Glossary of some Jewish terms

The following is a brief glossary of some of the Jewish terms I use in other pages hanging off of my home page. There are other, more complete glossaries of Jewish terms on the Web; for example, check out this one.

Bar Mitzvah [Bat Mitzvah]
The term applied to a Jewish boy [girl] who has reached the age of 13 [12], indicating that he/she is considered an adult in the eyes of Jewish law, and therefore responsible for following all laws and commandments of Jewish observance (the term literally means "son [daughter] of the commandments." The term is also used to refer to the celebration accompanying this milestone.
Bubbe, Zayde
Pronounced "Bubbeh" or "Bubbee" and "Zaydeh" or "Zaydee". The Yiddish words for grandmother and grandfather.
Literally, "dedication" in Hebrew. The winter holiday commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors called the Hasmoneans defeated the Syrians who had defiled the temple and attempted to force the Jews to assimilate. Also spelled Hanukkah (and in a number of other ways), as which see what Merriam Webster has to say about it.
Literally, "evening" in Hebrew. When placed before the name of a Jewish holiday, it means the day before the evening that begins the holiday (since days in the Jewish calendar begin at sundown, Jewish holidays begin in the evening).
A study partner, frequently at yeshiva.
An Israeli cooperative village. By now this word has entered the English vernacular; look it up in any good dictionary, such as Merriam Webster.
Literally, "scroll" in Hebrew. There are several books in the Jewish bible referred to as "scrolls", but when used by itself, this term usually refers to the Scroll of Esther, which is read on Purim. See what Merriam Webster has to say about it.
Literally, "doorpost" in Hebrew. Refers to a small rectangular box or other container, found on a doorpost in a Jewish household, which holds a parchment containing several passages from the Torah. The Hebrew plural is "Mezuzot", but it is frequently Anglicized as "Mezuzahs". Religious households place Mezuzot in all exterior doorways and most interior doorways.
Moreh [Morah]
Hebrew for a man [or woman] teacher.
The Hebrew name for the holiday of Passover. Well, actually, it would be more accurate to say that Passover is the English name for Pesach. See what Merriam Webster has to say about it.
A holiday, celebrated a month before Passover, commemorating the victory of the Jews over the evil Haman who sought to slay the Jews of ancient Persia. The main ritual of Purim is the recitation in synagogue of the Scroll of Esther, which tells the story of Haman's attack on the Jews. Also, children (and some adults) dress up in costumes, Purim greetings are sent from house to house accompanied by food, and charity is given to the poor. While Jews are required to give charity all year, there is an additional commandment to specifically give charity on Purim. See what Merriam Webster has to say about it.
Saba, Savta
The Hebrew words for grandfather and grandmother.
Simchat Bat
Literally, "celebration of a daughter" in Hebrew. A celebration of the birth of a Jewish baby girl.
The Jewish Sabbath, which begins at shortly before sundown on Friday night and ends about forty minutes after sundown on Saturday. See what Merriam Webster has to say about it.
Literally, "booth" or "hut" in Hebrew. The hut in which Jews live, or at least eat and perhaps sleep, during the holiday of Succot (whose name is the plural of "succah"). Here is a picture of a succah.
Literally, "booths" or "huts" in Hebrew; plural of succah. The Fall holiday commemorating the forty years spent by the Jews wandering in the desert before entering the land of Israel. The main ritual of Succot is the construction of huts similar to those in which the Jews lived in the desert, and "dwelling" (which usually means eating and sleeping, weather permitting) in them for a week.
A seminary of Jewish studies.
See Bubbe.
A Hebrew abbreviation placed after someone's name to indicate that they have passed away and are fondly remembered. It stands for "zichrono lebracha", or "zichronah lebracha" when referring to a woman. This translates as, "May his (or her) memory be a blessing."

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