sefer (SEH-fehr) listen
sefer (SEY-fehr) listen


  • n. Hebrew or Aramaic book.

  • n. "A literary composition written particularly of, on, or about the Torah." (Weiser)

Example Sentences

  • "What sefer are you learning?"

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • Heb ספר séfer 'book', Yiddish ספֿר séyfer 'holy book'

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


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

      Alternative Spellings

      seyfer, seifer


  • Also used as a proper noun in conjuction with Biblical and Rabbinic texts such as "Sefer Dvarim" is "The Book of Deuteronomy."

    "The phrase 'in sefer' refers to a comment of the author himself rather than to a comment recorded from hearsay or extracted from other works. 'That pshat is Reb Chaim in sefer.'" (Weiser 84)

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