dafina (dah-FEE-nah) listen
adafina (ah-dah-FEE-nah) listen


  • n. A slow-cooked stew made of beef, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables that is eaten on Shabbat.

Example Sentences

  • "Records from the Spanish Inquisition show that a Converso could be discovered as continuing to keep Jewish laws by someone, often their maid, seeing them make adafina for Shabbat." (source)

    Listen to recordings of this sentence: ( Recording 1)

Languages of Origin

  • Arabic / Judeo-Arabic
  • Ladino


  • JA דפ̇ינא or دفينة dfīna, lit. 'buried' because the stew was originally prepared by being buried in a hole in the ground > L adafina

    • Who Uses This

      • Sephardim: Jews with Sephardi or Mizrahi heritage


      • North America


      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      adafinah, adafeenah, adafeena, dafina, dafeena, dafeenah


  • Jewish law traditionally forbids cooking on the Sabbath, so observant Jews often prepare a slow-cooking dish before the Sabbath to be ready for the Sabbath lunch to have hot food.

    See also Ashkenazi cholent, Sephardic hamin, and Moroccan skhina.

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