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Sponsored Results: Hebrew Word Glossary

Jewish Word Spelling Guide

abbr.= abbreviated esp.= especially Heb.= Hebrew
lit.= literally n= noun pl.= plural
pron.= pronounced usu.= usually v= verb
Yid.= Yiddish Common Hebrew Phrases




Aleph is the subject of a midrash which praises its humility in not demanding to start the Bible. (In Hebrew the Bible is begun with the second letter of the alphabet, Bet.) In this folktale, Aleph is rewarded by being allowed to start the Ten Commandments. (In Hebrew, the first word is 'Anokhi, which starts with an aleph.)

Aharon's Rod: A rod which, in the hands of Aaron, the high priest, was endowed with miraculous power during the several plagues ......

abba (Heb.) father

Abraham: According to the Bible, Abraham (or Abram) was the father of the Hebrews.

Acharonim lit.=the last ones: post-Rishonim commentators

Achashverosh Persian king in Book of Esther

Adar 6th Jewish month (Feb-Mar), 14th is Purim

Adon Olam "Master of the World," a concluding hymn

afikomen last bit of matzah, eaten at end of Seder

Agadah non-legal rabbinic writings

Aggadah (al. Agada, Agadah) pl. Agadot - stories, parables. Aggadah or Haggadah: The no legal contents of the Talmud and Midrash, including the ethical and moral teachings. This information is usually given in the form of parables, stories, and legends that are used as teaching tools.

agunah lit.= chained one: wife of an M.I.A.; woman whose husband refuses to grant a divorce

ahava (Heb.) love [n]

ainikle (Yid.) grandchild

Aiyin Ra’ah: A Hebrew term meaning bad eye, which describes a person being stingy

Aiyin Tovah: A Hebrew term meaning good eye, which describes a person being generous.

Akedah (al. Akeida) - Binding an animal for sacrifice; specifically, Abraham's binding of Isaac for sacrifice to G-d--not consummated...The binding of the sacrifice.

Akkum: A non-Jew who does not observe the Noachide Laws

Al Chet - Literally: for the sin; an important Yom Kippur prayer listing sins for which we beg forgiveness.

Al Hanisim (al. Ha-nissim) - thanksgiving for the miracles added to prayer and grace after the meal on the festivals of Hanukah and Purim.

Aleinu "It is Upon Us," a concluding hymn

al kiddush HaShem for the sanctification of G-d

alav hashalom "(May he/she) rest in peace."

aliyah lit.=ascent: immigration to Israel

am ha'aretz lit.=nation of the land: ignorant person

Amidah lit.=standing: long prayer said while standing

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In the Sefer Yetzirah, The letter Aleph is King over Breath, Formed Air in the universe, Temperate in the Year, and the Chest in the soul.

Aleph also begins the three words that make up God's mystical name in Exodus, I Am That I Am, (in Hebrew, 'Ehye 'Asher 'Ehye), and aleph is an important part of mystical amulets and formulas.
Aleph is also the first letter of the Hebrew word emet, which means truth. It was the letter aleph that was carved into the head of the golem which ultimately gave it life.
Amora'im lit.= explainers: Gemarah-era commentators (200-500 C.E.)

Ani Ma’amin lit.= I believe: phrase that begins each of Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of Faith.

Apfelstrudel (Apple strudel) is a traditional Austrian pastry, and is the most widely known kind of strudel.

aravot willow sprigs, used on Succot

arba kanfos lit.=four corners: tzitzit

Arba Kanfos The Four Corners of the Earth

Aretz lit.= land: Israel

Arizal: Hebrew initials of the words: Adoni Rabbenu Yitzchok Zechorono LeVaracha our master Rabbi Yitzchok. Better known as Yitzchok Luria the great 16th century Kabbalist

aron (hakodesh) (the holy) cabinet for Sefer Torah

Aseret HaDibrot The Ten Commandments

Aseret Yimei Teshuva The Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, a time of introspection and semi-mourning

Ashkenazi of Eastern European Jewish tradition

Ashrei "Fortunate Are," a popular alphabetic prayer (Psalm 145)

Asoroh B'Tevet winter fast for Babylonian siege of Jerusalem

aufruf held the Shabbat before a wedding, the throwing of candy, etc. at a groom after he reads the Haftorah

Av 11th Jewish month (Jul-Aug), 9th is Tisha B'Av

av (Heb.) father of...

avel/avelut mourner/mourning

aveyra sin; transgression of a "shalt not"

avodah work [n], esp. in service of G-d

avodah zarah lit.=strange work: idolatry

ayrusin marital engagement

ayshet chayil a woman of valor

Ayshet Chayil the entire last chapter of Proverbs, sung on Erev Shabbat and at weddings, describing a "woman of valor"