Don’t understand what something means? This short glossary may help…

Baruch Hashem (Hebrew) – literary meaning ‘blessed be G-d’ it is often used colloquially in a way more synonymous with ‘thank G-d’

benching/bensching/bentshing (Yiddish) – the blessing made after eating bread. Also known as birkat ha’mazon

beshert (Hebrew) – soul mate

birkat ha’mazon (Hebrew) – the blessing made after eating bread.

bitul zman (Hebrew) – waste of time

chassidic (Hebrew) – a branch of Orthodox Judaism that originates for the teachings of the 18th century figure, the Baal Shem Tov

chatan (Hebrew) – bridegroom

chavruta (Hebrew) – study partner, generally for religious Jewish texts

chillul hashem (Hebrew) – literally ‘desecration of the name of G-d’, usually referring to any deed that reflects badly on G-d, the Torah, or the Jewish people.

chumra (Hebrew) – a prohibition or obligation that exceeds what is required by halacha

chuppah (Hebrew) – wedding canopy

Elul (Hebrew) – the month occurring before the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). It is usually considered s a time of repentance in the lead up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Yamim Noraim or the High Holidays).

frum (Yiddish) – religious

halacha (Hebrew) – Jewish law (adjective = halachic)

haredi (Hebrew) – ultra-Orthodox

Hashem (Hebrew) – God

High Holidays –  Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur

kallah (Hebrew) – a Jewish bride

kippah (Hebrew) – skull caps (plural kippot)

kisui rosh (Hebrew) – head covering

Lakewood – a renowned yeshiva (men’s seminary)

mikveh (Hebrew) – a ritual bath. Halacha requires Jewish women to immerse in the mikveh following a menstrual period and counting of a specific number of days after her menses has ceased. Couples are prohibited from having sex until the woman has immersed in a mikveh.

mitzvah (Hebrew) – has two common meanings. The first is as a commandment from G-d. The second, more colloquial use, it that it is a good deed.

parnassa (Hebrew) – an income or livelihood

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew) – the Jewish New Year

Shabbat (Hebrew) – the Sabbath

shalom bayit – (Hebrew) literally a ‘peaceful house’ but usually refers to a harmonious marriage.

shana tova (Hebrew) – literally meaning ‘a good year’ it is the common greeting for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year

sheitel (Yiddish) – a wig worn by observant married Jewish women as a form of head covering. Halacha requires married Jewish women to cover their hair; the choice to use a sheitel is determine by custom or personal preference.

sukkah (Hebrew) – a booth-like structure build for the festival of Sukkot. (Plural = sukkot)

Sukkot (Hebrew) – the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Sometimes described in English as the ‘Festival of Booths’, it takes place five nights after Yom Kippur.

tachlis – (Yiddish) the practical details

Tishrei (Hebrew) – the month in the Jewish calendar which includes Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

tzitzit (Hebrew) – fringed garments which Jewish law requires men to wear

tznius/tzniut (Hebrew) – modest, particularly in relation to sexual modesty

yamim noraim (Hebrew) – literally the ‘days of awe’, this is the period usually referred to in English as the High Holidays, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur

yeshiva (Hebrew) – Jewish men’s seminary

Yom Kippur (Hebrew) – the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar which involves, among other things, a 25-hour fast.  It is usually translated as the ‘Day of Atonement’.

yom tov (Hebrew) – literally meaning ‘good day’. It is commonly used in relation to Jewish festivals (plural= yammim tovim)

Something missing from the glossary? Don’t agree with one of my definitions? Please let me know.

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