Abba = Dearest Daddy (a most intimate term for God)
Achi = Brother
Achoit = Sister
Acharrit hayamim = Literally “the end of the days.” It’s the End Times or “latter days,” when this world or age is coming to a close and the “age to come” is about to begin.
Amidah = Standing. The Amidah has been an integral part of Jewish prayer since at least the first century. We stand facing Jerusalem as an outward sign of the importance of these prayers. It is also known as the Silent Prayer or Silent Devotion. Congregants say it in a whisper. The leader of the service chants it aloud when it is repeated.
Amoraim, The: The Amoraim (from Heb. Amar = to interpret), in Judaism were special scholars in the rabbinic schools, predominantly at Caesarea and Tiberias in Palestine (220–375 A.D.) and in Babylonia (200–500 A.D.), designated to interpret, explain, discuss, and harmonize the oral teachings (Mishna and other Tannaitic collections) with the Biblical text. They were active from the 3rd to 5th centuries A.D. and were largely responsible for the composition of the Talmud.
Beged = Clothing, which shares the same root as the word “rebellion.” The clothing which man wears is a memorial to rebellion and the resultant distancing from God.
Boker Tov = Good Morning
Chaver, Chaverim (plural) = Friend / friends
Cohen = Priest. In the days of old, the cohen worked with the Levim in the Temple. Now, we are a “nation of cohen” because of Messiah.
Erev Tov = Good Evening
Gemara: Popularly applied to the Jewish Talmud as a whole to discussions by rabbinic teachers on Mishna and to decisions reached in these discussions. In a more restricted sense, the work of the generations of the amoraim in “completing” Mishna to produce the Talmuds.
Hag Sameach = Happy Holiday, and is greeting used on a variety of holidays.
Haggadah = Telling. It tells the story of the Exodus.
Halacha(h): Legal Jewish ruling. Jewish Law. Rabbis can interpret the laws differently; however, all interpretations must be rooted in the tradition. The Law of Judaism. Originally embodied in the written Torah and the Oral Torah given to Moses at Sinai, Halacha undergoes constant revision and reinterpretation by rabbis in order to meet the needs of an evolving society. Usually Halacha is not changed without good reason (Reform has been a notable exception until recently), and then only when there isn’t a precedent suited to a new situation. The willingness to change Halacha and to what extent is the most obvious division between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism.
Kippah = Dome
Layla Tov = Good Night
Midrash = Interpretation of Scriptural text
Mishkan = The Tabernacle
Mishnah: 1). The digest of the recommended Jewish oral halacha (law) as it existed at the end of the 2nd century and was collated, edited, and revised by Rabbi Judah the Prince. The code is divided into six major units and 63 minor ones. The work is the authoritative legaltradition of the early sages and is the basis of the legal discussions of the Talmud. 2). The first legal law code of basic Jewish law governing all aspects of life. It is based upon the pharisees and rabbis’ interpretation of the Torah and was arranged and re-enacted by R. Judah Hanasi about 200 CE. The Mishnah contains the basic oral law as evolved through the generations. It is divided into six orders. 3). Jewish Oral Law (c. 200 A.D.) A multi-volume collection of codified explanations and procedures for performing temple service and worship.
Mishpohah/Mishpacha = Family. This is how we are to be! Not just “brothers and sisters on Shabbat and Wedsnday” but we must learn to look at each other as an extended family! When one of us falls, it is our job to help them out. Imagine a truely tight community, where all pull together to actually help each other out, train them up in the ways of the Scriptures, give aid when needed, give shelter when broken, give food when starving, and doing so freely without expecting to be paid back!
Mitzvah / Mitzvot pl. = Commandment, general principles for living, good deeds.
Moshiach = Messiah (Greek, Christos into English “Christ)
Nazir = Nazarite
Nudnik (Yiddish) = a pest, a bore (check out Lk 18:5)
‘olam Haba = The world-to-come
‘olam hazeh = This world, this age
Oy Vey = Woe is me
Pesach = Passover
P’rushim = Pharisees. The P’rushim mainly focussed on the Torah. But, when the Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. they developed traditions for basis of Jewish life, and it evolved into Talmud and Modern Judaism (Orthodox).
Ruach HaKodesh = Spirit of the Holy One (aka Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost). This is the Spirit of YHWH, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Wisdom and the Spirit of Understanding.
Seder = meal
Shabbat = Sabbath. In Israel, Saturday is called “Shabbat” because it is the last day of the week. So you have Sun-Fri, then Shabbat.
Shalom = Peace, also used as a common greeting. Messiah commanded us to say, whenever we enter someone’s house to proclaim: “Shalom aleikhem!” (peace unto you) [Matthew 10:12]. True Shalom, true peace is not merely a physical peace…it is very deep, the deepest it can be. This is why Messiah said, “I give you my shalom, not as the world gives, but as I give” It incompases everything, emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual…whenever you speak “shalom” to one another, do so with the entire intent of the meaning behind the word. For in Hebrew, each word tells a story.
Shema = Daily prayer from Deut. 6:4-5 (commanded to say it when we wake, and when we sleep. This is the first prayer a Jew learns, and the parting words of his dying breath. This is also the Greatest Commandment that Yeshua refered to.) The Shema prayer has been part of Jewish prayer since at least the second century. This prayer seeks to raise worshipers’ consciousness by bringing three critical themes to their attention: Creation, Revelation and Redemption.
Sh’khinah = Divine Presence, the manifest Glory of God.
Shkiat Hachama: Sunset or Sundown
Siddur = Prayer book
Talmidim / Talmid (singular) = Students, Disciples. The relationship between our Master and us, as his talmidim can only be understood from a first-century Judaism context (read post “Messianic Judaism and Christianity” for brief explaination). We are called to be true talmidim of the Messiah, and to raise up others for him.
Talmud: Lit. “Study or Learning.” 1). The body of teaching that comprises the commentary and discussions of the early rabbis’ on the Mishnah of R. Judah Hanasi. The Talmud is the code of Jewish law that is composed of the Mishnah and the Gemara. The Talmud has unparalleled influence on Jewish thought and is the foundation for modern day traditional Judaism. 2). Ancient rabbinical commentary on Jewish Oral Law. The written version of the Oral Torah. It was compiled during the Roman occupation of Palestine, Israel, and Judea at a time when Jews had become scattered, and the sages of the time wanted to have a single source for the oral literature which they feared was about to be lost. It grew to include the commentaries of the rabbis who lived just after the fall of the Temple in 70 CE.
The Talmud is considered an authoritative record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories. It is a fundamental source of legislation, customs, case histories and moral exhortations. It expands on the earlier writings in the Torah in general and in the Mishnah in particular, and is the basis for all later codes of Jewish law, and much of Rabbinic literature. The Talmud is also traditionally referred to as Shas (an abbreviation of shishah sedarim, the “six orders” of the Mishnah).
Tanakh/Tenach = Acronym for the Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuv’im (Instructions, Prophets, Writings…the Christian OT).
The Amoraim served as judges, communal administrators, teachers, and collectors of charity, they were quick to respond to contemporary problems. They also worked to replace the Temple order, and helped establish the ideal that all Jews should devote themselves to study of the Torah. Their discussions constitute the section of the Talmud known as the Gemara. In addition, they were responsible for much of the non-legal or haggadic material that appears in the Talmud and in the Midrashim.
Targumim \ Targum \Tar’gum\, n.; pl. Targums. Heb. = A translation or paraphrase of some portion of the Old Testament Scriptures in the Chaldee or Aramaic language or dialect.
Toda = Thank you
Toda Rabbah = Thank you very much
Torah = Lit. Teachings, Instructions of God. Commonly transliterated as “Law” in English New Covenant writings. This is the first 5 books of our Scriptures, but it is also more. It entails all the teachings and instructions of God. We have the writen Torah and the Living Torah (Messiah).
Tzaddik = Righteous (man). We should strive to be tzaddik as Messiah is Tzaddik.
Tzion = Zion
Yarmulke = Some speculate that the term yarmulke is an acronym for yarai m’Elohim, “one who is in awe of God.”
Yeshua (also spelled: Yahshuah, Y’shua) = Jesus (Jesus is an English transliteration from the Greek/Latin. Yeshua is from Hebrew and means “Yah’s Salvation” or “Yah saves” for it is writen that he will save his people.)
YHWH (pronounced Yeyhovah) = The Holy Name of the God of Israel. Many use the term “Jehovah” but that is both a mispelling and mispronunciation with the wrong vowel placements, and this term was invented in the 13th century. YHWH is first used in the Torah in Genesis 2:4. It was the Name that He proclaimed to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3:15 “God said further to Moshe, “Say this to the people of Isra’el: “YHWH, the God of your fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitzak, and the God of Yakov, has sent me to you.’ This is my Name forever, this is how I am to be remembered generation after generation.” Many believe that YHWH means “I Am” but it does not. The “I Am” statement, is given in the previous verse, and in Hebrew it is ‘Ehyeh. In most English translations/transliterations, the Name of the Most High is subsituted with “LORD” in all capital letters. Likewise, many Jews do not even pronounce the Name in fear that they will break the commandment and have subsituted it with “Adonai” (The Lord), “HaShem” (Lit. The Name) and others.
Yom Tov = Good Day
Yom Tovim = Biblical festival/feast days