Since I use a number of Hebrew or Yiddish terms, and many of you are non-Hebrew speakers, I have decided that a glossary page may be of use to you.  I try as much as possible to write the meaning of any Hebrew words in brackets or with a balloon tool-tip* so that you can see the English translation, but this glossary may be just as easy.

*When you see a word with slight shading and a dotted underline, hover your mouse over it and a pop-up balloon will appear with an explanation of the word. Just like this. Hover your mouse over these words and watch the magic. 🙂

This is not going to be in any order for the moment. I’ll try and order it in alphabetical order one of these days… I will also update it as necessary.

Update: The list is now alphabetized and has been updated. I’m sure there will be more updates in future. If there’s a word missing that you’d like to know its meaning, let me know in the comments or email me.

Azkara Memorial service
Baruch Dayan Emet “Blessed is the true Judge”, said when receiving news of a person’s death
Bracha Blessing
Brit or Bris Circumcision
Chag Jewish Festival (pronounced with a guttural (German) “ch”)
Chag Sameach Happy Holiday
Chag Kasher Ve’sameach Happy and kosher Holiday, used when wishing Happy Passover
Challah (pl. Challot) Braided or plaited bread for Shabbat and festivals
Chatan bridegroom
Daven to pray
Davka contrarily (sometimes it means “precisely”, depending on context)
Erev the eve of (a festival or Shabbat)
Hashem G-d
Kallah bride
Kever grave or tomb
Kipa (pl. Kippot) skullcap(s), yarmulka(s)
Kol Hakavod Kudos, all honour or credit to
Masechet or Masechta Talmudic tractate
Megillah Lit: Book of Esther. Coll: a long yarn or story
Minyan quorum of 10 men in order to pray
Mishloach Manot Purim gift baskets of food
Mitzva (pl. Mitzvot) commandment, precept of Judaism, good deed
Motzei Shabbat (abbrev:Motzash) End of Shabbat
Musag concept, idea
Pesach Passover
Ra’ashan Rattle, Purim noisemaker, Gregger/grogger
Sameach Happy
Seudah Festive meal
Shabbat the Jewish Sabbath
Shavuot Feast of Weeks; Pentecost
Shechem Nablus
Shomron Samaria
Shtachim Lit.: “territories”, i.e. Judea & Samaria or West Bank
Shul synagogue
Simchat Torah Festival of Rejoicing of the Torah
Siyum Ceremony marking finishing the study of a Talmudic tractate
Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles
Yahrzeit Anniversary of the date of death
Yehuda Judea (or boy’s name Judah)
Yehuda veShomron Judea & Samaria (West Bank)
Yerushalayim Jerusalem
Yesha abbreviation for Judea, Samaria & Gaza (even though Gaza has been evacuated)
Yomtov Festival, synonymous with Chag
Yosef Joseph
Yosh abbreviation for Judea & Samaria
Zeh ma yesh That’s how it is (slang)

10 Responses to Glossary

  1. anneinpt says:

    I’m writing this comment so that readers will see this new page in the sidebar. Please read my new glossary page here and leave any suggestions in the comments below.

  2. Earl says:


    Meorav Yerushalmi Cardiac in a pita

    Sh’nayeem Jehu’dim Three opinions voiced simultaneously

    • anneinpt says:

      Earl, LOL! Good ones. Almost – but not quite – precise enough for my glossary. I’ll leave your definitions here for the edification of other readers. 😀

  3. reality says:

    shul = temple of prayer
    quorum- 10 men needed for men to pray
    shtachim/yosh – Judea & Shomron
    acharei hachagim motek- after the festivals (september usually) sweetie

  4. TerryD says:

    Thank you for the glossary. Certainly helps this Christian!

  5. Tim Shey says:

    Bereshith–“beginnings” or “in the beginning”
    Yood of Elohim–“hand of God”

    “Man plans and God laughs”
    –Yiddish proverb

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