Contact Us

Glossary for the Jewish New Year “Rosh Hashanah”

Glossary for the Jewish New Year “Rosh Hashanah”

 Email

Akedah: (lit. “the binding”); referring the Biblical account of The Binding of Isaac.

Aliyah: (lit. “ascent”); the honor of being called to recite the blessing upon the reading of the Torah scroll.

Aseret Yemei Teshuva: (lit, “the ten days of return”); the Days of Repentance, always the first ten days of the Jewish month of Tishrei, beginning on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and culminating on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). A time period for focusing on prayer, charity and return to the G‑dly path.

Arvit: the evening prayer service.

Avinu Malkeinu: (lit. “our Father, our King”); a prayer beseeching our Father in Heaven to grant us our needs, recited during prayer services throughout the High Holidays.

Baal Tokea: (lit. “master of the blast”); the person sounding the shofar ram’s horn in the synagogue.

Birchat Kohanim: (lit. “the blessing of the priests”); the blessings bestowed upon everyone in the Synagogue, on particular holidays, by the descendants of the priestly Biblical family of Aaron, known as the Kohanim (sin. Kohen).

Chag Sameach: (lit, “a happy festival”); one of the traditional holiday greetings.

Challah: (lit. “bread loaf”); a braided loaf baked in honor of theSabbath and major Jewish holidays.

D’vash: (lit. “honey”); traditionally eaten with challah bread and an apple on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Eruv Tavshilin: (lit. “merging of cooked foods”); a procedure involving two prepared foods, that is performed on the eve of the holiday when a festival occurs on a Friday, to permit one to cook on the Friday for the Sabbath.

Gut Yom-Tov: (lit. “a good holiday”); one of the traditional holiday greetings.

Haftorah: (lit. “concluding portion”); a section from the Prophets read at the conclusion of the reading of the Torah scroll.

HaMotzi: (lit. “Who brings forth”); blessing recited over bread.

Hatarat Nedarim: the annulment of vows recited on the eve the Jewish New Year (alternatively it can be said earlier, or ten days later before the Day of Atonement).

Kara: (lit, “gourd”); one of the symbolic foods eaten on the evening of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Karti: (lit. “leek”); one of the symbolic foods eaten on the evening of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Ketiva vachatimah tovah: (lit. “may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year”); traditional greeting on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Kezayit: (lit. “like an olive”); a measurement in Jewish law, formally described as the size of an olive, approximately one ounce or 25.6 grams.

Kiddush: (lit. “sanctification”); the blessings recited over a cup of wine at the onset of Sabbath and major Jewish Holiday meals, expressing the sanctity of the day.

Lekach: honey cake, traditionally eaten on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). It is also traditional to request and receive a piece of honey cake on the eve of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim: (lit: “may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year”); traditional greeting on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Maariv: the evening prayer services.

Machzor: (lit: "cycle"); the prayer book used on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Meren: (lit: "more" and alternatively "carrots"); a sweet carrot stew traditionally served during the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) meals.

Minchah: (lit. “the offering”); afternoon prayer service.

Musaf: “additional” prayer service recited on major Jewish holidays.

Pri chadash: (lit. “new fruit”) a seasonal fruit is eaten after the recitation of the kiddush on the second night of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). The selected fruit should be one that one has not tasted since the beginning of the season.

Rosh dag: (lit. “head of a fish”); the head of a fish, ram, or other kosher animal is served on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Rimon: (lit. “pomegranate”); a pomegranate is traditionally eaten on the night of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Rosh Hashanah: (lit. “head of the year”); the holiday marking the Jewish New Year, always occurring on the first two days of the Jewish month of Tishrei; beginning the ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuva).

Rosh keves: (lit. “ram’s head”); the head of an ram that some traditionally serve on the night of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Rubia (Lubia): small beans that some traditionally serve on the night of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Salka: beets that some traditionally serve on the night of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Selichot: penitential prayers read daily before dawn during the week preceding the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Shabbat Selichot: The Sabbath preceding the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). The following morning begins the recitation of selichot penitential prayers.

Shacharit: (lit. “the dawning”); the morning prayer service.

Shana tovah: (lit. “good year”) traditional greeting during the Jewish month of Elul and on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Shofar: A ram’s horn blown daily during the Jewish month of Elul (not including the last day), on the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah), and at the end of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

Shevarim: the three shofar ram’s horn blasts of intermediate length.

Shofrot: (a) plural for the shofar (ram's horn); (b) one of the blessings in the musaf prayer service of the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah), consisting of verses reflecting the importance of sounding the shofar.

Tapuach bidvash: a piece of apple dipped into honey traditionally served on the night of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Tachanun: (lit. “supplication”); the penitential prayers recited on all non-festive days.

Tashlich: (lit. “You shall cast”); the riverside ritual of casting one’s sins into the waters on the Jewish New Year (Rosh HaShanah).

Tekiah: the protracted Shofar blast.

Tekiah Shevarim Teruah Tekiah: the traditional order of the sounds of the shofar: a long steady blast, a series of medium-length wailing blasts, a series of very short sounds in rapid succession, followed by another long steady blast.

Temarim: dates that some traditionally serve on the night of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Teruah: the staccato Shofar blast.

Teshuvah: (lit. “return”); repentance, the return to the correct path of observance of G‑d’s commandments.

Tzedakah: (lit. “justice, righteousness”); charity, traditionally given in abundance prior to the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

Tzimmes: a sweet carrot stew traditionally served during the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) meals.

Unetaneh Tokef: (lit: “let us relate the power”); one of the powerful prayers recited during the High Holidays.

By Chabad.org Staff
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
4 Comments
1000 characters remaining
keira NJ September 15, 2015

thanks thank you for teaching me about the jewish new year i fell like i am a jewish leader. Reply

nina Perth West Australia September 11, 2015

Chabad are unfailingly helpful Thank you from an older beginner.I hope this soon-to-arrive year and those following are wonderful for everyone at Chabad Reply

Anonymous Beijing, Beijing via chabadbeijing.com September 7, 2012

thanks! Thanks for your help and hard work! Reply

lynne teresa kolak sacramento, ca. u.s.a. September 6, 2012

compiling of glossary thank-you chabad staff. and thank-you for letting me learn. Reply

Related Topics
Find Services
Videos
Audio Classes
Holiday Songs
Kids Zone
Holiday Shopping Recipes
Free Greeting Cards