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Glossary

Glossary

A Glossary of Terms used in the Passover Site and in the Haggadah

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Afikoman: (lit. "dessert,") from the Aramaic fiku man, "bring out the food" the portion of matzah eaten at the close of the Seder meal in commemoration of the Passover offering. 

Amidah: (lit. "standing") the Shemoneh Esreh prayer, recited while standing.

Beirach: (lit. "bless") the thirteenth activity of the Seder--recitation of Grace After Meals.

Bedikat Chametz: the search for leaven conducted on the night before Passover eve.

Beitzah: egg.

Bet HaMikdash: Holy Temple in Jerusalem

Beya: Aramaic for egg, also means, "to entreat"

Birkat Hamazon: grace after meals.

Chagigah: the festival offering.

Chametz: Leavened foods, prohibited on Passover.

Charoset: a paste made of apples, pears, nuts and wine, in which the maror is dipped

Chazeret: vegetable used for maror (bitter herbs)

Chol HaMoed: (lit. "mundane [days] of the festival"), the intermediate days of the Festivals of Passover and Succot.

Dayenu: "It is enough for us"--the refrain in a song in the Haggadah.

Erev: (lit. "eve of") day preceding Shabbat or Festivals.

Gebroks: Wetted matzah (see "Gebrokts": Wetted Matzah).

Haftarah: a passage from the Prophetic writings, read following the Torah reading in the synagogue.

Haggadah: (lit. "narration") the text that is recited at the Seder.

Halachah: (lit. "the pathway") the entire body of Jewish law; a sepecific law.

Hallel: (lit. "praise") the 14th activity of the Seder--reciting the Hallel, Psalms of praise and thankgiving to G-d.

Hashem: (lit. "The Name") G-d.

Havdalah: (lit. separation), the blessings recited at the conclusion of Shabbat and Festivals, separating the holy day from the other days of the week.

Kadesh: (lit. "sanctify") the first activity of the Seder--to recite the Kiddush.

Karpas: (lit. "greens") the vegetable, dipped in saltwater, eaten at the beginning of the Seder.

Ke’ara: (lit. "plate") the tray, plate or cloth on which are placed the three matzot and six foods for use during the Seder.

Ketz: (lit. "the end") the deadline for the end of the Exile.

Kezayit: (lit. "like an olive") a Halachic measurement, approx. 1 oz.

Kiddush: (lit. "sanctification") the sanctification of Shabbat and Festivals with a blessing recited over a cup of wine.

Klipah: (li. "husk") the Kabbalistic term for evil, which is extraneous to, and concealing of, the kernel of good within

Korech: (lit. "wrap" and "make a sandwich") the tenth activity of the Seder--to eat matzah and maroir combined in a sandwich.

Leviyim: Levites, members of the tribe of Levi, who served in the Holy Temple.

Magid: (lit. "telling") the fifth activity of the seder--the telling of the story of the Exodus.

Mah Nishtanah: (lit. "What Is Different?"); the "Four Questions" asked by the children at the Seder.

Malchut: "Kingship", the last of the ten sefirot (Divine Attributes)

Ma’ariv: the evening prayer services.

Maror: bitter herbs.

Mashiach: (lit. "the anointed"), the Messiah.

Matzah: (pl. matzot): unleavend bread.

Mayim acharonim: (lit. "last water"); the practice, mandated by Torah law, to wash the tips of one's fingers at the conclusion of a meal.

Midrash: the non-literal interpretation and homiletic teachings of the Sages, on Scripture.

Minchah: afternoon prayer service.

Mishnah: the codification of the Oral Law that forms the crux of the Talmud; a specific paragraph of that work.

Mitzrayim: Egypt

Mitzvah: (pl. Mitzvot): "commandment"; the precepts of the Torah; also used to mean "good deed".

Motzi: (lit. "take out" or "bring forth"). the blessing, thanking G-d "Who brings forth bread from the earth," recited before eating bread or matzah.

Musaf: (lit. "additional"), additional prayer service held following the morning service on Shabbat and Festivals, commemorating the additional offerings brought in the Temple on these days.

Nirtzah: "accepted".

Nissan: the Hebrew month in which Passover falls; mandated by the Torah to occur in the (beginning of) spring.

Omer: biblical measure (approx. 43 oz.); the barley offering from the spring harvest which was brought on the second day of Passover.

Perech/Parech: breaking labor.

Passover:Passover.

Rachtzah: (lit. "washing") the sixth activity of the seder--washing before eating the matzah.

Seder: (lit. "order") the gathering and meal which takes place on the first two nights of Passover and follows a specific order.

Sefer Torah: Torah Scroll

Sefirat Haomer: (lit. "the counting of the omer"), the period between the Festivals of Passover and Shavuot (the Torah commands to count 49 days period from the day on which the omer offering was brought in the Holy Temple--the second day of Passover--and to observe the Festival of Shavuot on the 50th day).

Shabbat: (lit: "rest", "cessation [of work]") the Sabbath; the divinely-ordained day of rest on the seventh day of the week.

Shabbat Hagadol: (lit. "The Great Shabbat") the Shabbat before Passover.

Shacharit: (lit. "the dawning") the morning prayer service.

Shehecheyanu:(lit. "Who has made us live") the blessing recited over eating new fruit, wearing new clothing, or performing a mitzvah for the first time that season.

Shechinah: (lit. "indwelling", "immanence") the Divine Presence; that aspect of the Divine which resides within, or is in anyway connected with, the created reality.

Shemoneh Esreh: (lit. "eighteen") the eighteen blessings which comprise the Amidah--the solemn, silently recited prayer that is the climax of the three daily services.

Shmurah matzah: (lit. "watched" or "guarded" matzah). Matzah which has been made from grain which was guarded from the time of either reaping or grinding to ensure that it never came into contact with water or other liquids, to prevent it from rising.

Shulchan Orech: (lit: "set table") the eleventh activity of the seder--eating the festive meal.

Siddur: (lit. "ordering", "arrangement") the prayer book.

Siyum: (lit. "completion"), the celebration held upon completing the study of a tractate of Mishnah or Talmud.

Torah: (lit. "law", "instruction") -- the Divine wisdom and will communicated to Moses and handed down through the generations; includes both the "Wriiten Torah" (the Tanach or "Bible") and the "Oral Torah" (the interpretation and exposition of the Written Torah, as recorded in the Talmud, the Torah commentaries, the Halachic works, the Kabbalah, etc.)

Tzafun: (lit. "hidden") the twelfth activity of the seder--to eat the afikoman which has been hidden away since the beginning of the seder.

Tzedakah: (lit. justice, righteousness) charity.

Urchatz: (lit: "and wash") the second activity of the seder--washing one's hands before eating the karpas.

Yachatz: (lit: "divide") the fourth activity of the seder--breaking the middle matzah in two.

Yom Tov: (lit. "a good day"), a festival on the Jewish calendar.

Zeroah: (lit: "shank bone")--the first item on the seder plate, commemorating the Passover offering; can be any bone with a bit of meat--commonly used is a chicken neck.

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Discussion (5)
December 5, 2009
Blessings
Thank you for a great, informative website!
May G-d bless you and keep safe & happy.
Thomas L Stanley
Weimar, Texas/USA
April 6, 2008
greeting
There are several! In Yiddish one can say "ah zissen pesach" (a sweet Passover), or "a kosher un freilachen pesach," which in Hebrew would be "chag kasher vesameach," and in English "a happy and kosher passover."
Chani Benjaminson, chabad.org
April 6, 2008
what's the proper greeting for Passover -
is it ? "have a sasen pesach "?
H EDMUND PETERSOHN
March 26, 2008
Thanks!
I was looking for the definition of 6 Symbloic Jewish words at the Passover all over the net and could not find! So i looked here and found them ALL. U really helped me! Thanks!
Lena
Sydney, NSW
April 8, 2007
Merci
Many, many thanks for this great information!
Susanna Celija
Rotterdam, The netherlands
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