Terms that are followed by an asterisk have their own entries in the glossary. All transliterations are from Hebrew.

Adam HaRishon (lit. “the first man”)—Biblical Adam

Adam Kadmon (lit. “primordial man”)—the will of the

Or Ein Sof* to create

Ahavat Hashem—love of G‑d

Ahavat Yisrael—love of a fellow Jew

Aleph Bet—The Hebrew alphabet

Amidah—The silent prayer said while standing

Assiyah—The world of “action,” lowest of the four worlds of Creation

Atzilut—The world of “emanation,” highest of the four worlds of Creation

Atzmut—The essence of G‑d

Avodat Hashem—service of G‑d

Baal Teshuvah (lit. “a returnee”)—one who has become

observant of the commandments

Benoni—the intermediate person; between the Tzaddik* and the Rasha*

Beriah—The world of “creation,” second-highest of the four worlds of Creation

BinahSefirah* of understanding

Bitachon—trust in G‑d

Bnai Yisrael (lit. “the children of Israel”)—the Jewish people

ChaBaD—acronym for Chochmah*, Binah*, Daat*—also the name of the worldwide chassidic* movement

ChaGaT—acronym for Chessed*, Gevurah*, and Tiferet*

Challah—bread used on Shabbat* and holidays

Chassid (pl. chassidim)—follower(s) of the chassidic* movement

Chassidic—movement of Judaism that focuses on the study of Kabbalah*; founded by the Baal Shem Tov

Hassidismchassidic* philosophy

Chaya—Hebrew for “living one”; second-highest of five general souls

Chayot Hakodesh (lit. “holy beings”)—A Group of angels

ChessedSefirah* of kindness

ChochmahSefirah* of wisdom

DaatSefirah* of Knowledge

Daat Elyon—Supernal knowledge

Daat Tachton—terrestrial knoweldge

Dirah BeTachtonim—quoted from the Midrash*: G‑d desired to have a “dwelling place in the lower worlds”; the purpose of Creation

Drush—“homiletical” interpretation of the Torah*; second highest level of Pardes*

Ein Sof (lit. “without end”)—the Infinite G‑d as enclothed in Creation




Farbrengenchassidic gathering


GevurahSefirah* of strength


Hashgochah Pratit—Divine providence


Havaye—the Tetragrammeton; four-letter name of G‑d

Hiddur Mitzvah—Beautification of the Mitzvah*; i.e. doing a commandment in a beautiful way

HodSefirah* of splendor

Kabbalah (lit. “received”)—mystical tradition of the Torah*

Kaddish—prayer recited in the memory of a departed soul

Kav—circular “beam” of pre-Tzimtzim* Light*


Kelipah (pl. Klipot; lit. “peel” for “shell”)—words used by

Kabbalah to describe coverings of impurity.

Kelipat Nogah (lit. “illuminating shell”)—Klipah* that can be utilized for good

KeterSefirah* of crown

MalchutSefirah* of kingship

Mashiach (lit. “anointed one”)—the Messiah

Mazal (pl. Mazalot)—constellation or planetary influence

Memale Kol Almin—Light* that fills all worlds; also referred to as the Kav*

Mezuzah—parchment scroll attached to doorpost

Midrash—anthology of rabbinic scriptural commentary

Mikvah—ritual bath used for spiritual purification

Mishnah—Oral Law of the Torah* compiled by Tannaim* under the leadership of Rabbi Yehudah Hanassi.

Mitzvah (pl. Mitzvot)—Divine commandment(s) derived from the Torah*

Modeh Ani—first words of the following prayer said immediately upon awakening: “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for you have restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is abundant.”

Mussar (lit. “rebuke”)—a movement of Judaism that encourages people to study ethics and morals and to improve character.

Nefesh—Hebrew for “soul of vitality”; lowest of five general souls

Nefesh Elokit—G‑dly Soul of a person

Nefesh HaBehamit—Animalistic Soul of a person

NeHiY—acronym for Netzach*, Hod*, and Yesod*

Neshamah—Hebrew for “breath of life”; third-highest of five general souls

NetzachSefirah* of victory

Nigleh—revealed dimension of Torah*

Nistar—inner dimension of Torah*

Nistarim—clandestine Kabbalistics during the days of Baal Shem Tov

Olam (lit. “concealment”)—world

Olam Haba—the World to Come

Ophanim—Group of angels

Or - Light—English for “Or.” metaphor for Divine energy

Or Ein Sof—Hebrew for “Light of the Infinite”; metaphor for Divine energy used in Creation

Or Makkif—a peripheral Light*

Or Pnimi—an inner Light*

Pardes (lit. “orchard”)—acronym for four levels of Torah* study

Pshat—“simple” interpretation of the Torah*; most basic level of Pardes*

Rasha—wicked person

Rebbe—leader of Chassidim*

Remez—“illusionary.” interpretation of the Torah*; third highest level of Pardes*

Rosh Hashanah—The Jewish New Year

Ruach—Hebrew for “spirit”; fourth-highest of five general souls

Ruach Hakodesh (lit. “holy spirit”)—Divine inspiration

Seder Hishtalshlut—chain-ordered process used in Creation

Sefirah (pl. Sefirot)—a channel of Divine energy or attribute used in Creation

Seraphim—Group of angels



Shechinah—Divine Presence