B’nai Noach Torah Institute


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A Jewish vocabulary containing glossary terms of Hebrew, Yiddish and English dictionary explanations of words, terms, phrases, and Jewish, Yiddish and Hebrew expressions.

An asterisk (*) indicates a cross reference within this Glossary. All non-English entries are Hebrew unless otherwise indicated.

Saf: Twenty-second letter of the Aleph Beit; has Gematria value of 400

Sameach: {Chahg - Saw May Ach} Happy, cheerful, glad, joyous

Samech: Fifteenth letter of the Aleph Beit - to rely on / to trust

Schpilkas: Ants in the pants

Seder: {lit., order; pl., sederim}: the order of service observed at home on the first night of Pesach in Eretz Yisroel, and on the first two nights outside of Eretz Yisroel

Sefer: Book

Sefer Torah: (pl., Sifrei Torah): Torah scroll

Sefirah: (pl., Sefiros) Divine Attributes or E
manations which manifest themselves in each of the Four Worlds, and are the source of the corresponding ten faculties (kochos) of the soul

Sefirot: Spheres

Sefirot HaOmer: Counting of the 49 days of the omer leading up to Shavuot / Pentecost

Seforim: pl. of sefer

Sephard: Jews who were deported after the destruction of the first Beit Ha Mikdosh and settled in Spain. From the middle ages on they became known as Sephardim. Many fled Spain before 1492 to Africa, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, the Balkans and the Turkish Empire. Sephard is the dialect spoken in Yisroel {See Ashkenaz}

Sephardi: See Sephard

Sephardim: See Sephard

Seudas Mashiach: the Festive Meal of Mashiach held on the Last Day of * Pesach

Seventeenth of Tammuz, The Fast of: Fast commemorating 5 calamities, including the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem during the Roman siege

Shabbat {Shabbos}: Rest - the seventh day of the week beginning at sundown on Friday and continuing until dark on Saturday; the day of rest; one does not work, purchase, drive, etc.

Shabbat Godal: meaning the great Shabbat; originated on the tenth of Nisan in Mitzriam when Hashem commanded Kal Yisroel to take a pure lamb under one year of age to be sacrificed on the fourteenth of Nisan and tie it to their bedpost; the Shabbat before Pesach {See Pesach}

Shabbat Goy: A non Jew who does work on Sabbath that a Jew cannot do

Shabbat Parashot... : the *Shabbat on which a [named] *parasha is read

Shadchen: Matchmaker or marriage broker

Shalach-mones: Two edible items given as gifts to friends at Purim

Shaliach: Emissary

Shalom: Peace, also used as a greeting as hello or goodbye

Shammas: Guardian of Jewish Shul

Shaygitz: Non Jewish male

Shavuah: oath

Shavuot: (lit., weeks) Festival commemorating the Giving of the Torah at Sinai; in *Eretz Yisrael falling on the 6th day of the third month and in the Diaspora on the 6th and 7th days of the third month

Shechinah: The Divine Presence

Shechitah: Ritual slaughtering

Shehecheyanu: (lit., Who Has Granted us life) Blessing pronounced on seasonal and other occasions for thanksgiving (Siddur Tehilat HaShem, p. 87)

Shelach: Fourth Parasha of Bamidbar, (Numbers 13.1 - 15.41)

Shema: Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6.5-9; the Shema is prayed twice a day every day...

Shemitah: The seven-yearly Sabbatical year (Vayikra 25.1-7)

Shemoneh Esreh: (lit., eighteen [benedictions]): Prayer which is the solemn climax of each of the three daily services.

Shemot: Exodus, the Second Book of the Torah.

Shevah: Seven

Shi Aw Law: Question

Shi Ay Lohs: Question

Shikeh: Drunk

Shikseh: Non Jewish female

Shilaw: Question

Shivah: Mourning period of seven days by relative upon death of Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Grandparent

Shlep: (Yiddish) Carry

Shlimazel: (Yiddish) Incompetent person

Shlita: Acronym of five Hebrew words, translated as that he be preserved in life for many good days; this abbreviation is placed after a person's name, expressing the wish that he be preserved in life for many good days.

Shmaltz: (Yiddish) Grease, fat, sweet talk

Shmata: (Yiddish) Rag, old clothing

Shmikah: Jewish ordination for a rabbi

Shmootz: (Yiddish) Dirt

Shnorerr: (Yiddish) Moocher, panhandler, beggar

Shoah: Holocaust

Shofar: Ram's horn sounded on *Rosh HaShanah

Sholom Alaichem: {Sha Lohm Ah Lay Chem} Peace be upon you! This is a greeting for one who has returned from a journey! The proper response is Alaichem Ha Sholom!

Shtetl: (Yiddish) Small Jewish village

Shtick: (Yiddish) Routine

Shul: (Yiddish) Jewish synagogue

Shulchan Aruch: (lit., a set table): the standard Code of Jewish Law compiled by R. Yosef Caro in the mid-sixteenth century

Shuckling: Moving back and forth and right to left while praying...like a candle flame.

Shuvah: Repentance, acknowledge sin, take ownership of sin, repay damages, determine not to repeat it

Sichah: (pl., sichos) An informal Torah talk delivered by a Rebbe (cf. *maamar)

Siddur: (lit., order [of prayers]): Prayer book; page references in the present work are to the edition (with English translation) entitled Siddur Tehillat HaShem (Kehot, N.Y., 1979)

Simchat Torah: (lit., the Rejoicing of the Torah): Festival immediately following Sukkot, on which the public reading of the Torah is annually concluded and recommenced; in *Eretz Yisrael coincides with Shemini Atzeret, and in the Diaspora falls on the following day

Sitnah: Well redug by Yitzchak's servants in Bereisheit (Genesis) 26.21; means obstruction

Siyyum: (lit., conclusion): Celebration marking one's completion of a Talmudic tractate

Sod: T
he level of Torah interpretation that plumbs its Kabbalistic or mystical depths

Sukkah: Dwelling place during the eight days of Sukkot

Sukkot: The Festival of dwelling in booths