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  • cheder

    Hebrew and religious classes (often on Sundays) for elementary school children.

  • Eretz Yisroel

    Israel

  • g'mar chatima tova

    "A customary greeting among Jews on Yom Kippur [and the period between Yom Kippur and Rosh haShanah]" (JPS). lit. "a good end of [the process of] sealing [in the Book of Life]".

  • gelilah

    "Binding and bedecking of the Torah scroll" (Glinert)

  • hagba

    the ceremonial raising of a Sefer Torah for all the congregation to see

  • Maariv

    the Jewish evening prayer service

  • mashgiach

    "a person, usually an Orthodox Jew, who inspects and makes sure all the laws of kashrut are followed [in a slaughterhouse, food-processing factory, restaurant, catering hall, or the like]" (Eisenberg & Scolnic)

  • matzah meal

    "finely crumbled, crushed matzah used as a flour substitute in cooking during Pesach" (Eisenberg & Scolnic)

  • Mincha

    the Jewish afternoon prayer service

  • Mishnah

    an authoritative collection of exegetical material embodying the oral tradition of Jewish law and forming the first part of the Talmud

  • Mishneh Torah

    a 12th-century code of religious law in fourteen parts written by Moses Maimonides

  • pardes

    "An acronym for the four levels of understanding possible when reading a sacred text like the Torah. These are peshat, the literal, obvious meaning of the text; remez, the meaning that is only hinted at; derash, the symbolic, interpretive meaning of the text; and sod, the secret hidden, or mystical meaning of the passage." (Eisenberg & Scolnic)

  • Purim

    A joyous holiday that takes place in February or March on the 14th of Adar, retelling the story of the Book of Esther.

  • remez

    "a mark or detail that suggests the existence of implicit information, a trace, an allusion" (Weiser)

  • rishon

    "Earlier rabbis and scholars, who lived from around the 11th to the mid-15th century C.E., before the Shulchan Arukh, the compilation of Jewish law, was written." (JPS)

  • Sefer Torah

    a Torah scroll (a scroll with the text of The Five Books of Moses on it)

  • Shabbos

    the Jewish Sabbath

  • Shacharit

    the Jewish morning prayer service

  • shatnez

    mixture of wool and linen in a garment, which is prohibited by Jewish law

  • Shema

    prayer recited in most services as well as at bedtime, and when death is imminent; one of the most important and well-known prayers in Judaism