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Glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish Terms

Barech aleinu - “Bless on our behalf,” a prayer for goodness and prosperity within the shemonah esrei

Boruch Hashem - Thank God

Brachos - blessings

Bris - short for bris milah, the religious circumcision and naming ceremony that takes place on the 8th day following a boy’s birth

Davening - praying, or prayer session (yiddish)

Geshmak - literally delicious, used to express enjoyment or happiness (yiddish)

Hashem - literally, “the Name,” this is a way of referring to God in a casual manner without violation the biblical prohibition of taking God’s name in vain

Mishpacha - family

Nachas - a mixture of pride and pleasure, particular relating to one’s offspring

Neshamos - souls

Oseh shalom - “Make peace,” a request made at the end of the shemonah esrei

Retzuos - black leather straps that attach to the tefillin boxes and are wound around the head, arm, and hand

Shabbos - the Sabbath, which starts before sundown on Friday and ends roughly an hour after sundown Saturday night

Sefer Torah - Torah scroll

Shemonah esrei - literally, “eighteen,” this prayer was originally composed of 18 blessings and is said silently and standing. It is the central prayer in any Jewish prayer servi

Tallis - prayer shawl

Tatty - Daddy (yiddish)

Torah - The central reference of Judaism. Encompasses the 5 books of Moses, usually also the rest of the Jewish Scriptures well as the Talmud and various rabbinic commentaries.

Tzadik/tzadeikes - a righteous person (m/f)

Vort - literally, “word.” An engagement party. It references the words of Torah that are spoke