Alternative Spellings

ruah, ruekh


  • spirit, "spiritedness, morale" (JPS)

Example Sentences

  • "The singing children had a lot of ruach." "We've got ruach, yes we do, we've got ruach, how bout you?"

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew



Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Camp: Jews who attend or work at a Jewish overnight summer camp
Organizations: People involved in a professional or volunteer capacity with Jewish nonprofit organizations


North America


Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).


This word originally comes from textual Hebrew, where it meant "wind", but over time came to mean "spirit", "enthusiasm", or "soul" depending on context.

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