Glossary: A

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Abbreviations Used In This Glossary

abbr. = abbreviated

alt. = alternate

Ar. = Aramaic

esp. = especially

Gr. = Greek

Heb. = Hebrew

lit. = literally

n. = noun

pl. = plural

pron. = pronounced

prop. = properly

sg. = singular

usu. = usually

v. = verb

Yid. = Yiddish

Transliteration/Pronunciation GuideBooks of the BibleProper NamesTribes of IsraelThe Mishnah

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A  a

A.D.
abbreviation for Latin Ano Dominae, Year of the L‑rd; see C.E. Common Era
 
Abaddon !wddba
Destruction
 
ab ba
(Ar.) father
 
abba aba
(Ar.) An affectionate way to say father, dear father, or daddy
 
Abib byba
(Alt. Aviv) the first month of the Jewish calendar, also called Nisan, during which Pesach falls
 
ach xa (pl. achim)
brother
 
acharit tyrxa (alt. achariyth)
end, final end, last, descendants
 
Acharit HaYamim
The end of the days. The end times when the Olam Hazeh comes to a close and the Olam Haba is about to begin.
 
Acharon !wrxa (pl. Acharonim)
lit.=last one: post-Rishonim commentator (pl. acharonim)
 
Achashverosh
Persian king in Book of Esther
 
achavah hwxa
brotherhood
 
Achavah B’Mashiach
Brotherhood in Mashiach
 
achayot twxa (sg. achot)
sisters
 
achdus
unity
 
achei sheker
false brothers
 
acheinu
our brother
 
achim ~yxa (sg. ach)
brothers
 
achot (pl. achayot)
sister
 
achoteinu
our sister
 
achraius
accountability
 
achyon
nephew
 
ad kahn
sufficient for the purpose; enough
 
ad kdeikach
so much
 
ad mosai
how much longer
 
adam
man; humanity; human; mankind; humankind
 
Adam
the first man; Adam
 
Adam Chadash Echad
One New Humanity
 
Adam HeChadash
The New Humanity
 
adamah
ground or mud
 
adamah tova
good ground; good earth
 
Adar
Sixth month of Hebrew civil calendar: February-March; 14th is Purim
 
adat
congregation; community
 
HaEl Chai
the Community of the Living God
 
Hashem
Congregation of God
 
aderaba
to the contrary
 
admat kodesh
holy ground
 
Admor (pl. admorim)
Acronym for “adoneinu, moreinu, verabbeinu” —“our master, teacher, and rabbi.” A term often applied to Chasidic spiritual leaders
 
adon (pl. adonim)
lord; master
 
Adon HaKatzir
the Lord of the Harvest

 
Adon Olam
"Master of the World," a concluding hymn
 
Adonai (alt. Adonoi)
My Lord, Lord of all. Spoken by Jewish people instead of using God’s personal name YHWH (Yahweh) or YHVH (Yahveh)
 
Adonai echad
“GOD is one" [Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4]
 
Adonai Eloheinu
LORD our God
 
Adonai Elohei Tzva'ot (alt. Adonai Tzivos)
LORD God of Hosts
 
Adonai Elohim
The LORD God
  
 
Adonai Tzivos (alt. Adonai Elohei Tzva'ot)
 LORD of Armies
 
Adoneynu
our Lord; Lord
 
adonim (sg. adon)
masters
 
Adonoi (alt. Adonai)
Lord
 
afikoman (alt. afikomen, aphikomen)
Gr. for that which comes after, or “dessert.” The half-piece of the central matzah eaten at the end of the Pesach Seder. Traditionally, the children “steal” it at the beginning of the seder and “ransom” it back to the leader of the seder at the end of the meal. In some places, the leader of the seder hides it, and the children have to find it. It is represented in a broken piece of matzah wrapped in linen and buried (hidden).

 
Agadah
non-legal rabbinic writings
 
agalim
bulls
 
Agam HaEish
Lake of Fire
 
agape
(Gk.) divine love
 
aggadah (alt. agada, agadah)
stories, parables, philosophical material (pl. agadot, aggadot)
 
agmat nefesh
grief
 
agudah
bound together; union
 
Agudas Yisroel-Agudath
Israel of America, the foremost organization of orthodox Jewry in the United States. A major aspect of its activity is the representation of orthodox Jewish interests before the government.
 
agunah
a woman whose husband had disappeared, and who could not remarry without witnesses to his death, hence a “bound” woman
 
agunah
lit. = chained one: wife of an M.I.A.; woman whose husband refuses to grant a divorce
 
ahava (alt. ahavah)
(Heb.) love [n]; agape
 
ahavah shel achvah
brotherly love
 
Ahavas HaEmes
Love of the Truth
 
ahavas hakesef
love of money
 
ahavas Hashem
God’s love
 
ahavat ta’anugot
hedonism
 
ainikle
(Yid.) grandchild
 
airusin
betrothal; engagement
 
aizen
well-founded; incontrovertible
 
akama
quite a number
 
akedah
binding
 
Akedah (alt. Akeida)
Binding an animal for sacrifice; specifically, Avraham’s binding of Yitzhak for sacrifice to God — not consummated. The binding of the sacrifice
 
Akiba
A rabbi who lived at the time of the second Temple (died c. C.E. 133). He thought Bar Kochba was the Messiah.
 
akrab (alt. akrav)
scorpion (pl. akrabim, akrabim)
 
Al Chet
Literally: for the sin; an important Yom Kippur prayer listing sins for which we beg forgiveness
 
Al Hanisim (alt. Ha-nissim)
thanksgiving for the miracles added to prayer and grace after the meal on the festivals of Chanukkah and Purim
 
al kiddush HaShem
for the sanctification of God
 
al kol panim
nevertheless
 
al menat
in order that
 
Al Mikrah Megillah
the blessing before the reading of the Megillah
 
Al Netilat Yadayim
the blessing over the washing of hands before the meal
 
al pnei hamayim
on the surface of the waters
 
al taarotz
do not be afraid
 
Alef (aleph)
the first letter of the Hebrew Alef-Beyt (alphabet)
 
Alenu Leshabe’ach
a prayer of thanksgiving for being separated from the heathens
 
Aleinu
“It is Upon Us,” a concluding hymn
 
alav hashalom
“(May he/she) rest in peace.”
 
aliyah
Figuratively speaking, the “home going,” when Jews make a return to the homeland (Israel). Literally, “the going up.” Also used in synagogue service of “going up” to read from the Torah
 
Aliyah
Literally: going up. To “have an aliyah” refers to the honor of being called up to the bimah to recite or chant the blessings over the Torah. To “make aliyah” or “go on aliyah” means to immigrate to Israel. (pl. Aliyot)
 
aliyah leregel
pilgrimage
 
al-killayon
incorruptibility
 
alma
virgin
 
almanah
widow
 
almanot
widows
 
almot
virgins
 
als
since
 
alter
old
 
am
people
 
Am haAretz
peasantry. Used by the Talmud and thereafter to mean ignorant … people of the land
 
amal
toil
 
Amein
It is true, so be it, may it become true. (also amen, oimen, omen)
 
Amidah
Standing prayer, quietly murmured, that is part of each daily service in the synagogue, alternatively called the Tefillah or the Shemoneh Esre. A prayer, recited silently, thrice daily, while standing up, the prayer of the eighteen benedictions.
 
Amora'im
lit.=explainers: Gemarah-era commentators (200-500 CE)
 
ammud
pillar
 
Ammudei HaKehillah
Pillars of the Kehillah
 
amol
 formerly
 
amolike times
olden times
 
Amora
Speaker, interpreter; expounder of Talmudic (Mishnaic) law from compilation of Mishnah to redaction of entire Talmud, in Babylon (where the amoraim were known as Mar or Rav) and in Palestine (where they were designated Rabbi). Their discussions and teachings, 220-550, form the Gemara, lengthier sections of the Talmud that follow each Mishnah (pl. Amoraim)
 
anafah
heron
 
ana'fim
the branches
 
anan
cloud
 
Anan Edim
Cloud of Witnesses
 
ananim
clouds
 
anashim
men
 
anashim ne’emanim
faithful men
 
anav
humble
 
anavah
meekness; humility
 
anavat ruach
a spirit of meekness
 
Anenu
a passage added to prayer on public fast days
 
Ani Ma’amin
Lit.: I believe; often sung at the seder and at Yom Hashoah observances in memory of Holocaust victims who sang this song of faith on their way to their deaths — phrase that begins each of Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of Faith
 
Ani Ma’amin hoda’ah
confession
 
aniyim
poor
 
anochiyut
selfishness
 
Anshei K’neset Hagdolah
Sages of the Great Synod during the first part of the Second Sanctuary Period
 
anshuldiks
pardon
 
aphikomen
(alt. afikoman, afikomen ) Hebrew transliteration of Greek derivative, epikomios. That which comes last, the hidden Passover bread eaten at the seder.
 
apikoros
skeptic; unbeliever
 
apikorosim
unbelievers
 
apocalyptic
ideas and teachings pertaining to the revelation (apocalypse) of the last days and the end of the world
 
Apocrypha
A Greek adjective in the neuter plural (from apokruphos, “hidden, concealed”) denotes strictly “things concealed.” Old Testament Apocrypha, specifically the fourteen books written after the Old Testament canon was closed and which, being the least remote from the canonical books, laid strongest claim to canonicity … The body of Jewish literature written between the second century B.C. and the second century A.D., not included in the canon of the Bible
 
apostate
one whose actions are not consistent with the standards of behavior set by his religious community; compare heretic
 
Apostolic Writings
The collected inspired writings of Yeshua’s Shliachim (Apostles); also know as the B’rit Hadashah (“Renewed Covenant,” or so-called “New Testament”
 
arain getun
engrossed
 
Aravah (pl. Aravot)
willow branch taken as one of the four species on Succot (the Feast of Tabernacles).
 
arayot
lions
 
arba’ah
four
 
Arba’ah Minim (the Four Species)
Palm, myrtle, willow, and citron; another name for the lulav and etrog together, used on Sukkot
 
arba’im
forty
 
arbaa asar
fourteen
 
arbaat elafim
four thousand
 
Arbah Chayyot
Four living beings
 
arbah pinot ha’aretz
the four corners of the earth
 
arbaim yom varbaim lailah
forty days and forty nights
 
arbe; arbeh
locusts
 
arelim
uncircumcised ones
 
ari
(alt. arye) lion
 
Ariel
Lion of God; Fireplace on God’s altar
 
Aron haKodesh
Literally: the Holy Ark. The special cabinet in which the Torah scrolls are kept in the synagogue The Holy Ark is called Heichal in Sephardic synagogues.
 
aron met
coffin
 
aron otzaram
chest of treasury
 
arye
(alt. ari) lion
 
asach
a lot of
 
asam
barn
 
asarah
ten
 
Aseret Yemei Teshuvah
the ten days of penitence
 
Asham
A guilt offering made by one who has sinned against his fellow man
 
ashem
guilty
 
ashir
oisher; rich man
 
ashirim
rich ones
 
ashirut
riches
 
Ashkenazi
(alt. Ashicenazi) Referring to a cultural branch of Judaism that developed in northern and eastern Europe and from which most American Jews are descended. (pl. Ashkenazim, Ashicenazim)
 
ashma; ashmah
guilt; a thing of guilt; condemnation
 
Ashrey
Psalm 145 recited thrice daily
 
ashrey; ashrei
happy; blessed
 
asim
barns; granaries
 
asir
prisoner
 
asur
prohibited; impermissible
 
Atah Chonantanu
a passage added to the evening prayer after the Sabbath to note the difference between the Sacred and the non-Sacred
 
atalef
bat
 
atarah atarot
crown[s]
 
Ateret HaChayyim
Crown of Life
 
Ateret HaKavod
Crown of Glory
 
Athid Lavo
The coming age.
 
atzamot
bones
 
atzav
idol; image
 
Atzeret
Conclusion; used for concluding observance of festival; word derived from “gathering” or “detention,” original meanings. Shemini Atzeret is concluding day of Sukkoth; Atzeret is Talmudic term for Shavuot, conclusion of Omer count. A festive gathering for the conclusion of a festive season, a concluding feast
 
atzilah
noble birth
 
atzlanit
 sluggards
 
atzlut
lazy idleness
 
Aufruf
Calling up of the bridegroom or bridal couple for the Torah blessings on the Shabbat preceding their wedding
 
Av
Eleventh month of Jewish year.
 
Av Beit Din
(alt. Bayt, Bet) — Father of the court—judicial president in Talmudic era, and later
 
Av Harachamim
a prayer for the persecuted communities
 
Av HaRoeh b’seter
Father Who Sees in secret
 
av sela
bed rock
 
Avaddon
destruction; hell; Abbadon
 
avadim
 servants; slaves
 
avanim
stones
 
avdut
slavery; bondage
 
avel
iniquity; gross injustice
 
avelim
mourners
 
avelut
mourning
 
Avelut
 third period of mourning; the first year after death
 
averah
transgression
 
averos
sins
 
Avi-khol
Father of all
 
Avinu
our Father
 
Avinu Malkenu
Literally: our Father, our King. A prayer of supplication recited on Yom Kippur. A prayer said on the Days of Penitence and fast days.
 
Aviv
(alt. Abib) Nisan was known as Aviv/Abib prior to Babylonian captivity
 
avla; avlah
 injustice
 
Avodah
(alt. Abodah) — Service; specifically, the sacrificial Temple service as performed by high priest; today, referring to Yom Kippur observance and other synagogue rituals. Chasidic concept of life dedicated to God
 
avodah zarah
idol worship
 
avodas
work
 
avodas hakodesh
work of holiness
 
avodas kodesh
worship; service
 
avodot hakodesh
ministries
 
avon
sin offense
 
Avot
the Patriarchs; Fathers
 
Avoteinu
 our Fathers
 
ayah
falcon
 
Ayin
16th letter of the Hebrew alef-beit (alphabet)
 
ayin
eye
 
ayin horo
evil eye
 
ayir
young donkey
 
aza
certain
 
Azarah
(pl. Azarot) — the Temple Courtyard. Ezrat Nashim — the outer Courtyard in the Sanctuary
 
Azazel
Meaning unknown; used in reference to the “scapegoat,” the goat sent into the wilderness signifying removal of the nation’s sins. The Talmud thus denotes the mountain on which scapegoat is sent, to carry people’s sins into the wilderness, on Yom Kippur
 
azarah
(pl. azarot) — the Temple courtyard
 
Azharot
a passage on the commandments in the Torah read on Shavuot
 
azivah
abandonment
 

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Page last revised on Sunday, 09 June 2013 11:51 AM