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Glossary

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 0-9

B"H:  Abbreviation of "Baruch HaShem" (lit. "blessed be G-d").  [8 related articles] Phrases & Expressions » B"H
B’derech Mimeila:  (lit. “effortlessly”); used as a contrast to hitlabshut, this term refers to an effusion of light or energy that reveals the source as it is, without considering the limitations of the recipient 
Baal HaTanya:  "Author of the Tanya." Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, 1745-1812, founder and first Rebbe of the Chabad branch of chassidism, known also as the "Alter Rebbe," and as “the Rav”; lived in Li'ozna and Liadi, White Russia; author of Tanya, a classic text of the chassidic tradition, and Shulchan Aruch HaRav, a code of Jewish law.  [207 related articles] Chabad Rebbes » Baal HaTanya
Baal Hora’a:  (lit. “master of rulings”); one who has mastered the ability to issue definitive rulings of law based on the Shulchan Aruch and Poskim 
Baal Korei:  (colloq. form of baal keriah, lit., “master of reading”); one who reads from the Torah scroll during the synagogue prayer service  [1 related article] Parshah (Weekly Torah Reading) » Baal Korei
Baal Peor:  An ancient idol (mentioned in the Book of Numbers), popular with the Moabites, whose method of worship included various sensual indulgences and defecating.  [2 related articles]
Baal Pe'or:  An ancient idol (mentioned in the Book of Numbers), popular with the Moabites, whose method of worship included various sensual indulgences and defecating.  [2 related articles]
Baal Shem Tov, R. Israel:  (lit. “Master of the Good Name”); Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer (1698-1760), founder of Chassidism  [158 related articles] People » Baal Shem Tov, R. Israel
Baal Teshuvah, The:  (lit. “master of return”); a person who turns to G d in repentance, after willful or unknowing transgression of the Torah’s commandments; a Jew of secular or not fully observant background who has decided to undertake full Torah observance  [105 related articles] G-d and Man » Baal Teshuvah, The
Baal Tokea:  (lit. "master of the blast"); the person sounding the Shofar in the synagogue  [1 related article] Rosh Hashanah » Baal Tokea
Bach:  (acronym for Bayit Chadash): a Halachic commentary on the Tur written by R. Yoel Sirkis (1561-1640) in Poland; one of the classic works of Jewish law 
Bachur:  (lit. "young man"); generally used in reference to a yeshivah student  [2 related articles]
Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda (Chovot Halevavot):  eleventh century sage and writer on Jewish thought (1040-1080); his most acclaimed work is Chovat Halevavot (Duties of the Heart)  [3 related articles] People » People & Events » Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda (Chovot Halevavot)
Badchan:  Jewish jester or entertainer 
Bal Tashchit ("do not destroy"):  ("do not destroy") The prohibition against destroying or wasting resources.  [12 related articles] Halacha (Torah law) » Bal Tashchit ("do not destroy")
Balaam:  An anti-Semitic gentile necromancer and prophet. Commissioned by Balak, King of Moab, to curse the Israelites. Despite his attempts to comply with Balak's wishes, G-d only allowed blessings to emit from his mouth. He was eventually slain by the Israelites when they destroyed Midian[25 related articles]
Balak:  King of Moab. After the Israelites conquered the neighboring Emorite kingdoms, he hired Balaam to curse the Israelites[5 related articles]
Bamidbar:  The fourth of the Five Books of Moses, relates the story of the Israelites' sojourn in the desert. The main points include: the consecration of the Levites and the Kohanim, the Spies' trip to Canaan, Korah's mutiny, Balaam's attempt to curse the Israelites, and the Israelites’ war against Midian[574 related articles] Torah, The » Bamidbar
Bamidbar:  (Lit. "in the desert"); Numbers; the fourth book of the Pentateuch  [55 related articles] Parshah (Weekly Torah Reading) » Bamidbar
Bar Mitzra (Neighbor's right of first refusal):  (Aramaic, lit. "the one on the boundary"); a neighbor who is granted certain rights with regard to the purchase of adjoining property  [3 related articles] Halacha (Torah law) » Bar Mitzra (Neighbor's right of first refusal)
Bar Mitzvah:  (lit. “son of the commandment”) a Jewish boy who reaches the age of thirteen, the age of adulthood in Jewish life, thus becoming religiously responsible for his own conduct; also refers to the event marking this milestone  [56 related articles] Life Cycles » Bar Mitzvah
Barad:  hail, the 7th of the Ten Plagues  [7 related articles] Ten Plagues » Barad
Barak:  Together with Deborah led a small Israelite army in battle against the occupying armies of the Canaanite king, Jabin, and his general, Sisera. They were victorious and regained their independence.  [1 related article]
Barchu:  (lit. “Bless...”); one of the responsive readings in congregational prayer.  [1 related article] G-d and Man » Barchu
Baruch Dayan HaEmet:  (lit. "Blessed is [the] True Judge") Phrase recited upon receiving bad tidings, especially news of a person's passing.  [5 related articles] Phrases & Expressions » Baruch Dayan HaEmet
Baruch Hashem:   "Thank G-d."  [8 related articles] Phrases & Expressions » Baruch Hashem
Baruch ShePetarani:  (lit. "Blessed is He who has absolved me"); the blessing recited at the reading of the Torah by the father of a bar-mitzvah 
Bat:  (lit. “daughter of...”); used as part of a woman’s formal name, followed by the name of either her father or mother 
Bat Mitzvah:  (lit. “daughter of the commandment”) a Jewish girl who reaches the age of twelve, the age of adulthood in Jewish life, thus becoming religiously responsible for her own conduct; also refers to the event marking this milestone  [26 related articles] Life Cycles » Bat Mitzvah
Bathsheba:  (a) (9th century BCE) Originally married to Uriah the Hittite. Married King David after Uriah's death. Mother of King Solomon. (b) A common Jewish name.  [10 related articles]
Batul:  (lit. "nullified"); (a) with regard to the laws of kashrut, this refers to an amount of a forbidden substance that has become mixed with a greater portion of permitted substances to the extent that the forbidden substance is considered as insignificant and thus “nullified”; (b) in Chassidic terminology, this refers to Divine service which results in self-nullification in the presence of G-dliness 
Batyah:  Daughter of Pharaoh, saved Baby Moses when she saw him floating in the Nile and raised him as her own.  [8 related articles]
Bavel; Babylonian Empire:  Babylon  [4 related articles] Human Being, The » Peoples, Nationalities & Cultures » Bavel; Babylonian Empire
Bavli:  (lit. "Babylonian"); the Babylonian Talmud, developed in Babylonia, and edited at the end of the fifth century.  [691 related articles] Torah, The » Bavli
Bavot:  (Aramaic, lit. “gates”): the first three tractates of the section of the Talmud which deals primarily with monetary and property issues: Bava Kamma (“the First Gate”) deals chiefly with property damages and personal injuries; Bava Metzia (“the Middle Gate”) deals chiefly with ownership and transfer of personal property; Bava Basra (“the Last Gate”) deals chiefly with ownership and transfer of real property, and with legal documents  Torah Books » Bavot
b'deeavad:  "After the fact." The halachic term used to describe a requirement that has been met after a less-than-ideal action has already occurred, as opposed to l'chatchila, the halachic term used when describing the way things should be done initially.  Halacha (Torah law) » b'deeavad
B'dieved:  "After the fact." The halachic term used to describe a requirement that has been met after a less-than-ideal action has already occurred, as opposed to l'chatchila, the halachic term used when describing the way things should be done initially.  Halacha (Torah law) » B'dieved
Bechirah chofshit:  Free choice. The principle according to which every individual is empowered to make unconstrained moral decisions and hence be held accountable for his or her conduct, be it good or evil.  [139 related articles] G-d and Man » Bechirah chofshit
BeHaB:  (acronym for the Hebrew words for Monday, Thursday, Monday); a series of three fasts on the Monday, Thursday, and Monday following certain festivals 
BeHitchadshut:  (lit. "in renewal"); a new and incremental element to the existing gestalt 
Bein HaMetzarim:  (lit. "between the straits"); refers to the Three Weeks of mourning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz through the Ninth of Av  [168 related articles] Calendar, The Jewish » Bein HaMetzarim
Bein Hashemashot (Twilight):  The Jewish 24 hour day begins at nightfall. However, the technical definition of nightfall is unclear. It can be as early as Shkiah, or as late as Tzeit Hakochavim. Therefore, the time following shkiah and before tzeit hakochavim is called bein hashmashot. Many laws relate to this period and it can be categorized as either the previous or the next day.  [4 related articles] Calendar, The Jewish » Bein Hashemashot (Twilight)
Beinoni, The:  (lit. “intermediate one”); an individual whose spiritual labors have brought him to a level of perfection in thought, word and deed, despite his still-active evil inclination; see Tanya, ch. 12.  [115 related articles] Tzaddik, Rasha & Beinoni » Beinoni, The
Beirach:  (lit. “bless...”); the stage in the Passover seder at which the Grace After Meals is recited  [2 related articles]
Beit:  the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, prounounced "b" (or "v" if without a dagesh), with a numerical value of 2  [9 related articles]
Beit Din:  (lit. "house of law"); rabbinical court  [2 related articles] Halacha (Torah law) » Beit Din
Beit HaMidrash:  (lit. "house of study"); study hall 
Beit Hamikdash:  the Holy Temple in Jerusalem  [689 related articles] G-d and Man » Beit Hamikdash
Beit Hillel:  The Torah academy founded by Hillel was known as the “House of Hillel.” The Mishnah records 316 disagreements between the House of Hillel and the school founded by Shammai, known as the " House of Shammai." The House of Hillel generally takes the lenient view and the House of Shammai, the more stringent one. In all but 18 cases, the halachah is accordance with the House of Hillel.  [2 related articles]
Beit Shammai:  The Torah academy founded by Shammai was known as the “House of Shammai.” The Mishnah records 316 disagreements between the House of Shammai and the school founded by Hillel, known as the "House of Hillel." The House of Shammai generally takes the stringent view and the House of Hillel, the more lenient one. In all but 18 cases, the halachah is accordance with the House of Hillel.  [1 related article]
Beit Yosef:  the halachic commentary to the Tur written by Rabbi Yosef Caro (1488-1575) 
Beitzah (Egg):  (a) a hard-boiled egg used on the Passover Seder plate; (b) a tractate of the Talmud dealing primarily with the laws of the holidays  [6 related articles]
Ben:  (lit. “son of...”); used as part of a man’s formal name, followed by the name of either his father or mother 
Benjamin:  (a) (1553-1438 BCE) Son of Jacob and Rachel, youngest of the Twelve Tribes. With his brother Joseph’s sale and presumed death, he assumed the status of Jacobs’s favored son. (b) A common Jewish name.  [15 related articles]
Beraita:  (Aramaic, lit. "outside material"); a body of teachings formulated by sages of the Mishnaic era, but not included in that text; often quoted in the Gemara; when not capitalized, the term refers to a single teaching of this type  [1 related article] Torah Books » Beraita
Bereishit:  The first of the Five Books of Moses, relates the story of creation and Noah's Flood, and describes the lives and deeds of the Patriarchs, Matriarchs, and the Twelve Tribes. Genesis ends with the Israelites' descent to Egypt and Jacob's passing.  [874 related articles] Torah, The » Bereishit
Bereishit:  (lit. “in the beginning”); Genesis, the first book of the Pentateuch; the first word of the Torah  [74 related articles] Parshah (Weekly Torah Reading) » Bereishit
Berel:  familiar form of the name Ber, which is the Yiddish form of the Hebrew name Dov 
Beriah; World of Creation, The:  (lit. “creation”); more specifically creation ex nihilo; in Kabbalistic terminology, the second of the four spiritual worlds, the realm of spiritual existence which represents the first beginnings of a consciousness of self  [26 related articles] Four Worlds, The » Beriah; World of Creation, The
Beruriah:  (2nd century CE) Daughter of Rabbi Hananiah ben Teradion, wife of Rabbi Meir. An extremely learned woman who was proficient in the Scriptures and would studied three hundred halachot (Torah laws) daily; the sages would consult her on matter of halachah.  [5 related articles] People » Beruriah
Besamim (Havdalah spices):  (lit. "spices") Spices or other aromatic plant or fruit used during the Havdalah ceremony marking the close of Shabbat  [5 related articles] Shabbat » Besamim (Havdalah spices)
Besht:  Acronym for "Baal Shem Tov" (lit. “Master of the Good Name”); Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer (1698-1760), founder of Chassidism  [158 related articles] People » Besht
BeSimchah:  in a state of joy 
Bethuel:  Father of Rebecca and Laban, son of Abraham's brother Nahor[1 related article]
Bezalel:  (a) Great-grandson of Miriam. Chosen by G-d to be chief architect and builder of the Tabernacle together with Oholiab the son of Ahisamach. (b) Common Jewish name.  [7 related articles]
B'ezrat Hashem:  "with G-d's help"  Phrases & Expressions » B'ezrat Hashem
Bichedei achilat pras:  the time period in which one can usually eat a portion of food of a specific size  Halacha (Torah law) » Bichedei achilat pras
Bigthan:  A chamberlain in King Ahasuerus's court. Together with his colleague Teresh, plotted to assassinate the king. Mordecai discovered their plot, and they were both hanged. This event played a pivotal role in the Purim story, as described in the Scroll of Esther which is read every year on Purim[1 related article]
Bikurim (first fruits):  the first fruits which the Jews would bring to the Temple in Jerusalem  [25 related articles] Torah, The » Bikurim (first fruits)
Bilhah:  Rachel’s handmaid. Due to her own childlessness, Rachel gave her to her husband Jacob as a concubine, hoping to rare the progeny of this union. Mother of Dan and Naphtali. After Rachel’s death, she became embroiled in Reuben’s Sin[4 related articles]
Bimah:  (lit. "platform"); raised table at which the Torah is publicly read in the synagogue, and from which a sermon is often delivered  [4 related articles] Prayer » Bimah
Binah (Understanding; Analysis):  (lit. "comprehension"); the second of the ten Sefirot, in Chassidic thought, the second stage of the intellectual process of Chab”ad, the power that develops abstract conception of chochmah, giving it breadth and depth  [20 related articles] Sefirot, The (seven, ten) » Binah (Understanding; Analysis)
Binding of Isaac, The:  (lit. “the binding”); Abraham’s preparation of Isaac as a sacrifice  [40 related articles]
Birchat Kohanim:  The blessing by the descendents of the priestly family of Aaron.  [42 related articles]
Birkat HaChamah:  (lit. "the blessing of the sun"); the blessing of the sun which takes place once every 28 years  [51 related articles] G-d and Man » Birkat HaChamah
Birkat HaGomel:  blessing of thanksgiving recited at the reading of the Torah by a person delivered from danger  [6 related articles] G-d and Man » Birkat HaGomel
Birkat Hamazon:  Grace after meals, the blessings of thanksgiving after a meal that included bread  [64 related articles] Torah, The » Birkat Hamazon
Birur:  (lit. “refinement”); the process of discovering the Divine sparks within the material world and within the forces of evil, and separating and elevating these sparks by using them or relating to them in their divinely intended context  [1 related article]
Birurim:  (lit. "refinements"); elements of spiritual refinement and purification latent within all material things  [6 related articles]
Bishul Akum:  Food cooked by a non-Jew.  [4 related articles] Mitzvah; Mitzvot » Bishul Akum
Bitachon (Trust in G-d):  faith and trust in G-d; this is not the belief in G-d per se, rather it is the faith that everything that G-d does--everything that occurs--will be for the good  [134 related articles] G-d and Man » Bitachon (Trust in G-d)
Bithiah (Pharaoh's Daughter):  Daughter of Pharaoh, saved Baby Moses when she saw him floating in the Nile and raised him as her own.  [8 related articles]
Bittul:  Nullification. A concept employed in various areas of Jewish law. Examples: a) Before Passover we nullify all chametz that may be in our possession. b) Depending on the circumstance, if a minute quantity (usually 1/60th) of non-kosher food is mixed into a kosher dish, it becomes nullified, and the entire dish is kosher.  [5 related articles] Halacha (Torah law) » Bittul
Bittul (Self Abnegation; Selflessness):  (lit. "self-nullification"); a commitment to G-d and divine service that transcends self-concern  [73 related articles]
Bittul Bimetziut:  utter and complete self-nullification 
Bittul Hayesh:  the negation of one’s selfhood 
Biur Chametz:  The burning of Chametz before Passover  [12 related articles] Passover » Biur Chametz
Blessing:  (a) ritual blessing recited before eating, the performance of certain mitzvot, and at certain other occasions; (b) a blessing shared with another for good health, etc.  [174 related articles] G-d and Man » Blessing
Bli Neder:  lit. "without a promise"; a term used when expressing our intent to do something. Bli Neder is said since it's proper to avoid making a promise or commitment as we may not always (be able to) follow through with it.  [2 related articles] Phrases & Expressions » Bli Neder
Bnei Noach:  (lit. “descendants of Noah”); non-Jews, individuals not obligated to observe the Torah’s laws 
Bnei Noah:  Lit., "Sons of Noah." The halachic term for non-Jews. (See Noah[10 related articles] Human Being, The » Peoples, Nationalities & Cultures » Bnei Noah
Bnei Torah:  Torah students 
Boaz:  (d. 969 BCE) Relative of Naomi, husband of Ruth and progenitor of the Davidic dynasty. The story of his marriage to Ruth is recorded in the Book of Ruth, which is read on Shavuot in many communities.  [6 related articles]
Borer (selection):  Borer, one of the 39 categories of creative activities prohibited on Shabbat, is the prohibition to separate or sort out two or more types of items which are mixed together  [6 related articles]
Bracha:  (a) ritual blessing recited before eating, the performance of certain mitzvot, and at certain other occasions; (b) a blessing shared with another for good health, etc.  [174 related articles] G-d and Man » Bracha
Brit Bein HaBetarim:  Covenant Between the Parts.  [11 related articles]
Brit Milah; Circumcision:  (lit. "covenant of circumcision"); the ritual circumcision of a Jewish boy, generally at eight days old  [130 related articles] Human Being, The » Brit Milah; Circumcision
Brocha:  (a) ritual blessing recited before eating, the performance of certain mitzvot, and at certain other occasions; (b) a blessing shared with another for good health, etc.  [174 related articles] G-d and Man » Brocha
Bubbe:  (Yiddish) grandmother  [1 related article]
Bulach:  (Russian) clod 
Butler, the Royal:  Fell out of Pharaoh’s graces. Was incarcerated in the same prison-dungeon as Joseph, where Joseph correctly deciphered a dream he had, interpreting it as a sign that he would be restored to his original post. He later recommended that Joseph interpret Pharaoh's dreams, leading to Joseph's appointment as viceroy of Egypt.  [5 related articles]

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 0-9