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. This glossary is in alphabetical order.

A bisel: A little

A biseleh: A very little

A brocheh: A blessing

A chazer bleibt a chazer: A pig remains a pig!

A dank: Thank you!

A gezunt ahf dein kop: Good health on your head!

A glick ahf dir: Good luck to you!

A klog hot dir getrofen: Woe is me!

A leben ahf dir: You should live {and be well}

A sof! A sof!: End it! End it!

Abba: Father

Abbah: Father

Abel: See Hevel

Abimelekh: King of Gerar where Avraham pretended that Sarah, his wife, was his sister in order to avoid being murdered. Abimelekh took Sarah into his harem until Hashem revealed to him in a dream that she was Avraham's wife and instructed him to return her to Avraham. Abimelekh's kingdom was troubled by his deed. When he returned Sarah Avraham asked Hashem to lift the curse of infertility. Years later Abimelekh's servants disputed with Abraham servants about a well they dug; Abimelekh intervened and Abraham regained the well, which he named Beer-sheba.

Acacia: Hebrew, shittim {wood} {Shemot [Exodus] 25:5}

Acdah: {Accad} see Akad

Achan: Son of Zerah who brought trouble on B'nei Yisroel by stealing one Babylonian garment, 200 shekels of silver and one bar of gold. For this sin Achan, his wife, his children and everything belonging to him was destroyed. Yehoshua {Joshua} 7

Acharon shel Pesach: the Last Day of Passover

Acharonim: Halachic authorities of the period since the publication of the *Shulchan Aruch in the sixteenth century

Achiezer: Son of Amishadai, tribal leader of Dan, one of twelve princes directing census,{Bamidbar [Numbers] 1:12} and gave offerings for the Mishkon {Bamidbar [Numbers] 7:66-71}.

Achira: Son of Einan, tribal leader of Naphtali, one of twelve princes directing census, {Bamidbar [Numbers] 1:15} and gave offerings for the Mishkon {Bamidbar [Numbers] 7:78-83}.

Adah: 1) First wife of Lamech {Bereisheit [Genesis] 4:19} meaning kept away (Aramaic) because she was repulsive to him {Bereisheit Rabbah 23:2}. She was the mother of Yaval and Yuval. 2) One wife of Esau and daughter of Eylon the Chittite, aka Bosmas. {Bereisheit [Genesis] 26:34; Bereisheit [Genesis] 36:2). She had a son, Eliphaz {Bereisheit [Genesis] 36:4}, who fathered Amalek {Bereisheit [Genesis] 36:12}, the ancestral enemy of Kal Yisroel {Shemot [Exodus] 17:16; Devarim [Deuteronomy] 25:19}; also see Ay Daw and Aw Daw

Adam HaRishon: Adam {meaning clay}, HaRishon {meaning the first man}, husband of Chavah, created by G-d on the sixth day {Bereisheit [Genesis] 1:26-31, 2:7} and expelled the same day {Bereisheit [Genesis] 2:23} before the first Shabbat in Gan Eden for disobedience to G-d's Command {Bereisheit [Genesis] 2:17}.

Adbeil: Third son of Yishmael, grandson of Avraham and Hagar {Bereisheit [Genesis] 25:13-15). Adbeil's name is in the ancient Assyrian literature, Tiglath-pileser.

Adonai: Name used for Yud Hay - Vav Hey {L-rd} in Hebrew.

Afikoman: Dessert, the last food eaten at the Pesach Seder. A broken piece of Matzoh.

Aggados: (The singular Aramaic form is aggad'ta) Non-legal teachings on the non-literal level of interpretation known as * derush.

Aharon: Moses' older brother, Son of Amram and Yakhabed, grandson of Levi, married Elisheva, from the tribe of Yehudah {Judah}; sons: Nadav, Avihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Kohen Godal, Moses' spokesman, made golden calf, outraging Moshe {Shemot [Exodus] 32}. It was Aharon's rod that budded during Korach's rebellion. Aharon died at 123 on Har Hor.

Ahasuerus, King: Ruler over 123 provinces in Queen Esther and Rabbi Mordechai's time as recorded in Sefer Esther; see Purim

Ahavas Yisrael: loving a fellow Jew

Ahf tsores: In trouble

Ahr Baw Eem - Yom - Vi Ahr Baw Eem - Law Yi Law: Forty days and forty nights, from Bereisheit {Genesis} 7:4

Ai: East of Beit-El {Bethel}, Bereisheit {Genesis} 12:8. It was between Bethel and Ai that Avraham built an altar and proclaimed Hashem's Name. Ai was where B'nei Yisroel fled losing 36 men because of Achan's sin. {Yehoshua [Joshua] 7}

Aidel: refined, cultured

Aidel gepatshkit: Very critical person

Aidm: Son-in-law

Akad: {Akkad} A city in Mesopotamia {now Iraq} which was part of Nimrod's kingdom, founded by Melech Sargon around 2350 BCE {Bereisheit [Genesis] 10:10}

Akan: Son of Eitzer, brother of Bilhan and Zaavan; see Bereisheit {Genesis} 36:27

Akiva: Heel, footprint, step. The name Akiva is famous because of Rabbi Akiva, the Palestinian scholar and martyr, who systematized the Oral Torah and developed Biblical exegesis. He was a shepherd until age 40.

Alaichem Ha Sholom: {Ah Lay Chem - Ha Sho Lohm } Peace be upon you also! This is a response to Sholom Alaichem.

Aleph: First letter of the Hebrew Aleph Beit; the Gematria is one.

Aleph Beit: The Hebrew alphabet consisting of twenty-two letters.

Aliya: Return to Yisroel

Aliyah: Call to the Torah.

Alteh moid: Spinsterish old maid

Alter kucker: Old person, very derogatory

Altvarg: Dilapidated, broken down, worn out, decrepit person or thing

Am Yisroel: All Jews, all the Jews of Yisroel

Amah: (pl. amohs) Measurement ranging from 21.7 inches or 55.11 cm {Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, of blessed memory} to 23.5 inches or 59.7 cm. {Chazon Ish of blessed memory}.

Amo: (pl. amos) See Amoh

Amoh: (pl. amohs) See Amah

Amoraim: Post-Mishnaic authorities cited in the *Gemara

Arein: Come in!

Ark: Tay Vah - Large vessel that protected Noach, his family and all the animals aboard...

Ashkenaz: One of two groups of Jewry in the diaspora. Ashkenaz {people of the north} are European Jews of Germany, France, Poland, Russia, etc.

Ashkenazim: See Ashkenaz

Asiyah, the World of: (lit., the World of Action, or Making) The lowest of the Four *Worlds

Atzilus, the World of: (lit., the World of Emanation) The highest of the Four *Worlds

Avimelech: Father of king, Avi meaning Father, Melech meaning King

Avraham: Abraham, the first patriarch of the Jewish people, born 1948 in Ur. His name Avram was changed to Avraham meaning father of nations. At three he is credited with breaking his father's idols. He moved to Haran with his father Terach, his wife Sarai (later Sarah) and nephew Lot after being thrown into the fiery furnace in Ur Kasdim. Hashem told Avram to leave his land, the place of his birth and his father's to journey to a land he did not know, Canaan, where he would become a great nation {Bereisheit [Genesis] 12:2}.

After ten years of childlessness in Canaan, Sarai gave Avram her Egyptian maid Hagar as a concubine; Hagar had a son, Yishmael by Avram. When Avram was ninety-nine, Hashem Made a Covenant with Avram Promising him and his descendants the land of Canaan. Hashem Changed Avram's name to Abraham {Bereisheit [Genesis] 17:5}, and instructed him to circumcise himself and all male family members (the brit milah). Three angels visited Avraham and Sarah telling them they would have a son, Yitzchok. Hashem commanded Avraham to offer Yitzchok at age 37 as a sacrifice but was stopped by an angel {(Genesis Bereisheit [Genesis] 22:12}. This was Avraham's tenth and final trial. Sarah died and was buried in the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron which Avraham purchased for her. Avraham sent Eliezer, his most trusted servant, to his relative's home in the city of Nachor. This is where he took Rivkah to be Yitzchok's wife. Avraham married the concubine Keturah, {Hagar} who bore him six sons which he sent away from Yitzchok. He died aged 175 and was buried in the Cave of Machpelah with Sarah. Avraham was the founder of monotheism and father of Kal Yisroel and the Arab nations.

Avodah (lit., work or service): In Torah usage, divine service, particularly through prayer; in Chassidic usage, through the labor of self-refinement

Avodah Zarah: {A book in the Babylonian Talmud} Eighth tractate of Nezikin in the Mishnah dealing with idolatry

Aw Daw: 1) To wear {jewelry}, to adorn 2) to pass over; Gematria = 79

Ay Daw: Testimony, precept of G-d; witness; Gematria = 79

Ayin Ha Raw: {aynhoreh} The evil eye

Azoy: Really?