Judaism

Glossary of Judaism

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This glossary of Judaism provides definitions of terms related to Judaism, with links to full articles where available.

Alef-Bet
(Hebrew, "A-B"). The Hebrew alphabet.
Aleinu
Closing prayer of every synagogue service, proclaiming God's sovereignty.
aliyah
(Hebrew, "going up"). To "make an aliyah" is to be called up to recite the blessing before the Torah reading.
amudah
Small desk in a synagogue from which the Torah is read.
Apocrypha
(lit. Greek: "out of the writings"). Books not included in the Hebrew canon of the Old Testament, but included in the Greek Septuagint. Catholic and Orthodox Christans include the Apocrypha in the canon of scripture; Protestant Christians do not. Apocryphal books are Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Song of the Three Children, Susanna, Bel and the Drago, The Prayer of Manasseh, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and additions to Esther.
Aramaic
Semitic language closely related to Hebrew. Was once the common language of the Jewish world - the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds were both written in Aramaic - but it is no longer spoken.
ark
(Acronym for Hebrew aron hakodesh, "holy chest"). Cabinet in a synagogue that holds the Torah scrolls, usually located at the front of the sanctuary.
Ashkenazi
Jews from eastern and northern Europe and their descendents, to be distinguished from Sephardic Jews.
Bar Mitzvah
(Hebrew, "son of the commandment"). A boy who has reached the age of 13 and is thereafter expected to obey the commandments. Term also used for the ceremony marking this occasion.
bat mitzvah
(Hebrew, "daughter of the commandment"). A girl who has reached the age of 12 and is thereafter expected to obey the commandments. Term also used for the ceremony marking this occasion.
beit knesset
(Hebrew, "house of assembly"). The synagogue.
beit midrash
(Hebrew, "house of study"). A place designated for the study of sacred texts, usually a part of the synogogue.
beit tefilah
(Hebrew, "house of prayer"). The synagogue.
ben
(Hebrew, "son of"; Aramaic "bar" or "ibn"). Son of. Used in traditional Hebrew names; e.g., Rabbi Moses ben Maimon is Moses, the son of Maimon.
bet din
(Hebrew, "house of judgment"). A rabbinal court convened to resolve business disputes, grant divorces, determine whether a prospective convert is ready for conversion, etc.
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Article Info

Title Glossary of Judaism
Published
Last UpdatedFebruary 3, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/judaism/glossary
Short URLrlft.co/3146
MLA Citation “Glossary of Judaism.” ReligionFacts.com. 3 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021. <religionfacts.com/judaism/glossary>