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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

Sages, the:  refers to the great body of teachers who taught and expounded the traditional laws and traditions of Israel from the time of Ezra to the completion of the Talmudic/Midrashic literature (approx. 450 BCE-500 CE) 
Salome Alexandra:  (d. 65 BCE) Hasmonean queen, sister of Simeon ben Shetach. After the death of her husband Aristobulus I, she freed his brother, Alexander Jannaeus from prison, and married him shortly thereafter, in accordance with the laws of yibbum. After her second husband's death, she ruled for nine years, during which the Jews prospered both politically and spiritually.  [5 related articles] People » Salome Alexandra
Samach:  the fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, prounounced "s," with a numerical value of 60  [4 related articles]
Samson:  (a) The seventh of the Judges, he judged the Israelites for twenty years (951-931 BCE). A nazirite from birth and of legendary strength, he single-handedly terrorized the occupying Philistines, once killing one thousand of them with a donkey’s jawbone. Samson’s Philistine wife, Delilah, persuaded him to reveal to her the source of his great strength—his never-cut hair. She revealed the secret to the Philistines, who cut his hair and incarcerated him. At a pagan festival, Samson knocked down the pillars supporting the building, killing himself and thousands of Philistines. (b) A common Jewish name.  [16 related articles]
Samuel:   (931-877 BCE) Son of Hannah and Elkanah, a nazirite from birth, a disciple of Eli the last of the Judges, he would travel throughout Israel to teach and judge the people. Anointed Saul and David, the first two Israelite monarchs.  [24 related articles] Biblical Personalities » People » Samuel
Samuel:  A common Jewish name. 
Samuel bar Abba:  (d. 257) Talmudic sage, resident of Nahrdea, Babylonia, a contemporary of Rav. In his youth, Samuel studied in Tiberias, Israel, at the Torah academy of Rabbi Judah the Prince. He later returned to his native Babylon, and became the principal of the academy in Nahardea. The Talmud records many examples of Samuel's proficiency in economics, medicine, zoology, astronomy and calendric science.  [4 related articles] People » Samuel bar Abba
Samuel bar Shilat, Rabbi:  Talmudic sage, an extremely devoted school teacher, a contemporary of Rav[2 related articles] People » Samuel bar Shilat, Rabbi
Samuel, the Book of:  The (two-part) book of Tanach relating the history of the Israelites during Samuel's lifetime and during the reigns of Saul and David (931-c. 837 BCE).  [2 related articles] Tanach » Samuel, the Book of
Sanctification of the Moon:  (lit. “sanctification of the moon”) prayer service recited in the first half of each month blessing the new moon  [14 related articles]
Sandek:  The one who holds the boy while the circumcision is performed. This is the highest honor at a Brit[3 related articles] Life Cycles » Sandek
Sanhedrin:  the central rabbinical supreme court of ancient Israel, composed of 71 sages, which emerged as an especially crucial source of leadership following the destruction of the Second Temple; also, the tractate of the Talmud of that name  [11 related articles] Self & Fellow » Sanhedrin
Sar Hamashkim:  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]
Sarah:  (a) (1803-1677 BCE) First of the four Matriarchs, wife of Abraham. Together with her husband, she was instrumental in converting thousands of people to monotheism. She was miraculously protected when she was abducted by the kings of Egypt and Philistine. She gave birth to Isaac at the age of ninety. She is buried in the Cave of Machpelah. (b) A common Jewish name.  [56 related articles]
Saul:  (a) (d. 877 BCE) A righteous member of the Tribe of Benjamin. Anointed by Samuel as the first Israelite king in 880 BCE. When he failed to destroy Amalek as commanded by G-d, Samuel anointed David in his stead. Overcome with jealousy, Saul pursued David until he himself was killed in battle by the Philistines. (b) A common Jewish name.  [19 related articles]
Schmaltz:  (Yiddish) chicken or goose fat used for frying or as a spread  [1 related article]
Schneur Zalman of Liadi:  1745-1812, founder and first Rebbe of the Chabad branch of chassidism, known also as the "Alter Rebbe," “the Rav,” and as Baal HaTanya; 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] Chassidic Personalities » People » Schneur Zalman of Liadi
Scroll of Esther, The:  The book of Tanach describing Haman's plot to annihilate the Jews, Mordecai and Esther's successful foiling thereof, and the institution of the holiday of Purim. It is read every year on Purim.  [46 related articles] Tanach » Scroll of Esther, The
Seah:  a liquid measure of the Talmudic period; 40 seah equals 87.59 gallons or 331.78 liter in modern measure according to Shiurei Torah by Rav Chayim Naeh 
Sechach:  the vegetative covering of a sukkah  [4 related articles] Sukkot » Sechach
Second Day of Yom Tov:  The additional day appended to biblical holidays and festivals in the diaspora. See Why are holidays celebrated an extra day in the Diaspora?  [8 related articles]
Sedarim:  (lit. “order”); the order of service observed at home on the first night (first two nights in the Diaspora) of Passover. Plural: Sedarim.  [565 related articles]
Sedarim of the Mishnah:  The Mishnah is divided into six general sections, called sedarim (“orders”). 
Seder Hishtalshelut:  (Chassidic term; lit. "order of evolution"); the chainlike progression of spiritual worlds; the spiritual cosmos 
Seder Plate, The:  the plate of symbolic foods used at the Passover seder  [37 related articles] Passover » Seder Plate, The
Seder, the:  (lit. “order”); the order of service observed at home on the first night (first two nights in the Diaspora) of Passover. Plural: Sedarim.  [565 related articles]
Sedra:  The weekly Torah portion.  [3563 related articles]
Sefarim:  [Sacred] books.  [1087 related articles]
Sefer Avodah:  (lit. "the “Book of Divine Service”); the eighth of the fourteen books of the Mishneh Torah which focuses on the service in the Beit HaMikdash 
Sefer HaMefoar:  (lit. “Book of the Magnificent”); book on mussar by R. Yehudah Kolatz (15th century) 
Sefer HaMitzvot:  (lit. "book of the commandments"); text authored by the Rambam for the purpose of defining the 613 mitzvot  [16 related articles] Torah Books » Sefer HaMitzvot
Sefer HaPardes:  (lit. “book of the orchard”); principal written work on Kabbalah by Ramak  [1 related article] Torah Books » Sefer HaPardes
Sefer Torah:  Torah scroll.  [115 related articles]
Sefirah:  (a) One of the Divine attributes or emanations which are manifested in each of the Four Worlds, and are the source of the corresponding ten faculties (kochot) of the soul; (b) (lit. "count") A reference to the Counting of the Omer.  [322 related articles]
Sefirat HaOmer:  (lit. "counting of the measure"); 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.  [72 related articles]
Sefirot, The (seven, ten):  Divine attributes or emanations which are manifested in each of the Four Worlds, and are the source of the corresponding ten faculties (kochot) of the soul  [322 related articles]
Segol:  one of the Hebrew vowel signs  [1 related article]
Selichot:  (a) penitential prayers read before dawn during the week preceding Rosh Hashanah; (b) the days during which these prayers are recited; (c) special prayers recited on fast days and Yom Kippur Katan  [27 related articles]
Semichah:  Rabbinic ordination.  [17 related articles]
Sennacherib:  (d. 548 BCE) King of Assyria, he conquered all the areas surrounding Judea. He then threatened to conquer Judea and asked for its surrender—while blaspheming G-d. King Hezekiah prayed for deliverance, and that night all the Assyrian soldiers – hundreds of thousands of them – were killed by an angel of G-d. Defeated and shamed, Sennacherib returned to his capital Nineveh where he was slain by his own sons.  [4 related articles]
Sephardi:  Sephardi: Jews of South European or North African origin; pertaining to such Jews.  [8 related articles]
Serah:  Daughter of Asher. According to the Midrash, she softly delivered the news to her grandfather Jacob that Joseph was still alive. Playing a song on her harp, she gradually mixed in the words "Joseph is alive..." Jacob greatly appreciated this and blessed her with longevity.  [3 related articles]
Seraph:  (lit. “burning one”) a category of the ministering angels, given this name because they are characterized by a love for G-d which consumes like fire seraphim, groups of angels 
Seresh:  A chamberlain in King Ahasuerus's court. Together with his colleague Bigthan, 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]
Seth:  Third son of Adam and Eve. He was Noah’s ancestor, and thus the antecedent of all mankind that survived the Flood [3 related articles]
Seudah:  meal, especially a festive one 
Seudah HaMafseket:  last meal eaten before a fast 
Seudah Shelishit:  (lit. "the third meal"); the third of Shabbat's required three meals, held right before sunset, during the mystic time of Shabbat's waning  [7 related articles] Shabbat » Seudah Shelishit
Seudat Mitzvah:  (lit. "meal of commandment"); festive meal held in celebration of a religious obligation 
Seventy Elders:  Appointed by Moses, at G-d’s behest, to assist him in leading the Israelites. Moses conferred upon them from the divine spirit that he was blessed with.  [5 related articles]
Sha!:  (Yiddish) “Silence!” 
Shaagas Aryeh:  The famed Gaon, Rabbi Aryeh Leib son of Asher, better known as the Shaagas Aryeh, after his outstanding Talmudic work by that title (meaning The Roar of a Lion), was head of the Yeshiva in Minsk (Russia), and later served as rabbi in Metz until his passing in 1785.  [2 related articles] People » Shaagas Aryeh
Shaah Zmanit:  halachic hour, one-twelfth of the period from the beginning of the day (sunrise) until its conclusion (sunset)  Day, The » Shaah Zmanit
Shaarei Orah:  (lit. “Gates of Illumination”); Chassidic essays by the Mitteler Rebbe on the festivals of Chanukah and Purim  Torah Books » Shaarei Orah
Shabbat:  (lit. "rest", "cessation [of work]"); the Sabbath, the divinely-ordained day of rest on the seventh day of the week.  [964 related articles]
Shabbat Bereishit:  the Shabbat following Simchat Torah, at which the first portion of the Torah, Genesis, is read begninning a new year of the weekly Torah reading cycle  [7 related articles]
Shabbat Chazon:  (lit. "Sabbath of Vision"); the Shabbat before Tishah BeAv, so called because of the passage “Chazon” (Isaiah 1:1) read for the Haftorah  [33 related articles] Three Weeks, The » Shabbat Chazon
Shabbat HaGadol:  (lit. “the Great Sabbath”); the Shabbat preceding Passover  [26 related articles]
Shabbat Kallah:  On the Shabbat before a wedding, it is customary for a bride to enjoy an elegant social gathering with her female friends and relatives.  [2 related articles] Relationships » Self & Fellow » Shabbat Kallah
Shabbat Mevarchim:  (lit. "Sabbath of Blessing"); the Shabbat on which the forthcoming new month is blessed  [9 related articles]
Shabbat Nachamu:  (lit. "Sabbath of Consolation"); the Shabbat following the fast of Tishah B'Av, so called because of the passage “Nachamu” (Yeshayahu 40:1) read for the Haftorah  [16 related articles]
Shabbat Selichot:  The Shabbat preceding the week of Rosh Hashanah, the day before the recitation of Selichot begins. 
Shabbat Shirah:  (lit. "Sabbath of Song"); the Shabbat on which one reads Parshat Beshalach, which includes the Shirah, the Song of the Sea (Shmot 15:1-19) 
Shabbat Shuvah:  (lit. “the Sabbath of Repentance”); the Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur; also known as Shabbat Shuvah (from the first word of the Haftorah read on that day, beginning Hoshea 14:2)  [17 related articles]
Shabbosdik:  (Yiddish) appropriate for or in the spirit of Shabbat.  [1 related article]
Shacharit (morning prayer):  (lit. "the dawning"); the morning prayer service  [55 related articles] Prayer » Shacharit (morning prayer)
Shadchonus:  (Yid.-Heb.) marriage broker’s fee 
Shaliach:  (lit. "emissary"); commonly denoting emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe involved in Jewish outreach work  [22 related articles]
Shalom Aleichem:  (lit. “Peace upon you”); (a) a common greeting; (b) hymn of welcome to the ministering angels who visit every Jewish home on Friday eve  [10 related articles] Shabbat » Shalom Aleichem
Shalomtzion:  (d. 65 BCE) Hasmonean queen, sister of Simeon ben Shetach. After the death of her husband Aristobulus I, she freed his brother, Alexander Jannaeus from prison, and married him shortly thereafter, in accordance with the laws of yibbum. After her second husband's death, she ruled for nine years, during which the Jews prospered both politically and spiritually.  [5 related articles] People » Shalomtzion
Shalosh Seudot:  (lit. "the third meal"); the third of Shabbat's required three meals, held right before sunset, during the mystic time of Shabbat's waning  [7 related articles] Shabbat » Shalosh Seudot
Shamash:  (lit. "Attendant") The synagogue beadle. In charge of managing the synagogue's daily operations.  Prayer » Shamash
Shamash, The:  The candle from which the Chanukah lamps are lit.  [3 related articles] Chanukah (Hanukkah) » Shamash, The
Shamgar ben Anath:  (d. 1107 BCE) Third of the Judges, ruled together with Ehud during the last years of the latter’s leadership. When the Philistines oppressed the Israelites living in the southwest region of Israel, Shamgar came to the rescue, killing 600 Philistines with a cattle prod.  [1 related article]
Shamir:  wormlike creature that was miraculously able to chew through stone and which was used in the construction of the first Beit HaMikdash. 
Shammai:  (1st century BCE) Mishnaic sage, student of Shemaiah and Abtalion, served as the head of the Sanhedrin under Hillel. Known for his quick temper and strict interpretation of the Torah. His Torah academy was known as the “House of Shammai.”  [5 related articles] People » Shammai
Shammai & Hillel, Houses of :  The Torah academies founded by Hillel and Shammai were known as the “Houses of Hillel and Shammai.” The Mishnah records 316 disagreements between the schools, with the House of Hillel generally taking 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.  [28 related articles] People » Shammai & Hillel, Houses of
Shammes:  (Yid. pronunciation of “shamash”; lit., “assistant”); (a) the custodian of a synagogue; (b) the personal assistant of a rabbi or other communal official 
Shankbone:  the shankbone used on the Passover seder plate; represents the Paschal sacrifice  [4 related articles]
Shas:  (Acronym of Shisha Sidrei Mishnah lit., “the Six Orders of the Mishnah”); the Talmud in its entirety.  [691 related articles]
Shatnez (Prohibition against mixing wool and linen in garments):  a mixture of wool and linen forbidden by the Torah  [18 related articles]
Shavuot:  (lit. “weeks”) The one-day holiday (two in the Diaspora) commemorating the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This late-spring holiday commences on the fiftieth day (the morrow of seven “weeks”) following the second day of Passover[297 related articles]
Shechem (son of Chamor):  Son of Hamor, the governor of the city of Shechem. Kidnapped and violated Dinah the daughter of Jacob. Dinah’s brothers Simeon and Levi avenged this deed, destroying the city of Shechem and killing all its adult male inhabitants.  [3 related articles]
Shechem (the city):  City in northern Israel. There Dinah was abducted, and it is the location of Joseph's Tomb.  [3 related articles] Countries, Lands & Geographical Locations » Shechem (the city)
Shechinah ("feminine aspect" of the Divine):  The manifestation of the divine presence in this world; G-d's feminine manifestation.  [26 related articles]
Shechitah (Ritual Slaughtering):  ritual slaughtering  [30 related articles] Halacha (Torah law) » Shechitah (Ritual Slaughtering)
SheHakol:  blessing (“by whose word all things come to be”) recited over various foods  [2 related articles]
Shehecheyanu:  blessing (“who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season”) recited at the advent of festivals, at a fortuitous occasion, when eating new fruit, wearing new clothing, or performing a mitzvah for the first time that season.  [10 related articles]
Shehiya:  (lit. “leaving”);The rabbinic prohibition to leave a pot on the fire for Shabbat (unless specific criteria being met).  [2 related articles]
Sheiltot:  (a) expositions on the Torah written in question and answer format by the Gaonim in the period after the compostion of the Talmud; (b) refers also to the most widely studied of these, the Sheiltot of Rav Achai Gaon  Torah Books » Sheiltot
Shekel:  a silver coin of the Biblical era; the standard monetary unit of the State of Israel 
Shelah:  acronym for Shnei Luchot HaBrit, a major halachic, ethical and mystical work by Rabbi Yeshayahu Horowitz (c. 1565-1630); also used to refer to the author himself  [1 related article] Torah Books » Shelah
Sheliach Tzibbur:  (lit. "emissary of the congregation"); one who leads the congregation in prayer  [4 related articles]
Shem:  (2203-1603 BCE) Son of Noah, survived the Flood together with his family by entering the Ark. Progenitor of Abraham. He headed a Torah-study house together with his great-grandson Eber[9 related articles]
Shema, The:  (lit. "hear"); the daily declaration of faith, recited in the morning and evening prayers and before retiring for the night  [127 related articles]
Shemini Atzeret:  (lit."eighth assembly"); the eighth day of the Sukkot festival, a holiday in its own right, celebrated with great joy  [9 related articles]
Shemittah (Sabbatical Year):  the seventh year in the seven-year agricultural cycle, when the land is left to lie fallow  [46 related articles] Year, The » Shemittah (Sabbatical Year)
Shemone Esrei:  (lit. "Eighteen Benedictions"); also referred to as the Amidah ("standing"); the main section of the daily prayers, recited standing  [48 related articles]
Shemot:  The second of the Five Books of Moses, relates the story of the Israelites' slavery in Egypt, their Exodus, the Giving of the Torah, the sin of the Golden Calf, and the construction of the Tabernacle[749 related articles]
Shemot:  (lit. “names”); the Book of Exodus  [75 related articles] Parshah (Weekly Torah Reading) » Shemot
Shesh Zechirot:  verses recited daily at the close of the morning prayers in fulfillment of the Scriptural commandment to remember the subjects of which they speak  [3 related articles]
Sheva Brachot:  (lit. "seven blessings"); (a) the seven blessings recited under the wedding canopy; (b) the week of festivities following the wedding, during which the blessings are repeated  [14 related articles] Relationships » Self & Fellow » Sheva Brachot
Sheva Mitzvos B'nei Noach:  "Seven Noahide laws." Seven universal laws -- a morality code -- which form the basis of civilization. All descendents of Noah, i.e. all of humanity, are required to follow these laws.  [66 related articles]
Shevarim:  the three Shofar blasts of intermediate length  [1 related article]
Shevat 10:  (a) anniversary of the passing of the sixth Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1950); (b) the day his successor, the seventh Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, accepted his position as Rebbe (1951)  [67 related articles]
Shevat 22:  the 22nd day of Shevat is the anniversary of passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of righteous memory  [8 related articles]
Shevat, Month of:  Hebrew month corresponding to January-February  [10 related articles]
Shichachah:  the obligation to abandon produce which one forgot to reap so that the poor may harvest it 
Shidduch:  a match, especially for marriage  [3 related articles]
Shikchah:  The biblical mitzvah obligating a person to leave for the poor sheaves of grain that he had forgotten to harvest.  [9 related articles]
Shimon ben Chalafta:  (2nd century CE) One of the last Mishnaic sages, pupil of Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Judah the Prince, a colleague of Rabbi Hiyya. The Talmud records many stories demonstrating his proficiency in botany and veterinary science.  [2 related articles] People » Shimon ben Chalafta
Shimon ben Halafta:  (2nd century CE) One of the last Mishnaic sages, pupil of Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Judah the Prince, a colleague of Rabbi Hiyya. The Talmud records many stories demonstrating his proficiency in botany and veterinary science.  [2 related articles] People » Shimon ben Halafta
Shimon ben Shetach:  (1st century BCE) During John Hyrcanus' persecution of the Pharisees, he was hidden by his sister Salome Alexandra. Later, during Alexander Jannaeus's reign, he became the head of the Sanhedrin, and succeeded in ousting the Sadducees from the Sanhedrin. Together with his colleague, the high priest Joshua ben Gamla, he instituted a public educational system so that all children could learn Torah[3 related articles] People » Shimon ben Shetach
Shimon Hatzaddik:  From the last members of the Great Assembly, served as high priest and head of the Sanhedrin for 40 years. In 313 BCE, when the Samaritans tried to have the Holy Temple destroyed, Simeon met with Alexander the Great who agreed to leave the Temple standing, foiling the Samaritans' plot.  [7 related articles] People » Shimon Hatzaddik
Shimshon:  (a) The seventh of the Judges, he judged the Israelites for twenty years (951-931 BCE). A nazirite from birth and of legendary strength, he single-handedly terrorized the occupying Philistines, once killing one thousand of them with a donkey’s jawbone. Samson’s Philistine wife, Delilah, persuaded him to reveal to her the source of his great strength—his never-cut hair. She revealed the secret to the Philistines, who cut his hair and incarcerated him. At a pagan festival, Samson knocked down the pillars supporting the building, killing himself and thousands of Philistines. (b) A common Jewish name.  [16 related articles]
Shimusha Rabba:  the halachic text by Rav Sar-Shalom; title is also use to refer to the author himself  Torah Books » Shimusha Rabba
Shin:  the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, prounounced "sh" (if the dot is on the right, or "s" if the dot is on the left, and the letter is then called "sin"), with a numerical value of 300  [7 related articles]
Shir HaMaalot:  (lit. “Song of Ascents”); Psalms 120-134, which begin with that phrase 
Shir Hama'alot:    [2 related articles]
Shir Shel Yom:  (lit. “the Song of the Day”); the particular Psalm originally sung with instrumental accompaniment on the steps of the Beit HaMikdash and now recited towards the end of the morning prayers 
Shirah:  song 
Shiur:  study session; class; lesson, Torah lesson 
Shiva:  (lit. seven) The seven day mourning period following the funeral of a deceased next of kin.  [37 related articles] Psychology & Behavior » Shiva
Shlimazel:  (Yiddish) a luckless bungler 
Shlita:  an acronym for the Hebrew words meaning, “May he live a long and good life” 
Shlomo:  (a) (849-797 BCE) Son of David and Bathsheba, appointed king over Israel at the age of twelve. Built the first Holy Temple in Jerusalem. During his reign, the Israelites enjoyed unprecedented peace and prosperity; they were feared and respected by the neighboring nations. The wisest man of all times, his superlative wisdom is recorded in the books of Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. (b) A common Jewish name.  [37 related articles]
Shlosh Esreh Middot ShehaTorah Nidreshet Bahem:  "The Thirteen Principles of Torah Exegesis"; G-d gave the Written Torah to Moses, along with instructions on how one is to study and explain it, extracting nuance and hidden meaning from the simple text. These thirteen principles were codified by Rabbi Ishmael and recorded in the Sifra, and are incorporated into the prayer book to be read on a daily basis.  [1 related article]
Shloshet Yemei Hagbalah:  the “three days of separation” in preparation for the Giving of the Torah at Sinai  Biblical Events » History » Shloshet Yemei Hagbalah
Shloshim:  (lit. thirty) The thirty-day mourning period following the funeral of a deceased next of kin.  [9 related articles] Psychology & Behavior » Shloshim
Shluchah:  (fem. form of "emissary"); commonly denoting female emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe involved in Jewish outreach work.  [22 related articles]
Shluchim:  (lit. "emissaries"); commonly denoting emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe involved in Jewish outreach work  [22 related articles]
Shmuel:   (931-877 BCE) Son of Hannah and Elkanah, a nazirite from birth, a disciple of Eli the last of the Judges, he would travel throughout Israel to teach and judge the people. Anointed Saul and David, the first two Israelite monarchs.  [24 related articles] Biblical Personalities » People » Shmuel
Shmuel Munkes:  one of the leading Chassidim of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi; known for his wit and “Chassidic pranks”  [3 related articles] Chassidic Personalities » People » Shmuel Munkes
Shmurah Matzah:  (lit. “matzah that has been watched”); matzah prepared under exacting supervision from the time the wheat is harvested through the end of the baking to guard against the minutest moisture  [34 related articles]
Shochet:  (lit. "ritual slaughterer"); One who slaughters and inspects cattle and fowl in the ritually-prescribed manner, for kosher consumption.  [7 related articles]
Shofar:  Ram’s horn sounded during the month of Elul, on Rosh HaShanah and at the close of Yom Kippur; reminiscent of the ram “tangled in the bush by its horns” during the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22), the shofar sounded at Sinai (Exodus 19) and the shofar of Moshiach (Isaiah 27:13, etc.)  [113 related articles]
Shofrot:  (a) plural for shofar (ram's horn); (b) a blessing consisting of verses reflecting the importance of sounding the shofar; one of the blessings of the Musaf service on Rosh HaShanah 
Shoftim:  (lit. "judges"); (a) Succession of Torah authorities and leaders who ruled Israel from the year 2533 from creation (1228 BCE, 17 years after the death of Joshua) to the anointing of Saul as king in 2882 (879 BCE). (b) A section of the Torah in Deuteronomy. (c) The thirteenth book of Maimonide's Mishne Torah.  [55 related articles] Parshah (Weekly Torah Reading) » Shoftim
Shoftim:  The book of Tanach relating the history of the Israelites during the time that the Judges led the Israelites (1228-931 BCE).  [6 related articles] Tanach » Shoftim
Shomer Shabbat:  Sabbath-observant 
Show Bread:  The bread offered on the sacred table in the Sanctuary each week, described in Leviticus 24:5-9.  [7 related articles]
Shtetl:  (Yiddish, lit. “village”) the Eastern European townships where many Jews lived in the previous centuries  [4 related articles]
Shtreimel:  (Yiddish) wide fur-brimmed hat worn by some Chassidim on Shabbat, festivals, and other important occasions 
Shulchan Aruch:  (lit. "set table"); standard code of Jewish law, compiled by R. Joseph Karo (1488-1575 C. E.)  [17 related articles] Torah Books » Shulchan Aruch
Shulchan Aruch HaRav:  the Code of Jewish Law compiled by the Alter Rebbe (1770)  [6 related articles] Torah Books » Shulchan Aruch HaRav
Shulchan Orech:  (lit: "set table"); the eleventh activity of the seder--eating the festive meal  [3 related articles]
Shushan Purim:  Purim as observed on the fifteenth of Adar, instead of the fourteenth, in certain cities (including Jerusalem) that were walled in ancient times  [8 related articles]
Sichah:  (lit. “a talk”); an informal Torah discourse delivered by a Rebbe 
Siddur:  (lit. "order"); traditional prayer book  [34 related articles]
Sifra:  also known as Torat Kohanim, an exegetical treatise on the Book of Leviticus written in the period of the Mishnah 
Sifri:  a treatise on the derivation of Torah law from the exegesis of the verses of Numbers and Deuteronomy, written during the time of the Mishnah by Rav 
Simchah:  (lit. “joy”); a happy occasion or Jewish life-cycle celebration, e.g., bar mitzvah  [243 related articles]
Simchat Beit Hashoeivah:  (lit. “the rejoicing of the place of the water-drawing”); celebration accompanying the water libation ceremony on Sukkot in Temple times, recalled today by Sukkot celebrations.  [23 related articles]
Simchat Torah:  (lit., "the Rejoicing of the Torah''); festival immediately following Sukkot, on which the public reading of the Torah is annually concluded and recommenced; observed with great joy, singing and the Hakafot procession with the Torah scrolls  [49 related articles]
Simchat Yom-Tov:  the joy of a festival  [2 related articles]
Simeon:  (a) (1567-1447 BCE) Second son of Jacob and Leah, second of the Twelve Tribes. He and his brother Levi destroyed the city of Shechem in retaliation for their sister Dinah’s abduction and violation. (b) A common Jewish name.  [9 related articles]
Simeon ben Gamaliel I, Rabbi:  (d. 70 CE) Mishnaic sage, Nassi of the Sanhedrin during the years immediately preceding the destruction of the Holy Temple. He died during the siege of Jerusalem, and was succeeded by Johanan ben Zakkai[3 related articles] People » Simeon ben Gamaliel I, Rabbi
Simeon ben Halafta, Rabbi:  (2nd century CE) One of the last Mishnaic sages, pupil of Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Judah the Prince, a colleague of Rabbi Hiyya. The Talmud records many stories demonstrating his proficiency in botany and veterinary science.  [2 related articles] People » Simeon ben Halafta, Rabbi
Simeon ben Shetach, Rabbi:  (1st century BCE) During John Hyrcanus' persecution of the Pharisees, he was hidden by his sister Salome Alexandra. Later, during Alexander Jannaeus's reign, he became the head of the Sanhedrin, and succeeded in ousting the Sadducees from the Sanhedrin. Together with his colleague, the high priest Joshua ben Gamla, he instituted a public educational system so that all children could learn Torah[3 related articles] People » Simeon ben Shetach, Rabbi
Simeon ben Yohai, Rabbi:  (c. 100-160 CE) Mishnaic sage and mystic, student of Rabbi Akiba. When he evoked the wrath of the Roman authorities, he, together with his son Eleazar, hid in a cave for thirteen years, where their needs were miraculously provided for. He authored the Zohar, the most fundamental kabbalistic work. The anniversary of his passing, the 18th of Iyar, known as Lag BaOmer, is celebrated every year, as per his request.  [46 related articles] People » Simeon ben Yohai, Rabbi
Simeon the Righteous:  From the last members of the Great Assembly, served as high priest and head of the Sanhedrin for 40 years. In 313 BCE, when the Samaritans tried to have the Holy Temple destroyed, Simeon met with Alexander the Great who agreed to leave the Temple standing, foiling the Samaritans' plot.  [7 related articles] People » Simeon the Righteous
Sinful Thoughts:    [38 related articles]
Sirtuk:  (Yiddish) frock coat worn on Shabbat and Yom-Tov  [1 related article]
Sisera:  Mighty army general of King Jabin of Canaan, oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Handily defeated by Deborah and Barak’s fledgling Israelite army. Following the rout, he fled on foot to the tent of Heber the Kenite, where he was killed by Heber’s courageous wife, Jael[1 related article]
Sitra Achara:  (Aramaic, lit. “the other side”); the opposite of holiness; the forces of evil  [103 related articles]
Sivan 28:  The date on which, in 1941, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and his wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah, arrived safely in America, after escaping Nazi-occupied France. Shortly after his arrival, the Rebbe began his decades-long revolutionary work to revitalize Jewish life in the Western Hemisphere.

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Sivan, Month of:  Hebrew month corresponding to May-June, month in which the festival of Shavuot is celebrated  [11 related articles]
Six Remembrances, the:  verses recited daily at the close of the morning prayers in fulfillment of the Scriptural commandment to remember the subjects of which they speak  [3 related articles]
Siyum:  (lit. "completion"); the celebration held upon completing the study of a tractate of Mishnah or Talmud.  [9 related articles]
Skullcap:  (Heb: Kippah; Yiddish: yarmulkeh) The head covering worn by Jewish men symbolizing recognition of G-d above.  [26 related articles] Halacha (Torah law) » Skullcap
Sod:  (lit. "secret"); the mystical dimension of Torah study 
Solomon, King:  (a) (849-797 BCE) Son of David and Bathsheba, appointed king over Israel at the age of twelve. Built the first Holy Temple in Jerusalem. During his reign, the Israelites enjoyed unprecedented peace and prosperity; they were feared and respected by the neighboring nations. The wisest man of all times, his superlative wisdom is recorded in the books of Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. (b) A common Jewish name.  [37 related articles]
Soloveichik, R. Chaim (of Brisk):  Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk (1853 – 1918) was a leading rabbinic authority in pre-war Europe, renowned for his brilliant Torah scholarship and credited with pioneering a revolutionary method of Talmud study. Before serving as Rabbi in Brisk, he lectured at the world-famous yeshivah in Volozhin.  [2 related articles] People » Soloveichik, R. Chaim (of Brisk)
Song at the Sea:  The song that Moses and the Israelites sang after the parting of the sea; recorded in Exodus 15 and recited during the Shacharit prayer service  [28 related articles] Biblical Events » History » Song at the Sea
Song of Songs:  A book of Tanach authored by Solomon, depicting the love between G-d and the Jewish people, employing the metaphor of the love between husband and wife. In many communities it is read on the holiday of Passover[9 related articles] Tanach » Song of Songs
Song of the Well:  The Israelites sang this song of thanksgiving for the well which had accompanied them through the desert for forty years, as described in Numbers 21.  [3 related articles]
Sotah (the "wayward wife"):  (a) A woman suspected by her husband of adultery. Despite his circumstantial evidence, she proclaims her innocence. She would submit to the test of drinking the “bitter waters.” If she had been unfaithful, both she and the adulterer would die. (b) The Talmudic tractate that discusses the laws of the Sotah.  [20 related articles] Halacha (Torah law) » Sotah (the "wayward wife")
Soul, levels of:  The five terms Scripture uses to refer to man’s soul; each denotes a different gradation of the soul — in ascending order from Nefesh to Yechidah: Nefesh is the basic life-force or natural soul in general, and specifically relates to the soul’s basic or external manifestations in terms of the faculties of thought, speech and action. Ruach (Spirit) and Neshamah (Soul, Breath) are the spiritual life-force in man, relating to the Middot and Mochin respectively. Chayah (Living), often also referred to as Neshamah leNeshamah (Soul of the Soul), is the sublime root for the lower three grades. Yechidah (Only One; Unique) is the quintessence, the Divine spark as it were, the ultimate source of the soul — compounding yet transcending the lower grades. The higher grades of the soul are latently presenting the Nefesh, in proportionally increasing concealment, but it will become ever more manifest — to the point of conscious awareness — by man’s continuous self-improvement and spiritual ascent.  [28 related articles]
Sovev Kol Almin:  (Chassidic term; lit. “encompassing all worlds”); G-d’s transcendent light which reveals His unbounded nature 
Special Needs:    [72 related articles] Life Cycles » Special Needs
Spies, The:  Twelve men--one from each tribe--were chosen to spy the Land of Canaan, to determine how best to capture it. When they returned to the Israelite camp, they discouraged the Israelites from going to Israel, saying it would be unconquerable.  [84 related articles]
Star of David:    [7 related articles]
Strasheller Chassidim:  followers of Rabbi Aharon of Strashelle, a disciple of R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi and a colleague and rival of his son R. Dovber of Lubavitch 
Succot:  (lit. “booths”); festival of seven days (eight in the Diaspora) beginning on 15 Tishrei, taking its name from the temporary dwelling (sukkah) in which one lives during this period; this festival is marked for its special joy (“zeman simchateinu”—“time of our rejoicing”) and by the mitzvah of the four species  [353 related articles]
Sufganiot:  Fried donuts, traditionally served on Chanukah.  [7 related articles]
Sukkah:  A hut or booth roofed with vegetation in which the autumn festival of Sukkot is observed.  [102 related articles]
Sukkot:  (lit. “booths”); festival of seven days (eight in the Diaspora) beginning on 15 Tishrei, taking its name from the temporary dwelling (sukkah) in which one lives during this period; this festival is marked for its special joy (“zeman simchateinu”—“time of our rejoicing”) and by the mitzvah of the four species  [353 related articles]
Sunrise:  Sunrise. The calculation of shaot zmaniot begins now according to many opinions (including the Alter Rebbe in his Siddur), and all the Halachic times provided by Chabad.org reflect this view. Those who wish to pray vatikin, start the recitation of the amidah at this time.  Day, The » Sunrise
Sunset:  

Sunset. The latest time for minchah, the afternoon prayer, and all mitzvot associated with daytime hours. B'dieved (if one missed this time) one may still recite minchah, and do all "daytime mitzvot" until Tzeit Hakochavim (although the blessing on the mitzvah would be omitted if done after Shkiah).

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.

  [2 related articles] Day, The » Sunset

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