Appendix 2: Glossary

Al biur chametz

The berachah recited before searching the home for chametz.


The prayer that marks the end of all three daily prayer services.

Aliya (pl. aliyot)

Calling of a Jewish member of the congregation to the bimah for a segment of the Torah reading.

Am ha’aretz

Lit., the people of the Land. In rabbinic literature it refers to Jewish people who are less scrupulous in their observance.


HaTefillah (The prayer). Amidah is Aramaic for “standing,” called the “standing prayer.” It is the center of all three Jewish daily prayers. It is also called the Shemoneh Esrei, for the original 18 blessings in the prayer.

Apostolic Writings

Brit Chadasha, Newer Testament


Lit., “Our father”

Ayshet hayil

“Woman of valor.” A poem from Proverbs 31:10–31 that is said each Shabbat in honor of the woman of the home.

Basic practice Refers to standards of observance that members of the MJRC are themselves committed to follow in their own lives.

Bar mitzvah

“Daughter of commandment.” A coming-of-age commemoration of a Jewish boy becoming 13 years old at which time he is obligated to perform the mitzvot.

B’rit milah

Ritual circumcision of a boy on the 8th day – ritual acceptance of a son into the covenant

Bat mitzvah

“Daughter of commandment.” A coming-of-age commemoration of a Jewish girl becoming 12 years old at which time she is obligated to perform the mitzvot.


“In retrospect”

Beit din

Lit., “House of judgement.” A rabbinical court usually consisting of three Jews knowledgeable in Jewish law.

Benei Yisrael

“Children of Israel”


“Blessing.” The manner in which we acknowledge and thank God for everything (cf. Prov. 3:8).

Besorah; pl., besorot

Good news, Gospel

Beyn hashamashot

The time “between the suns.” Begins with the setting of the sun and concludes with the appearance of the stars.

Birkat hamazon

Blessing after meals

Borey p’ri hagafen

Lit., creator of the fruit of the vine.” Berachah said over wine or grape juice.

Chag; pl., chaggim

Jewish Holiday or Festival


Lit., “leaven, something fermented.” Often translated “yeast.” Refers to foods forbidden for Jews to eat on Pesach.


Commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes. Also known as the “Festival of Lights.”


One of the symbolic foods eaten at the Pesach seder. It is made from fruits, nuts and wine to resemble the mortar and brick made by Jews as slaves in Egypt.

Chol haMoed

“Regular days of the festival”. Specifically, Chol HaMoed refers to the intermediate days of Pesach and Sukkot.


Yiddish. Refers to a traditional Jewish stew prepared on Friday and cooked overnight to be eaten on Shabbat.


Aramaic, “of the Torah.” Ordained by the Torah.


Aramaic, “of the rabbis.” Established by rabbinic authority.”

Davven; davvening

Yiddish, “to pray”


Latin from Gk., lit., “ten words/sayings.” The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20: 2–17)


Refers to Jews living outside of Israel or the land in which they live.

Divrey Torah

Discussion of Torah


Assembly of Believers in Yeshua

El Malei Rachamim

Memorial prayer recited for the deceased,


“Citron.” One of the four species required during Sukkot.

Expanded practice

refers to a more demanding level of observance, beyond basic practice, that includes a fuller expression of traditional forms of Jewish life.

Gezeirah; pl., gezeirot

Preventative halakhic legislation; legal fences.

Get (pl. Gittin)



Lit., “lifting.” Refers to the lifting the Sefer Torah after it has been read.


The authoritative application of the rules of the Torah in the form of concrete decisions in response to the circumstances of daily life – all in the context of the covenant life of the people of Israel.

Halbanat panim

Lit., “whitening of the face.” Means shame or disgrace.


“who brings forth.” The name of the blessing spoken to God over bread: “…who brings forth bread from the earth.”


“The Christian”


Lit., “Separation.” Refers to the ritual ceremony held at the close of Shabbat.

Hazan et hakol

Lit., “Nourishes all:” In Birkat HaMazon it means “providing food for all.”


Canopy under which the bride and groom stand in a Jewish wedding.


“Our mother”

Inuy nefesh

Self-affliction commanded on Yom Kippur

Ishah hachamah

“A wise woman”

Kabbalat Torah



Lit., “fitness.” Dietary laws dealing with permitted and forbidden foods

Kehillot kodesh

Holy communities



Ketubah (pl., kettubot)

Marriage certificate

Kevod habriyot

The honoring of one another.


Lit., “sanctification.” Refers to a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify Shabbat or Jewish holiday.


Lit., “Legumes.” Refers to a larger group of foods that are traditionally prohibited for Ashkenazi Jews during Pesach, e.g., legumes, rice, grains, rice, corn and seeds.

Klal Israel

All of Israel. Parallel term to Am Israel.

Kohen (pl., kohanim)

A priest. A man who is born to a father who is a Kohen and a mother who is born to a Jewish mother.

Kol sefeka d’rabbanan l’kula

A matter of doubt which arises concerning an issue that is d’rabbanan is resolved in leniency.


Lit., “fit or appropriate.” Any food permitted by Jewish dietary laws.

Levi (Levite)

A man who is born of a father who is a Levi and a mother who is either herself born to a Jewish mother or a convert to Judaism.

Lizkor et meshicho

A mitzvah berachah recited before eating bread in Zichron Mashiach.


A closed palm frond. One of the four species bound together at Sukkot, which together are called “the lulav.”


The evening prayer service

Mara d’Atra

Aramaic. Lit., “Master of the Place.” The Mara d’Atra serves her/her community as Mentor, guide, and authority in matters of religious practice and teaching, encouraging growth and unity that express the life of the Spirit of God.


Kinship based on the mother’s lineage


A name derived from the name of the mother or matriarchal ancestor.


Lit., “scroll.” The Megillah refers to the biblical Book of Esther read at Purim.

Melechet avodah

Servile work


Lit., “Doorpost.” Refers to a piece of parchment (klaf) with Deut. 6:4–9 and Deut. 11:13–21 written on it that is encased in a decorative case and affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes.

Mikra’ey kodesh

Holy assemblies


A Jewish ritual immersion


The afternoon prayer service and the afternoon sacrifice in the Temple

Miney mezonot

Blessing over grains and grain products



Minhag shtut

Redundant or banned tradition


Quorum of ten Jews


Priestly order in 2nd Temple Period


First and oldest major work of rabbinic literature

Mitzvah (mitzvot)

Lit., “commandment.” Applies to commandments, ordinances, laws and statutes in the Torah.

Mitzvah berachah

The berachah (blessing) before performing a mitzvah

Mitzvot Mashiach

Commandments derived from the Apostolic Writings that are not otherwise made explicit in the written Torah.

Moed; pl., moadim

Appointed time(s)

Na’aseh v’nishma

We will do and we will hear (understand).

Netilat yadaim

Ritual handwashing


Lit., “One who is excluded.” Applies to a woman during menstruation.

Okhel nefesh

Lit., “Food for the soul.” Applies to food allowed on Yom Tov (cf. Exodus 12:16).

Omer; Counting the Omer

Sheaf; counting the 50 days (barley sheafs) from Pesach to Shavuot

Ona’at devarim

Verbal abuse

P’ri ha’adamah

Lit., “Fruits of the ground” (including vegetables). The name of the blessing for food that the grows in the ground.

P’ri haetz

Lit., “Fruit of the tree.” The name of the blessing for food that grows on a tree.

P’sak; pl., p’sakim

Halakhic ruling.


Literal meaning


Yiddish. Lit., “neutral.” Food that is neither meat or milk.


Kinship based on the father’s lineage.


Name derived from the name of the father or patrilineal ancestor.


Festival of Passover, as well as the Passover lamb

Pidyon haBen

Lit., “Redemption of the son.” It is a Jewish ritual ceremony in which the first-born son is redeemed by giving silver coins to a kohen (Ex. 13:12–15).


Hebrew expression indicating an anonymous person, similar to “John/Jane Doe” in English.

Posek; pl., poskim

A rabbi or scholar who makes halachic decisions.


The processing and preparation of meat after shechitah.


Persian. Lit., “Lots.” The holiday celebrates the saving of the Jews from massacre as recounted in the Book of Esther.


Lat., lit., “answer.” In modern times a responsa describes decisions and rulings made by Jewish scholars on religious law.

Rosh Chodesh

Lit., “Head of the month.” Rosh Chodesh celebrates the arrival of the new moon on the Jewish Calendar.

Rosh Hashanah

Lit., “Head of the year.” The Jewish New Year (Yom Teruah, Leviticus 23:23–25).

Seder; pl., sedarim

Lit., “Order.” The traditional ceremonial Passover meal

Sefer Torah

Torah scroll


Lit., “Covering.” The material used as the roof of a sukkah.


Sabbath, Saturday, 7th day of the week


The first of the daily prayers, said in the morning to coincide with the time of the morning burnt offering.

Shaliach tzibur

A person who leads a Jewish congregation in prayer and fulfills the obligation to pray on their behalf.


Lit., “Weeks.” Feast of Weeks celebrated 50 days after Pesach at the end of the counting of the Omer.


Jewish ritual slaughter of animals


Blessing for all foods that do not grow from the ground or on a tree (e.g., meat, chicken, eggs, milk, fish).


A blessing that celebrates special occasions, said when doing something for the first time or the first time that year.


“Hear of Israel…” (Deut. 6:4) followed by three Scripture passages Deut. 6:5–9, Deut. 11:13–21 and Num. 15:37–41.

Shemoneh Esreh

See Amidah.

Sheva Brachot

The seven blessings recited over the bride and groom in a Jewish wedding.

Simchat or bat brit

Public events initiating ritual acceptance of a daughter into the covenant


A temporary structure used during the 7 days of Sukkot


Feast of Tabernacles


Ritually pure

Takanah; pl. takanot

Lit., “Ordinance.” A major legal decree by halakhic authority that revises an ordinance that no longer satisfies the requirements of time or circumstances. Takanot are enacted for the good of the community and its spiritual development.


A Jewish prayer shawl with tzitzit on the four corners


The central text of Rabbinic Judaism that contains Mishnah and Gemara


Ritually impure


A set of two black-leather boxes with Scripture verses written on parchment inside that are worn during morning prayer services. (Deut. 6:8)

Teshuvah (teshuvot)




Tevilat Mashiach

Lit., “Immersion of Messiah.” Refers to immersion into the Body of Messiah.

Tikkun olam

Lit., “Repairing the World.” Has become synonymous with repairing this earthy world through social actions and pursuit of justice.


The state of ritual impurity


Bible: “righteousness, justice.” In modernity it refers to righteous behavior through charity or philanthropy.


Fringes on a four-cornered garment


A continuation of the Shema from Deuteronomy 6:5–9. It is the first of three scripture passages in the Shema.

Ya’aleh ve Yavo

“May [our remembrance] arise and come.” A special prayer inserted into the Amidah and Birkat HaMazon on Chaggim.


Yiddish, “Anniversary.” Anniversary of the death of a loved one where mourners remember and honor the life of the deceased.

Yom HaAtzma’ut

Israel’s Independence day

Yom HaShoah

Israel’s Holocaust remembrance day

Yom Kippur

Day of Atonement


Songs sung at the Shabbat table.

Zichron Mashiach

Lit., “Remembrance of Messiah.” Eucharist, Lord’s supper