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98 terms

Religion Vocab 3

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Ra'aya Meheimna
Aramaic: faithful shepherd - a kabbalistic work by an unknown Spanish author published in standard editions of the Zohar, and purporting to contain teachings of Moses, the prophet Elijah, and Simeon ben Yohai about the secret meanings of the commandments
Rabbi
Hebrew: my teacher - the title given to a recognized authority on Jewish law. In modern times, the position is often perceived as a type of clergyman or woman
Rabbinites
Jews who accept the authority of the rabbinic oral tradition; contrast to Karaites
Rashi
Acronym for Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac of Troyes, France and the foremost Jewish commentator on the Bible and Talmud
Redemption of the firstborn
A ritual in which the firstborn son is redeemed from a kohen for five silver shekels in order to formally release him from his obligation to serve in Temple. The ceremony is usually conducted when the boy is one month old
Reform Judaism
The Jewish movement that advocated introducing changes into traditional Judaism in order to accommodate modern values and ideas, and to facilitate participation in post-Emancipation society
Responsa
In Hebrew: she'elot utsjuvot (questions and answers) - replies written by prominent rabbis to question about Jewish law and other topics
Resurrection
The belief that the dead will be restored to life in physical bodies
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year
Sabbath
The weekly day of rest observed from sundown on Friday until Saturday night in commemoration of God's completing the 6 days of creation. Hebrew: shabbat
Sadducees
A second temple jewish movement that upheld the ideals of the traditional Zadokite high priesthood
Safed
A town overlooking the Sea of Galilee that became a preeminent center of kabbalistic activity in the 16th century
Samael
In Jewish folklore and Kabbalah, the king of the evil demons
Samaritans
A religious community who observe the Torah. According to the biblical account, they are descended from foreign peoples who were transferred by the Assyrians to Samaria after the exile of the northern Israelite kingdom
Sandak
Greek: suntekos, companion of child - the person who holds the baby during the circumcision ceremony
Sanhedrin, Syhedrion
Greek: council - a Jewish high court and rabbinic council during the Second Temple and rabbinic eras
Satan
The angel charged with entrapping, accusing and punishing sinners
Savora'im
The rabbis who were active in Babylonia between the end of the talmudic era and the beginning of the geonic era, sometime between bce 500 and 700
Scapegoat
In the Day of Atonement obserances in the Temple, a goat was chosen by lot, then the high priest symbolically placed the sins of the people on its head and sent it to perish in the wilderness
Scroll of Esther
The book of Esther handwritten on a parchment scroll, especially for liturgical reading on the holiday of Purim
Second Commonwealth
The era in Jewish history extending from the return of the Babylonian exiles until the destruction of the 2nd temple of Jerusalem, 530-70 CE
Second Temple Era
Second commonwealth, viewed from religious perspective
Seder
Hebrew: order - One of the 6 main topical divisions of the Mishnah, the procedures for the ceremonial meal on the 1st night of Passover
Sefer Hasidim
Hebrew: the book of the pious - an important compendium of lore from the Hasidut Ashkenaz movement of the 12th and 13th centuries
Sefer Yezirah
Hebrew: the Book of Creation - a short and enigmatic treatise describing how God created the world by means of combinations of the 10 decimal numbers and 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet
Sefirah, Sefirot
Ten emanated powers of God symbolically identified with divine attributes, according to the central doctrine of the Kabbalsh
Selihot
Hebrew: forgiveness - penitential prayers recited during the Rosh Hashanah season, on fast days and other occasions
Semites
Supposed descendants of Shem son of Noah, identified as the Middle Eastern peoples. TErm used most accurately as the name of the language family which Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic belong
Sepharad
Hebrew: Spain
Sephardic
Jews of medieval Spain, Jewish communities in Arab and Islamic lands, Jew refugees from Iberia since the time of the Inquisition
Septuagint
Greek: seventy - the old Alexandrian Greek translation of the Torah. According to legend it was composed by seventy Jewish elders
Seventeenth of Tammuz
A fast day held in the summer commemorating the breach of the walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonians as well as other national catastrophes
Shabbat
Sabbath
Shabbateans
Followers of the 17th century messianic pretender Shabbetai Zevi
Shalom
Hebrew: peace
Shas
An Israeli political party representing a Sephardic Haredi constituency
Shavuot
Hebrew: feast of weeks - biblical pilgrimage festival observed fifty days after the beginning of Passover. The Torah depicts it as a time of agricultural thanksgiving, and the rabbinic tradition identified it as the anniversary of the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai
Shehitah
Ritual slaughter of animals or fowl
Shekhinah
The divine presence in the world
Sheloshim
Hebrew: thirty - the first 30 days of mourning
Shema
A central component of the daily liturgy containing Deuteronomy and Numbers, embedded in a framework of blessings. The Hebrew name consists of the opening words, "Hear O Israel"
Shemini Azeret
Hebrew: 8th day of assembly - the day following the feast of Tabernacles, which is celebrated as a separate holiday
Sheva berakhot
Hebrew: seven blessings - several of them poetic celebrations of marriage, that are recited at a Jewish wedding and during the subsequent week of festivities
Shivah
Hebrew: seven - the first week of mourning, when the mourners remain at home and are consoled by the community
Sho'ah
Hebrew: destruction - used to designate the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators; an alternative term for Holocaust
Shofar
A trumpet made from a ram's horn, sounded especially on Rosh Hashanah
Shofarot
Hebrew: trumpeting - the third theme of the additional service of Rosh Hashanah, dealing with diverse occasions of the sounding of shofar
Shullan Arukh
Hebrew: set table - an influential 16th century codification of Jewish law by Rabbi Joseph Caro
Sh'virat ha-kelim
breaking of the vessels
Simhat Torah
Hebrew: rejoicing of the Torah - a celebration of the completion standardly observed on the second day of Shemini Azeret
Sinai
The mountain on which the Torah was revealed to Israel through Moses, according to the biblical account.
Song of Songs
A book in the Ketuvum division of the Bible consisting of sensuous love poetry. Traditionally, it is understood as a allegory for the relationship between God and Israel. It is ascribed to King Solomon and hence is often referred to as the the Song of Solomon
Special Cherub
Holy cherub
Sukkah
Hebrew: tabernacle, booth - the temporary structure in which one dwells during the feast of the tabernacles, in commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert after the exodus from Egypt
Sukkot
A seven day pilgrimage festival held in the fall commemorating the ingathering of the crops and the sojourn of the ancient Israelites in the Sinai wilderness
Synagogue
Greek: assembly - a place where Jews assemble for the reading of scripture, prayer and other religious and communal functions
Taharah
Hebrew: purification - especially the cleansing and preparation of corpse for burial
Talmud
One of two collective interpretations of the Mishnah composed between the 3rd and 7th centuries, consisting largely of intricate debates and analysis on technical issues of religious law
Talmud Torah
Study of Torah as a religious activity and value. The term is also used to designate a Jewish elementary school
Tamid
Hebew: continual offering - sacrifices offered every morning and evening on behalf of the community
TaNaKh
An acronym for the 3 divisions of the Hebrew Bible: Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim
Tanhuma
A family of aggadic midrash known for the grequency of the introductory formula "Thus began Rabbi Tanhuma"; and for its propensity for fashioning the individual statements of earlier traditions in continuous narratives and homilies
Tanna
Aramaic: recite form memory - a functionary in the amoraic schools responsible for memorizing and reciting earlier traditions, a sage whose views are cited in the Mishnah or other works from the first to early third centuries
Targum
Hebrew: translation - the Aramaic translation that used to accompany the liturgical scriptual reading in the synagogue, for the benefit of those who were not fluent in Hebrew
Teacher of righteousness
a revered figure mentioned in the Qumran scrolls, who is widely assumed to be the founder of the sect
Tefillah
Hebrew: prayer - the term is used to designate prayer in general, or as the standard Hebrew designation for the 18 Benedictions
Ten days of repentence
The period extending from Rosh Hashanah to the Day of Atonement, when Jews repent their sins with a view to attaining divine forgiveness
Ten lost Tribes
The tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel during the era of the divided monarchy, who were conquered end exiled by the Assyrians, and subsequently lost to Judaism
Tenth of Tevet
a minor fast day observed in the winter to commemorate the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians
Terumah
Hebrew: the which is taken up - a proportion of produce that is set aside for the priests and must be consumed in a state of purity
Tetragrammaton
The Holy four-letter name of God that is not pronounced by Jews and is usually replaced by an epithet meaning Lord
T'fillin
Passages from the Torah that are written on pieces of parchment and inserted in leather boxes that are strapped on the arm and forehead, in fulfillment of the biblical precept it shall be for a sign for you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes
Tiferet
Hebrew: beauty, glory - in Kabbalah, the central sefirah that embodies the perfect balance of justice and mercy
Torah
Hebrew: teaching, guidance, instruction - The first five books of the Hebrew Bible, believed to have been revealed by God through Moses, teachings of Judaism
Torah im Derek Erez
Hebrew: Torah with worldly culture - the ideology advocated by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch of integrating traditional Jewish belief and observance with involvement in secular culture
Tosafot
Hebrew: supplements - critical comments to the Talmud, especially those produced in medieval France and Germany
Tosefta
Aramaic: supplement - a tannaitic collection organized like the Mishnah and containing alternative or explanatory traditions
Usha
A village in the Galilee that was a center of rabbinic leadership in the mid-second century
Wissenchaft des Judetums
German: Science of Judaism - the scientific or academic study of Judaism, especially as it developed int he 18th and 18th century Germany
Yahrtzeit
German: anniversary - the anniversary of the death of a loved one, commemorated through the recitation of Kaddish and other observances
Yavneh
A costal town in judea that was the center of rabbinic leadership during the generations following the destruction of the 2nd temple
Yeshivah
An institution for advanced talmudic studies
Yezirah
Hebrew: formation - the third of the four worlds according to the Kabbalah, the realm of the lower angels, the souls and of Paradise
Yiddish
The vernacular language of Ashkenazic Jewry, consisting chiefly of a German dialect, with elements of Hebrew, Aramaic and other languages absorbed in the course of the community's migrations
Yishuv
Hebrew: settlement - A jewish community in the land of Israel
Yizkor
Hebrew: May God remember - title and opening word of the memorial prayer for the dead, recited on some Jewish holidays
Yom ha-Azma'ut
Israel Independence Day
Yom ha-Sho'ah
Memorial day for the Holocaust
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement
Zaddik
Hebrew: righteous one - a charismatic leader embodying the values of Hasidism
Yom Yermushalayim
Hebrew: Jerusalem Day
Zealots
A Jewish group committed to violent resistance against the Romans, motivated by their conviction that their sole allegiance should be to God
Zikhronot
Hebrew: remembrance - the theme of the second section of the Additional Service for Rosh Hashanah, stressing the theme of God recalls and judges all the deeds of his creatures
Zimzum
Hebrew: contraction - in kabbalistic doctrines of Rabbi Isaac Luria, the idea that God intentionally withdrew himself from a part of the universe in order to enable the existence of something other than himself on which he could bestow his blessings
Zion
The name of a mountain in Jerusalem
Zionism
Political movement, founded by Theodor Herzel in the late 19th century that advocated the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in its historical homeland
Zizit
Hebrew: tassle, fringe - knotted strings attached to the corners of a garmet as a reminder of the commandments in fulfillment of Numbers
Zohar
Hebrew: Brilliance - the name of the most influential compendium of Kabbalistic teachings, composed in 13th century Spain in the style of a rabbinic midrash whose central figure is Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai