Get the best of Chabad.org content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!
ב"ה

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

Cain:  Son of Adam and Eve. A farmer, he slew his brother Abel after G-d accepted Abel's sacrifice and rejected his. According to tradition, he was killed by his great-great-great grandson, Lemech.  [11 related articles] Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Cain
Caleb:  One of the twelve spies sent to Canaan to reconnoiter the land. He and Joshua were the only two spies who remained faithful to their mission and did not endorse the negative report conveyed by their colleagues. According to the Midrash, he was the husband of Miriam[12 related articles] Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Caleb
Canaan:  the land which G-d promised to Abraham's descendants through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob. Later called the Land of Israel, at the time of G-d's promise it was inhabited by the descendants of Canaan, son of Ham and grandson of Noah, who took the land by force from the children of Shem.  [538 related articles]
Canaan (son of Ham):  the fourth son of Ham and the grandson of Noah. After Ham discovered Noah naked in a drunken slumber and assaulted him, Noah cursed Ham's son Canaan that he and his descendants would be slaves to the children of Shem and Japeth.  [2 related articles] Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Canaan (son of Ham)
Canaan, the Land of:  the land which G-d promised to Abraham's descendants through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob. Later called the Land of Israel, at the time of G-d's promise it was inhabited by the descendants of Canaan, son of Ham and grandson of Noah, who took the land by force from the children of Shem.  [538 related articles]
Cantonists, The:  Jews who, by decree of Czar Nicholas I, had been snatched from their families when they were young children for a 25-year term of military conscription.  [12 related articles] Czarist Russia » Cantonists, The
Cantor:  One who leads the congregation in prayer  [5 related articles]
Caro, R. Joseph:  (Toledo, 1488 – Safed, 1575) Rabbi Joseph Caro is most famous as the author of the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law. Born in Toledo, Spain, during the Inquisition years, he fled from that country at the age of 4, eventually settling in Constantinople. In 1536, he made his way to Safed, in the Holy Land. His major works, the Beit Yosef and the Shulchan Aruch, are considered by Sephardic Jewry to be the ultimate authorities in halacha. He was also an accomplished and well known kabbalist.  [15 related articles]
Cave of Machpelah:  The cave in Hebron, Israel, wherein are buried Adam, Eve, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah.  [36 related articles] Hebron » Cave of Machpelah
Chabad:  An acronym for Chochmoh, Binah, Da'at (wisdom, understanding and knowledge); the name of a chassidic movement – predicated on the concept of studying and understanding G-d and His relationship with the world – founded by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi in White Russia in the latter part of the 18th century. This movement is also known as Lubavitch, or Chabad-Lubavitch.  [304 related articles]
Chabad House:  an outreach center established by a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary  [20 related articles] Judaism » Chabad House
Chabad-Lubavitch:  A chassidic movement founded by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi in the latter part of the 18th century that emphasizes the importance of "Chabad," an acronym for “Chochmoh, Binah, Da’at” (wisdom, understanding and knowledge); the concept of studying and understanding G-d and His relationship with the world. Lubavitch is the name of the townlet in the county of Mohilev, White Russia, which served as the center of the Chabad Chassidism for four generations.  [304 related articles]
Chabadnik:  (colloq.) adherent of Chabad 
Chabakkuk:  (6th century BCE) A contemporary of Joel and Nahum, he began prophesying during the reign of King Manasseh[6 related articles]
Chabakkuk:  The book of Tanach containing Habakkuk's prophecies, foretelling the Chaldean victory over the Judeans, Chaldea’s ultimate downfall, and asserting G-d's justice.  [1 related article]
Chadash:  Chadash ("new") -- Grain that took root before Passover and is Biblically forbidden to be eaten until the 16th of Nissan.  [10 related articles]
Chafetz Chaim:  Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, 1838-1933; important rabbinical figure of the European Jewish community before World War II; author of Chafetz Chaim (a work on the evils of slander), after which he is called, and the Mishnah Brurah (a codification of Jewish law); lived in Radin, Poland  [11 related articles]
Chag:  Festival. Usually a reference to one of the three biblical festivals: Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot[77 related articles]
Chag HaMatzot:  (lit. “festival of Matzot"); another name for the festival of Passover  [1682 related articles]
Chaggai:  The book of Tanach containing Haggai's prophecies, admonishing the Jews to build the Second Holy Temple[1 related article]
Chaggai:  (4th century BCE) A contemporary of Zechariah and Malachi, the last of the prophets; member of the Great Assembly; urged the Jews to build the Second Temple
Chagigah:  (lit. "festival"); (a) festive offering, a sacrifice brought to the Temple on festivals; (b) a tractate of the Talmud dealing with such sacrifices 
Chaim:  life; also a common Jewish name 
Chakikah:  engraving 
Chalat:  (Yiddish) a dressing gown, esp. one in the style worn by chassidim 
Chalav Yisrael:  (lit., "Jewish milk"); a Torah-observant Jew must be present throughout the production of milk products, from milking through processing, to ensure that only milk from kosher animals is used  [11 related articles]
Chalavi:  Pertaining to milk and its by-products; a category of the kashrut laws. 
Chalitzah:  (lit. "taking off"); a ceremony whereby the widow of a childless husband is released by the brother of the deceased, thus permitting her to remarry somebody else.  [6 related articles] Marriage » Chalitzah
Challah:  (lit. "bread loaf"); a) a tithe of dough for the Kohen; (b) a braided loaf baked in honor of Shabbat  [69 related articles]
Chalukat HaShas:  (lit. "division of the Six Orders of the Mishnah"); apportioning the tractates of the Talmud for yearly study 
Cham:  Son of Noah, survived the Flood together with his family by entering the Ark. Was cursed for his behavior during his father's drunken episode. Progenitor of Canaan.  [8 related articles] Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Cham
Chametz:  Leavened products derived from wheat, barley, oat, spelt or rye. Chametz is forbidden throughout the holiday of Passover.  [173 related articles]
Chamin:  Casserole-like dish prepared before the start of Shabbat and kept warm, usually for Shabbat lunch, developed to avoid the prohibitions against cooking on Shabbat  [14 related articles] Shabbat Foods » Chamin
Chananiah:  (a) (c, 400 BCE) Exiled to Babylon together with Daniel, Mishael, and Azariah, where they were trained to be chamberlains in the royal court. Despite the personal risk involved, they refused to eat the royal non-kosher cuisine. They were later appointed to government positions. They were thrown into a furnace after refusing to bow to an idol erected by Nebuchadnezzar. Miraculously, they emerged unscathed, as described in the Book of Daniel. (b) A common Jewish name.  [1 related article]
Chananiah ben Akashia:  A Mishnaic sage.  [1 related article]
Chananiah ben Teradion:  (2nd century CE) Mishnaic sage, father of Rabbi Meir’s wife Beruriah. He directed a Torah academy in Siknin, and was renowned for his scrupulously honest administration of charity funds. He was one of the Ten Martyrs, wrapped in a Torah Scroll and burned alive by the Roman for publicly teaching Torah.  [4 related articles]
Chanina ben Dosa:  (1st century BCE) Mishnaic sage, resident of the Galilee, pupil of Johanan ben Zakkai, and renowned miracle worker. Known for his great piety. Suffered great poverty.  [8 related articles]
Chanoch:  (a) (3138-2773 BCE) Son of Jared. A righteous man who “walked with G-d.” He ascended to heaven alive. (b) Son of Cain[4 related articles] Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Chanoch
Chanukah (Hanukkah):  (lit. “rededication”); eight-day festival beginning on 25 Kislev, celebrating the Maccabees’ recapture of the second Temple from the Syrian Greeks, and its rededication, marked by the kindling of lights on a menorah or chanukiah  [1338 related articles]
Chanukah Gelt:  (Heb. Yiddish, lit. "Chanukah money"); Money gifts given on Chanukah  [24 related articles]
Chanukah Menorah:  The eight-branched menorah (candelabra) kindled on Chanukah commemorating the miracle of Chanukah.  [195 related articles]
Chanukat Habayit:  (lit. “dedication of the house”); housewarming  [5 related articles]
Charan:  Former residence of Abraham’s family; where Jacob met and married his wives and lived for 20 years.  [3 related articles] Biblical Locations » Charan
Charoset:  (from the Hebrew "cheres-clay"); a paste similar to clay reminiscent of the clay the Jews used while enslaved in Egypt, made of apples, nuts and wine, into which the maror is dipped at the Passover seder  [8 related articles] Seder Plate, The » Charoset
Chassid, The:  (lit. "pious"); (a) one who goes beyond the letter of the law (b) a member of the chassidic community; one who follows the ways of Chassidism and studies its teachings (c) an adherent and follower of a chassidic Rebbe  [32 related articles]
Chassidism:  (a) The movement within Judaism founded by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), stressing service of G-d through the mystical in addition to the legalistic dimension of Judaism, the power of joy, love of G-d and one's fellow, emotional involvement in prayer, finding G-dliness in every aspect of one's existence, and the elevation of the material universe; (b) the teachings and philosophy of this movement; see also Chabad  [2001 related articles]
Chatam Sofer:  (1762-1839) Rabbi Moshe Schreiber (also known as Moshe Sofer), an oft-quoted halachist and Torah commentator most commonly known by his main work, Chatam Sofer, "Seal of the Scribe." The Chatam Sofer served as rabbi of Bratislava (Pressburg), Hungary, where he maintained a strong Orthodox Jewish community, established an influential yeshiva, and uncompromisingly opposed the Reform movement then sweeping the region.  [6 related articles]
Chatan Bereishit:  The aliyah -- read on Simchat Torah -- that begins the annual cycle of Torah readings anew. The individual honored with this special aliyah is known as Chatan Bereishit (the "Genesis Groom").  [1 related article]
Chatan Torah:  The aliyah -- read on Simchat Torah -- that concludes the annual cycle of Torah reading. The individual honored with this special aliyah is known as Chatan Torah (the "Torah Groom").  [1 related article]
Chatan Torah & Chatan Bereishit:  The two aliyot -- read on Simchat Torah -- that conclude the annual cycle of Torah readings and begin it anew. The individuals honored with these two special aliyot are known as Chatan Torah (the "Torah Groom") and Chatan Bereishit (the "Genesis Groom").  [1 related article]
Chattan:  bridegroom  [2 related articles]
Chatzi Kaddish:  half kaddish  [1 related article]
Chatzot:  (a) midnight; (b) the Tikkun Chatzot prayer recited at midnight, lamenting the destruction of the Temple; (c) midday. 
Chatzot::  Midday; the halfway point between sunrise and sunset. Half-day fasts end at this time. 
Chava:  First woman, mother of all mankind. Formed from her husband Adam's rib. Seduced by the Serpent to eat from the Tree of Knowledge[34 related articles] Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Chava
Chavah:  First woman, mother of all mankind. Formed from her husband Adam's rib. Seduced by the Serpent to eat from the Tree of Knowledge[34 related articles] Five Books of Moses (Biblical Personalities) » Chavah
Chayah:  (lit. "living"); the fourth (in ascending order) of the five levels of the soul 
Chazakah:  (a) An act of property acquisition. (b) The halachic status of permanence that is established when an event repeats itself three times. (c) An entity’s assumptive state based on its nature or personal track record.  [3 related articles]
Chazan:  (lit. "cantor"); one who leads the congregation in prayer  [5 related articles]
Chazarah:  (lit. “repetition”); in the chassidic context, the oral repetition of a memorized discourse 
Chazarah:  (lit. “returning”);The rabbinic prohibition to return a pot to the fire on Shabbat (unless five specific conditions are met).  [3 related articles] Prohibition of Cooking on Shabbat » Chazarah
Chazarat Hashatz:  Repetition of the Amidah  [1 related article]
Chazeret:  (lit. "bitter vegetable"); the vegetable used for maror (bitter herbs) at the Passover seder  Seder Plate, The » Chazeret
Cheder:  (lit. "room"); Torah school for young children  [4 related articles] Yeshivah » Cheder
Cheftza:  (lit. "object") Prohibitions or obligations may define the status of the "cheftza," the object or act in question, in contrast to those which mandate the behavior of the "gavra," the person.  [4 related articles]
Cheftza:  (Aramaic, lit. “entity”): a term used to imply that the relevant halachic obligations affect the object rather than the person involved (gavra)  Gavra and Cheftza ("Person" and "Object") » Cheftza
Cheirem:  (lit. "excommunication or dedication"); a ban of excommunication issued by the rabbinical authorities against an individual or group  [1 related article]
Chesed (Benevolence; Love):  (lit. "kindness or grace"); used to refer to the Divine attribute (sefira) which parallels the abovementioned human qualities and thus is associated with the dispersion of G-dly light and energy to lower levels of existence.  [47 related articles]
Cheshbon HaNefesh:  (lit. “an account of the soul”); a process of stocktaking and introspection with regard to one’s Divine service  [16 related articles]
Cheshvan, Month of:  Hebrew month corresponding to October-November; also called MarCheshvan  [19 related articles]
Chet:  the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, prounounced as a guttural "ch," with a numerical value of 8  [8 related articles] Language » Chet
Chevlei Moshiach:    [4 related articles]
Chevra Kadisha:  (Aramaic, lit. “the holy society”): the society that attends to the ritual cleansing (taharah) and burial of the deceased and oversees the management of the community cemetery  [7 related articles] Taharah (Preparation for Burial) » Chevra Kadisha
Chibut HaKever:  (lit. "purgatory of the grave"); a punishment for certain sins 
Chidah:  Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai (the "Chida") 5484-5566 (1724-1806 CE), prolific author of Talmudic and kabbalistic works, including the famous Shem haGedolim, a comprehensive guide to Torah ligature.  [3 related articles]
Chilul HaShem:  (lit. “profaning the Name [of G-d]”); an act that brings discredit or reflects badly on the Torah, Torah scholars, the Jewish religion, or the Jewish people  [5 related articles]
Chinuch:    [554 related articles]
Chinuch, The Mitzvah of:  The obligation to teach one's child Torah and mitzvah observance.  [4 related articles]
Chitat:  a daily study regimen instituted by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn of Lubavitch which includes a portion of Chumash (Torah), Tehillim (Psalms) and Tanya (the fundamental book of Chassidut)  [18 related articles]
Chochmah:  (lit. "wisdom; conceptual knowledge"); in Kabbalistic-Chassidic terminology, refers to the first of the ten sefirot, or divine emanations and the first of the intellectual powers of the soul  [23 related articles]
Chochmot Chitzoniot:  (lit. "external wisdom"); science, or secular knowledge in contradistinction to Torah 
chok:  A mitzvah that transcends rational reason. Plural: chukim[25 related articles]
Chol Hamoed:  (lit. “weekday during the festival”); the semi-festive intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot  [14 related articles]
Cholam:  one of the Hebrew vowel signs  [2 related articles] Language » Cholam
Cholent:  (possibly derivative of the French 'chaude-lent' hot-slow); casserole-like dish prepared before the start of Shabbat and kept warm, usually for Shabbat lunch, developed to avoid the prohibitions against cooking on Shabbat  [14 related articles] Shabbat Foods » Cholent
Chomer:  (lit. "material"); the material, as opposed to the spiritual 
Choni Hameagel:  Mishnaic sage, lived through the Second Temple’s destruction. Known for his efficacious prayers. He is known as Honi the “Circle Maker” because he once ended a severe drought by drawing a circle in the earth and telling G-d that he would not leave the circle until it would rain.  [4 related articles]
Choshen (the breastplate):  the breastplate worn by the High Priest containing twelve precious stones inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel  [11 related articles] Priestly Garments (Bigdei Kehunah) » Choshen (the breastplate)
Choshen Mishpat:  (lit. “the breastplate of judgment”); the fourth section of the legal codes, the Tur and Shulchan Aruch, dealing with laws of judicial procedure, monetary affairs, real and personal property, property damages and personal injuries, etc.  [2 related articles]
Chronicles, the Book of:  The (two-part) final book of Tanach, authored by Ezra, chronicling the events from Creation until the return of the Babylonian exiles to the Land of Israel[2 related articles]
Chukim:  "Decrees." These are the mitzvot that transcend rational reason, unlike both mishpatim and edot. The quintessential chok (singular for chukim) is the mitzvah of the red heifer[25 related articles]
Chuldah:  A prophetess, descendant of Joshua and Rahab, contemporary of Zephaniah and Jeremiah. She was approached for guidance when Hilkiah the High Priest found a Torah scroll in the Holy Temple in 458 BCE.  [5 related articles]
Chumash:  The Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses.  [8 related articles]
Chupah:  (lit. "canopy"); (a) the canopy under which a wedding ceremony is solemnized; (b) the wedding ceremony  [73 related articles]
Chutzpah:  Insolence.  [9 related articles]
Cities of Refuge (Arei Miklat):  In biblical times, six cities in the Land of Israel were designated as "cities of refuge." A person who accidentally killed someone found safe haven there from avenging relatives.  [24 related articles]
Code of Jewish Law:  The "Shulchan Aruch", compiled by R. Joseph Karo (1488-1575 C. E.)  [17 related articles]
Copy Right:    [2 related articles]
Cosmetics:    [1 related article]
Counting of the Omer:  The formal counting of the 49 days from the second day of Passover to the eve of Shavuot, signifying our preparation for the receiving of the Torah on the holiday of Shavuot.  [82 related articles]
Creation, The World of:  (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]

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