Glossary - Jewish Outlook

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Alef: first letter of the Hebrew alphabet

Asara ma’amaros: ten pronouncements / sayings with which the world was created

Avraham: Abraham, the first Patriarch of the Jewish People

Atzvut: dead kind of sadness

Avoda: work

Azut d’kdusha: holy arrogance

Bal Shem: The Bal Shem Tov, founder of the Hassidic movement

Beis Din: Rabbinic court

Beis Din Hagadol: High Rabbinic court of 71

Beis Hamikdash: the holy tabernacle, Holy Temple

Beis medrash: Synagogue study hall

Ben: son, the son of

Bench licht: light Shabbos candles

Bentsh gomel: say a special blessing thanking G-d for helping us

B’simcha: filled with joy

Bet: 2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet

Challah: loaves of bread eaten on the Sabath

Chanuka: Jewish holiday of light

Chas veshalom: G-d forbid

Chassan: groom

Chassidishe mentsh: Chassidic man

Chassidishe Yidden: Chassidic Jews

Chassidus: Chassidism

Chevra: group of friends

Chhhh: an expression

Chodesh: Jewish month

Chossid: Chassid, of the Jewish spiritual movement

Chumash: Five Books of Moses

Chuts laarets: outside of Israel

Chuppah: Jewish marriage canopy

Chutzpah: audacity

Daven: pray

Davening: praying

Davener: someone who prays

David HaMelech: King David

Ellul: a Jewish month

Esrog: citron

Emuna: faith

Frum: Religious – careful to abide by the word of HaShem

Gabbi: shamash / beadle / secretary

Gaon: genius

Geferlach: a bad scene

Gehinnom: Hell

Gemara: Talmud / the oral law

Gevalt: strong (Yiddish expression originaly having a negative meaning: ‘help!’ Rebbe Shlomo Carlebach zt”l transformed the word to have a positive meaning: ‘tremendous!’)

Gornisht: it is nothing, worthless

Gut: good

Gut yom tov: have a good holiday

HaNeor balayla: One who is awake at night. (The title of Rebbe Nachmans teaching on Hisbodedus)

Haggadah: read at Passover, recounting the Jews’ leaving Egypt

HaKodesh: holy

Haneor Balayla: if you are up at night

Hanevia: the prophetess

Hashmonaim: Maccabi

Hatzadik: the holy person

Heilege ziese: holy sweet

Heilege: holy

Halacha: Jewish law

Hevre: group of friends

Hisbodedus: being alone with G-d

Ich veis: I don’t know (Yiddish expression)

Kaddish: prayer, said when ten men pray, honoring G-d

Kallah: bride

Kavod: honor

Kiddush: blessing over the wine on the sabbath and Holidays

Kishkes: stomach

Koach: strength

Krechts: cry

Krechtzing: groaning

Kvetching: complaining

Kriyat Shema: reading the prayer, Hear O Israel

Lasuach: to talk

L’vatala: to nothingness, to unimportant things

Lechem mishna: Double loaves of bread on the Sabbath

Lulov: palm branch waved together with a citron, willow, and myrtle on the holiday of Succoth

Maimonides: Rambam

Mamash: really

Maos Hittim: Money given to the poor to buy wheat for Yom Tov

Marirut: bitterness, which is living sadness

Megilla: Purim scroll

Mehadrin min hamehadrin: very high stardard of doing good deeds

Menorah: candelabrum lit on Hanukah, hanukiyah

Meraglim: The spies that were sent by Moses to the Land of Israel

Michuyav hamitziut: really existing

Mikva: ritual bath

Mincha: afternoon daily prayer

Mishna: Jewish oral law

Mitzvah: good deed

Mitzvas: when you do something good

Mashiach: Messiah

Nebech: unfortunate

Nefesh: soul (lower level of the soul)

Neshama: soul (higher level of the soul)

Niggun: a tune, a song

Neggina: singing a song

Noam Elyon: holy sweetness which flows down from Heaven

Olam hatohu: chaos world

Olam Hatikun: the world of correction

Oneg: bliss

Ohr Haganuz: the hidden light of creation

Oral Law: Gemara / Talmud

Oy: oh

Oy vey: oh, no!

P’gam: a blemish

Passuk: passage, verse from the Torah

Peyos: sidelocks

Rabbenu: Our teacher

Reb: Rebbe / Rabbi

Rebbe: Chassidic master

Rebono Shel Olam: G-d

Rosh Chodesh: New month

Rosh HaShanah: Jewish new year

Ruach: soul (mid level of the soul, between nefesh and neshama)

Sanhedrin: Rabinic high court

Schmendrik: fool

Sefer: holy book

Sefira: level, emanation of the light of G-d

Sforim: holy books

Shabbos: the Sabbath

Shabbosdike: Sabbath like

Shacharit: Morning prayer

Shalach Manos: food gifts given on Purim

Shames: beadle / secretary of the Rebbe

Shasim: books of Talmud

Shebalpeh: oral tradition

Shema: Hear

Shema Yisrael: Hear O’ Israel

Shlemazel: lazy, simpleton

Shleppers: poor, sad people, tramp

Shlita: May he live long

Shmendrik: fool

Shmonah Esrai: Prayer

Shukkle: shake

Shul: synagogue

Siach hasadeh: The little grass in the field

Siddur: prayerbook

Siddurim: prayerbooks

Simcha: joy

Simchas Torah: Holiday of the Torah

Streimel: Traditional fur hat

Sukkah: temporary dwelling on Succoth

Sukkot: Jewish holiday of Succoth

Tallis: prayer shawl

Talmid: disciple, student

Tamuz: a Hebrew month

Tefillin: phylacteries

Talmud: Gemara, the Oral Law

Taka: actually

Torah: Bible, Pentateuch. Sometimes means; a teaching from the Torah

Torah shebal peh: Oral Torah

Torah shebechtav: written Torah

Teshuva: returning to G-d

Tzadik: holy person

Tzadikim: holy people

Tzitzis: four cornered garment with fringes

Yarmulke: skullcap

Yerushalayim: Jerusalem

Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh: Jerusalem the Holy City

Yeshiva bochur: young Jewish student

Yesod heafar: the element of earth (of the four elements: air, water, fire, earth)

Yid: Jew

Yiddelach: Jews

Yiddele: Jew

Yidishkeit: Judaism

Yivul: fruit of the field

Yom Kippur: Day of forgiveness

Yom Tov: Jewish Holiday

Zie gezunt: goodbye, be healthy

Zohar HaKadosh: Holy book of Kabala

Z”tl: may the memory of a holy person be for a blessing



A bad scene: a bad situation, hard to imagine

Blow my mind: mind boggling, amazing

I am not knocking it: I am not saying anything bad about it

In the craziest way: in the most amazing way, paradoxical

Intellectuals: they have everything in their head, and nothing in their heart

It doesn’t go: it does not work, it doesn’t make sense

Let’s put it this way: Put in another way

Not to be believed: amazing

Right?: Do you understand?

So: very

Straight: orderly. (Or it sometimes means; overly conforming and uptight.)

Strong: intensely, powerful, gevalt

Taste: experience, receive, understand

Top: epitomy, best, greatest

Top man of: the person who epitomizes the concept of…

That is all head stuff: It is only intellectual without feeling and depth

Way out: amazing, very high concept

With it: composed and in control, together with



Daily Torah Quote

Joke of the day

How do you know which part of the service the congregation has reached? It’s very simple – if one third of the congregation is outside then they are davening (praying); if half the congregation is outside then they’re reading the Torah (Bible). Ah, but if everyone is outside then the Rabbi must be giving a speech!