat (Ger. "Jewish council"), council set up in Jewish communities and ghettos under the Nazis to execute their instructions.

*Judenrein (Ger. "clean of Jews"), in Nazi terminology the condition of a locality from which all Jews had been eliminated.

*Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition: Kabbala iyyunit, speculative Kabbalah; Kabbala ma’asit, practical Kabbalah; Kabbala nevu’it, prophetic Kabbalah.

Kabbalist, student of Kabbalah.

*Kaddish, liturgical doxology.

Kahal, Jewish congregation; among Ashkenazim, kehillah.

*Kalam (Ar.), science of Muslim theology; adherents of the Kalam are called mutakallimun.

"Karaite, member of a Jewish sect originating in the eighth century which rejected rabbinic (*Rabbanite) Judaism and claimed to accept only Scripture as authoritative.

*Kasher, ritually permissible food.

Kashrut, Jewish *dietary laws.

"Kavvanah, "intention"; term denoting the spiritual concentration accompanying prayer and the performance of ritual or of a commandment.

*Kedushah, main addition to the third blessing in the reader’s repetition of the Amidah in which the public responds to the precentor’s introduction.

Kefar, village; first part of name of many settlements in Israel.

Kehillah, congregation; see kahal.

Kelippah (pl. kelippot), "husk(s)"; mystical term denoting force(s) of evil.

*Keneset Yisrael, comprehensive communal organization of the Jews in Palestine during the British Mandate.

Keri, variants in the masoretic (*masorah) text of the Bible between the spelling (ketiv) and its pronunciation (keri).

*Kerovah (collective plural (corrupted) from kerovez), poem(s) incorporated into the *Amidah.

*Ketubbah, marriage contract, stipulating husband’s obligations to wife.

Kevuzah, small commune of pioneers constituting an agricultural settlement in Erez Israel (evolved later into *kibbutz).

*Kibbutz (pl. kibbutzim), larger-size commune constituting a settlement in Erez Israel based mainly on agriculture but engaging also in industry.

*Kiddush, prayer of sanctification, recited over wine or bread on eve of Sabbaths and festivals.

*Kiddush ha-Shem, term connoting martyrdom or act of strict integrity in support of Judaic principles.

*Kinah (pl. kinot), lamentation dirge(s) for the Ninth of Av and other fast days.

*Kislev, ninth month of the Jewish religious year, third of the civil, approximating to November-December.

Klaus, name given in Central and Eastern Europe to an institution, usually with synagogue attached, where *Talmud was studied perpetually by adults; applied by Hasidim to their synagogue (" kloyz").

*Knesset, parliament of the State of Israel.

K(c)ohen (pl. K(c)ohanim), Jew(s) of priestly (Aaronide) descent.

*Kolel, (1) community in Erez Israel of persons from a particular country or locality, often supported by their fellow countrymen in the Diaspora; (2) institution for higher Torah study.

"Kristallnacht (Ger. "crystal night," meaning "night of broken glass"), organized destruction of synagogues, Jewish houses, and shops, accompanied by mass arrests of Jews, which took place in Germany and Austria under the Nazis on the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938.

*Lag ba-Omer, 33rd (Heb. lag) day of the *Omer period falling on the 18th of *Iyyar; a semi-holiday.

Lehi (abbr. For Heb. *Lohamei Herut Israel, "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel"), radically anti-British armed underground organization in Palestine, founded in 1940 by dissidents from *I.Z.L.

Levir, husband’s brother.

*Levirate marriage (Heb. yibbum), marriage of childless widow (yevamah) by brother (yavam) of the deceased husband (in accordance with Deut. 25:5); release from such an obligation is effected through halizah.

*Lulav, palm branch; one of the *Four Species used on *Sukkot together with the *etrog, hadas, and aravah.

*Ma’aravot, hymns inserted into the evening prayer of the three festivals, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

Ma’ariv, evening prayer; also called *arvit.

*Ma’barah, transition camp; temporary settlement for newcomers in Israel during the period of mass immigration following 1948.

*Maftir, reader of the concluding portion of the Pentateuchal section on Sabbaths and holidays in synagogue; reader of the portion of the prophetical books of the Bible (*haftarah).

*Maggid, popular preacher.

*Mahzor (pl. mahzorim), festival prayer book.

*Mamzer, bastard; according to Jewish law, the offspring of an incestuous relationship.

*Mandate, Palestine, responsibility for the administration of Palestine conferred on Britain by the League of Nations in 1922; mandatory government: the British administration of Palestine.

*Maqama (Ar. pl. maqamat), poetic form (rhymed prose) which, in its classical arrangement, has rigid rules of form and content.

*Marheshvan, popularly called Heshvan; eighth month of the Jewish religious year, second of the civil, approximating to October-November.

*Marrano(s), descendant(s) of Jew(s) in Spain and Portugal whose ancestors had been converted to Christianity under pressure but who secretly observed Jewish rituals.

Maskil (pl. maskilim), adherent of *Haskalah ("Enlightenment") movement.

*Masorah, body of traditions regarding the correct spelling, writing, and reading of the Hebrew Bible.

Masorete, scholar of the masoretic tradition.

Masoretic, in accordance with the masorah.

Melizah, in Middle Ages, elegant style; modern usage, florid style using biblical or talmudic phraseology.

Mellah, *Jewish quarter in North African towns.

"Menorah, candelabrum; seven-branched oil lamp used in the Tabernacle and Temple; also eight-branched candelabrum used on *Hanukkah.

Me’orah, hymn inserted into the first benediction of the morning prayer (Yozer ha-Meorot).

"Merkabah, merkavah, "chariot"; mystical discipline associated with Ezekiel’s vision of the Divine Throne-Chariot (Ezek. 1).

Meshullah, emissary sent to conduct propaganda or raise funds for rabbinical academies or charitable institutions.

"Mezuzah (pl. mezuzot), parchment scroll with selected Torah verses placed in container and affixed to gates and doorposts of houses occupied by Jews.

*Midrash, method of interpreting Scripture to elucidate legal points (Midrash Halakhah) or to bring out lessons by stories or homi-letics (Midrash Aggadah). Also the name for a collection of such rabbinic interpretations.

*Mikveh, ritual bath.

*Minhag (pl. minhagim), ritual custom(s); synagogal rite(s); especially of a specific sector of Jewry.

*Minhah, afternoon prayer; originally meal offering in Temple. 

*Minyan, group of ten male adult Jews, the minimum required for communal prayer.

*Mishnah, earliest codification of Jewish Oral Law.

Mishnah (pl. mishnayot), subdivision of tractates of the Mishnah.

Mitnagged (pl. *Mitnaggedim), originally, opponents of *H asidism in Eastern Europe.

*Mitzvah, biblical or rabbinic injunction; applied also to good or charitable deeds.

Mohel, official performing circumcisions.

"Moshav, smallholders’ cooperative agricultural settlement in Israel, see moshav ovedim.

Moshavah, earliest type of Jewish village in modern Erez Israel in which farming is conducted on individual farms mostly on privately owned land.

Moshav ovedim ("workers’ moshav"), agricultural village in Israel whose inhabitants possess individual homes and holdings but cooperate in the purchase of equipment, sale of produce, mutual aid, etc.

*Moshav shittufi ("collective moshav"), agricultural village in Israel whose members possess individual homesteads but where the agriculture and economy are conducted as a collective unit.

Mostegab (Ar.), poem with biblical verse at beginning of each stanza.

*Muqaddam (Ar., pl. muqaddamun), "leader," "head of the community."

*Musaf, additional service on Sabbath and festivals; originally the additional sacrifice offered in the Temple.

Musar, traditional ethical literature.

*Musar movement, ethical movement developing in the latter part of the 19th century among Orthodox Jewish groups in Lithuania; founded by R. Israel *Lipkin (Salanter).

*Nagid (pl. negidim), title applied in Muslim (and some Christian) countries in the Middle Ages to a leader recognized by the state as head of the Jewish community.

Nakdan (pl. nakdanim), "punctuator"; scholar of the 9th to 14th centuries who provided biblical manuscripts with masoretic apparatus, vowels, and accents.

*Nasi (pl. nesi’im), talmudic term for president of the Sanhedrin, who was also the spiritual head and later, political representative of the Jewish people; from second century a descendant of Hil-lel recognized by the Roman authorities as patriarch of the Jews. Now applied to the president of the State of Israel.

*Negev, the southern, mostly arid, area of Israel.

*Ne’ilah, concluding service on the *Day of Atonement.

Neofiti, term applied in southern Italy to converts to Christianity from Judaism and their descendants who were suspected of maintaining secret allegiance to Judaism.

*Neology; Neolog; Neologism, trend of *Reform Judaism in Hungary forming separate congregations after 1868.

*Nevelah (lit. "carcass"), meat forbidden by the *dietary laws on account of the absence of, or defect in, the act of *shehitah (ritual slaughter).

*New Christians, term applied especially in Spain and Portugal to converts from Judaism (and from Islam) and their descendants; "Half New Christian" designated a person one of whose parents was of full Jewish blood.

"Niddah ("menstruous woman"), woman during the period of menstruation.

*Nisan, first month of the Jewish religious year, seventh of the civil, approximating to March-April.

Nizozot, "sparks"; mystical term for sparks of the holy light imprisoned in all matter.

Nosah (nusah) "version"; (1) textual variant; (2) term applied to distinguish the various prayer rites, e.g., nosah Ashkenaz; (3) the accepted tradition of synagogue melody.

*Notarikon, method of abbreviating Hebrew works or phrases by acronym.

Novella(e) (Heb. *hiddush (im)), commentary on talmudic and later rabbinic subjects that derives new facts or principles from the implications of the text.

"Nuremberg Laws, Nazi laws excluding Jews from German citizenship, and imposing other restrictions.

Ofan, hymns inserted into a passage of the morning prayer.

*Omer, first sheaf cut during the barley harvest, offered in the Temple on the second day of Passover.

Omer, Counting of (Heb. Sefirat ha-Omer), 49 days counted from the day on which the omer was first offered in the Temple (according to the rabbis the 16 th of Nisan, i.e., the second day of Passover) until the festival of Shavuot; now a period of semi-mourning.

"Orthodoxy (Orthodox Judaism), modern term for the strictly traditional sector of Jewry.

"Pale of Settlement, 25 provinces of czarist Russia where Jews were permitted permanent residence.

"Palmah (abbr. for Heb. peluggot mahaz; "shock companies"), striking arm of the *Haganah.

*Pardes, medieval biblical exegesis giving the literal, allegorical, homiletical, and esoteric interpretations.

*Parnas, chief synagogue functionary, originally vested with both religious and administrative functions; subsequently an elected lay leader.

Partition plan(s), proposals for dividing Erez Israel into autonomous areas.

Paytan, composer of *piyyut (liturgical poetry).

"Peel Commission, British Royal Commission appointed by the British government in 1936 to inquire into the Palestine problem and make recommendations for its solution.

Pesah, *Passover.

"Pilpul, in talmudic and rabbinic literature, a sharp dialectic used particularly by talmudists in Poland from the 16th century.

*Pinkas, community register or minute-book.

"Piyyut, (pl. piyyutim), Hebrew liturgical poetry.

*Pizmon, poem with refrain.

Posek (pl. *posekim), decisor; codifier or rabbinic scholar who pronounces decisions in disputes and on questions of Jewish law.

*Prosbul, legal method of overcoming the cancelation of debts with the advent of the *sabbatical year.

*Purim, festival held on Adar 14 or 15 in commemoration of the delivery of the Jews of Persia in the time of *Esther.

Rabban, honorific title higher than that of rabbi, applied to heads of the *Sanhedrin in mishnaic times.

"Rabbanite, adherent of rabbinic Judaism. In contradistinction to "Karaite.

Reb, rebbe, Yiddish form for rabbi, applied generally to a teacher or hasidic rabbi.

*Reconstructionism, trend in Jewish thought originating in the United States.

"Reform Judaism, trend in Judaism advocating modification of "Orthodoxy in conformity with the exigencies of contemporary life and thought.

Resh galuta, lay head of Babylonian Jewry (see exilarch).

Responsum (pl. *responsa), written opinion (teshuvah) given to question (she’elah) on aspects of Jewish law by qualified authorities; pl. collection of such queries and opinions in topic form (she’elot u-teshuvot).

*Rishonim, older rabbinical authorities. Distinguished from later authorities (*aharonim).

*Rishon le-Zion, title given to Sephardi chief rabbi of Erez Israel.

*Rosh Ha-Shanah, two-day holiday (one day in biblical and early mishnaic times) at the beginning of the month of *Tishri (September-October), traditionally the New Year.

Rosh Hodesh, *New Moon, marking the beginning of the Hebrew month.

*R.S.H.A. (initials of Ger. Reichssicherheitshauptamt: "Reich Security Main Office"), the central security department of the German Reich, formed in 1939, and combining the security police (Gestapo and Kripo) and the S.D.

*Sanhedrin, the assembly of ordained scholars which functioned both as a supreme court and as a legislature before 70 C.E. In modern times the name was given to the body of representative Jews convoked by Napoleon in 1807.

*Savora (pl. savoraim), name given to the Babylonian scholars of the period between the *amoraim and the *geonim, approximately 500-700 C.E.

S.D. (initials of Ger. Sicherheitsdienst: "security service"), security service of the *S.S. formed in 1932 as the sole intelligence organization of the Nazi party.

Seder, ceremony observed in the Jewish home on the first night of Passover (outside Erez Israel first two nights), when the *Hag-gadah is recited.

*Sefer Torah, manuscript scroll of the Pentateuch for public reading in synagogue.

*Sefirot, the ten, the ten "Numbers"; mystical term denoting the ten spheres or emanations through which the Divine manifests itself; elements of the world; dimensions, primordial numbers.

Selektion (Ger.), (1) in ghettos and other Jewish settlements, the drawing up by Nazis of lists of deportees; (2) separation of incoming victims to concentration camps into two categories – those destined for immediate killing and those to be sent for forced labor.

Selihah (pl. *selihot), penitential prayer.

*Semikhah, ordination conferring the title "rabbi" and permission to give decisions in matters of ritual and law.

Sephardi (pl. *Sephardim), Jew(s) of Spain and Portugal and their descendants, wherever resident, as contrasted with *Ashkenazi(m).

Shabbatean, adherent of the pseudo-messiah *Shabbetai Zevi (17th century).

Shaddai, name of God found frequently in the Bible and commonly translated "Almighty."

*Shaharit, morning service.

Shali’ah (pl. shelihim), in Jewish law, messenger, agent; in modern times, an emissary from Erez Israel to Jewish communities or organizations abroad for the purpose of fund-raising, organizing pioneer immigrants, education, etc.

Shalmonit, poetic meter introduced by the liturgical poet *Solo-mon ha-Bavli.

*Shammash, synagogue beadle.

*Shavuot, Pentecost; Festival of Weeks; second of the three annual pilgrim festivals, commemorating the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.

*Shehitah, ritual slaughtering of animals.

*Shekhinah, Divine Presence.

Shelishit, poem with three-line stanzas.

*Sheluhei Erez Israel (or shadarim), emissaries from Erez Israel.

*Shema ([Yisrael]; "hear… [O Israel]," Deut. 6:4), Judaism’s confession of faith, proclaiming the absolute unity of God.

Shemini Azeret, final festal day (in the Diaspora, final two days) at the conclusion of *Sukkot.

Shemittah, *Sabbatical year.

Sheniyyah, poem with two-line stanzas.

*Shephelah, southern part of the coastal plain of Erez Israel.

*Shevat, eleventh month of the Jewish religious year, fifth of the civil, approximating to January-February.

*Shi’ur Komah, Hebrew mystical work (c. eighth century) containing a physical description of God’s dimensions; term denoting enormous spacial measurement used in speculations concerning the body of the *Shekhinah.

Shivah, the "seven days" of *mourning following burial of a relative.

*Shofar, horn of the ram (or any other ritually clean animal excepting the cow) sounded for the memorial blowing on *Rosh Ha-Shanah, and other occasions.

Shohet, person qualified to perform *shehitah.

Shomer, *Ha-Shomer, organization of Jewish workers in Erez Israel founded in 1909 to defend Jewish settlements.

*Shtadlan, Jewish representative or negotiator with access to dignitaries of state, active at royal courts, etc.

*Shtetl, Jewish small-town community in Eastern Europe.

*Shulhan Arukh, Joseph *Caro’s code of Jewish law in four parts: Orah Hayyim, laws relating to prayers, Sabbath, festivals, and fasts;

Yoreh Deah, dietary laws, etc;

Even ha-Ezer, laws dealing with women, marriage, etc; Hoshen Mishpat, civil, criminal law, court procedure, etc.

Siddur, among Ashkenazim, the volume containing the daily prayers (in distinction to the *mahzor containing those for the festivals).

*Simhat Torah, holiday marking the completion in the synagogue of the annual cycle of reading the Pentateuch; in Erez Israel observed on Shemini Azeret (outside Erez Israel on the following day).

*Sinai Campaign, brief campaign in October-November 1956 when Israel army reacted to Egyptian terrorist attacks and blockade by occupying the Sinai peninsula.

Sitra ahra, "the other side" (of God); left side; the demoniac and satanic powers.

*Sivan, third month of the Jewish religious year, ninth of the civil, approximating to May-June.

*Six-Day War, rapid war in June 1967 when Israel reacted to Arab threats and blockade by defeating the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies.

*S.S. (initials of Ger. Schutzstaffel: "protection detachment"), Nazi formation established in 1925 which later became the "elite" organization of the Nazi Party and carried out central tasks in the "Final Solution."

*Status quo ante community, community in Hungary retaining the status it had held before the convention of the General Jewish Congress there in 1868 and the resultant split in Hungarian Jewry.

*Sukkah, booth or tabernacle erected for *Sukkot when, for seven days, religious Jews "dwell" or at least eat in the sukkah (Lev. 23:42).

*Sukkot, festival of Tabernacles; last of the three pilgrim festivals, beginning on the 15th of Tishri.

Ta’anit Esther (Fast of *Esther), fast on the 13th of Adar, the day preceding Purim.

Takkanah (pl. *takkanot), regulation supplementing the law of the Torah; regulations governing the internal life of communities and congregations.

*Tallit (gadol), four-cornered prayer shawl with fringes (zizit) at each corner.

*Tallit katan, garment with fringes (zizit) appended, worn by observant male Jews under their outer garments.

*Talmud, "teaching"; compendium of discussion on the Mishnah by generations of scholars and jurists in many academies over a period of several centuries. The Jerusalem (or Palestinian) Talmud mainly contains the discussions of the Palestinian sages. The Babylonian Talmud incorporates the parallel discussion in the Babylonian academies.

Talmud torah, term generally applied to Jewish religious (and ultimately to talmudic) study; also to traditional Jewish religious public schools.

*Tammuz, fourth month of the Jewish religious year, tenth of the civil, approximating to June-July.

Tanna (pl. *tannaim), rabbinic teacher of mishnaic period.

*Targum, Aramaic translation of the Bible.

*Tefillin, phylacteries, small leather cases containing passages from Scripture and affixed on the forehead and arm by male Jews during the recital of morning prayers.

Tell (Ar. "mound," "hillock"), ancient mound in the Middle East composed of remains of successive settlements.

*Terefah, food that is not *kasher, owing to a defect on the animal.

*Territorialism, 20th century movement supporting the creation of an autonomous territory for Jewish mass-settlement outside Erez Israel.

*Tevet, tenth month of the Jewish religious year, fourth of the civil, approximating to December-January.

Tikkun ("restitution," "reintegration"), (1) order of service for certain occasions, mostly recited at night; (2) mystical term denoting restoration of the right order and true unity after the spiritual "catastrophe" which occurred in the cosmos.

Tishah be-Av, Ninth of *Av, fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

*Tishri, seventh month of the Jewish religious year, first of the civil, approximating to September-October.

Tokheh ah, reproof sections of the Pentateuch (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28); poem of reproof.

*Torah, Pentateuch or the Pentateuchal scroll for reading in synagogue; entire body of traditional Jewish teaching and literature.

Tosafist, talmudic glossator, mainly French (12-14^ centuries), bringing additions to the commentary by *Rashi.

*Tosafot, glosses supplied by tosafist.

*Tosefta, a collection of teachings and traditions of the tannaim, closely related to the Mishnah.

Tradent, person who hands down a talmudic statement on the name of his teacher or other earlier authority.

*Tu bi-Shevat, the 15th day of Shevat, the New Year for Trees; date marking a dividing line for fruit tithing; in modern Israel celebrated as arbor day.

*Uganda Scheme, plan suggested by the British government in 1903 to establish an autonomous Jewish settlement area in East Africa.

*Va’ad Le’ummi, national council of the Jewish community in Erez Israel during the period of the British *Mandate.

*Wannsee Conference, Nazi conference held on Jan. 20, 1942, at which the planned annihilation of European Jewry was endorsed.

Waqf (Ar.), (1) a Muslim charitable pious foundation; (2) state lands and other property passed to the Muslim community for public welfare.

*War of Independence, war of 1947-49 when the Jews of Israel fought off Arab invading armies and ensured the establishment of the new State.

*White Paper(s), report(s) issued by British government, frequently statements of policy, as issued in connection with Palestine during the *Mandate period.

*Wissenschaft des Judentums (Ger. "Science of Judaism"), movement in Europe beginning in the 19th century for scientific study of Jewish history, religion, and literature.

*Yad Vashem, Israel official authority for commemorating the *Holocaust in the Nazi era and Jewish resistance and heroism at that time.

Yeshivah (pl. *yeshivot), Jewish traditional academy devoted primarily to study of rabbinic literature; rosh yeshivah, head of the yeshivah.

YHWH, the letters of the holy name of God, the Tetragramma-ton.

Yih ud, "union"; mystical term for intention which causes the union of God with the *Shekhinah.

Yishuv, settlement; more specifically, the Jewish community of Erez Israel in the pre-State period. The pre-Zionist community is generally designated the "old yishuv" and the community evolving from 1880, the "new yishuv."

Yom Kippur, Yom ha-Kippurim, *Day of Atonement, solemn fast day observed on the 10th of Tishri.

Yozer, hymns inserted in the first benediction (Yozer Or) of the morning *Shema.

*Zaddik, person outstanding for his faith and piety; especially a hasidic rabbi or leader.

Zimzum, "contraction"; mystical term denoting the process whereby God withdraws or contracts within Himself so leaving a primordial vacuum in which creation can take place; primordial exile or self-limitation of God.

*Zionist Commission (1918), commission appointed in 1918 by the British government to advise the British military authorities in Palestine on the implementation of the *Balfour Declaration.

Zyyonei Zion, the organized opposition to Herzl in connection with the *Uganda Scheme.

*Zizit, fringes attached to the *tallit and *tallit katan.

*Zohar, mystical commentary on the Pentateuch; main textbook of *Kabbalah.

Zulat, hymn inserted after the *Shema in the morning service.

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