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Aggadah
Everything in the Talmudic literature that is not of a legal nature.


Amidah
Main prayer in each Jewish service consisting of 19 blessings. Also referred to as the Shemonah Esrei.


Avodah
Service (of G-d), currently applied to prayer, previously referring to sacrificial offerings in the temple.


Bencher
Booklet containing the Grace After Meals.


Chasidus
Mystical teachings of the Torah presented in a manner that is understandable.


Chumash
5 Books of Moses, name comes from the Hebrew root word, meaning five.


Gemara
Explanations on the mishna; written in Aramaic.


Haftorah
Readings from the Prophets, corresponding to the Torah section. Read in the synagogue on the Sabbath.


Halacha
Jewish Law


Hashem
The Name used when referring to G-d in a mundane manner.


Hasidism
Teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, taught by his disciples, focusing on love of one's fellow, from which one can aspire to love the Creator.


Havdalah
Separation - ceremony following the end of Sabbath separating the holy from the weekday.


Kabbalah
Mystical teachings that deal with the ideas of creation and concepts of a spiritual nature.


Kaddish
Prayers of sanctification that separate portions of the prayer service. Can include, Reader's Kaddish, Half-Kaddish, Rabbi's Kaddish, and Mourner's Kaddish.


Kashruth
Dietary Laws.


Kesubim
Section of the written Torah including Megillot, Psalms, and Chronicles.


Ketubah
Wedding contract.


Litzur Shulchan Aruch
A user friendly, condensed version of the wealth of Jewish legal literature.


Maariv
Evening prayers established by our forefather Jacob.


Maftir
The last section of the Torah reading in the synagogue each Sabbath.


Midrash
Explains biblical text from the ethical and devotional point of view.


Mezuzah
Small parchment scroll of Torah verses affixed to doorposts. (more info)


Mincha
Afternoon prayers established by our forefather Isaac.


Mishna
(pl. Mishnayot) Main source of the Oral Torah, later compiled into six volumes by Rabbi Judah the Prince.


Mishneh Torah
Maimonides' masterpiece, in which he codifies Jewish law in four volumes.


Mishna Berurah
Written by Rabbi Israel Meir Hakohen (1832-1932). Known for his most widely known work the Chofetz Chaim, is a six volume commentary on the part of the Shulchan Aruch, called Or Hachayim.


Mitzvah
(pl. mitzvot) divine commandment.


Moshiach
(Messiah) Leader of the Jewish People, from the lineage of King David, who will gather the exiled, build the third holy temple, and teach Torah to the Jewish People. Jews await his coming daily.


Mysticism
Deals with Jewish mystical concepts related to Kabbalah.


Neviim
Prophets.


Nusach
Order of prayer in the prayer book according to different customs.


Nusach Ari
Similar to Nusach Sefard, followed by Lubavitch and other Chassidum.


Nusach Ashkenaz
Followed by most European Jews.


Nusach Sefard
Followed by Jews from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions.


Parsha
Weekly portion of the Torah divided into seven sections corresponding to each day of the week.


Pentateuch
5 Books of Moses; comes from the Latin root word meaning "five".


Pirkei Avot
Chapters of the Fathers; portion of the Mishna dealing with ethical Jewish behavior.


Resurrection
A fundamental belief in Judaism, that along with the coming of the Messiah, all souls will come back to life.


Seder
Home service held on Passover.


Selichot
Penitential prayers usually said in the days before the holiday of Yom Kippur.


Shacharit
Morning prayers established by our forefather Abraham.


Shema
Prayer affirming a Jewish belief in One G-d.


Shemonah Esrei
A prayer consisting of 19 blessings comprising the body of Jewish prayer, Amidah.


Shofar
Rams horn, blown on the Jewish New Year. The blowing of the shofar will herald the coming of the messiah.


Shabbat
The seventh day of the week on which G-d rested from His creation of the world.


Siddur
(pl. siddurim) Prayer book.


Talmud
A combination of the Mishna and the Gemara.


Tanya
Compiled by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. Discusses the makeup of a person via their spiritual life force.


Tehillim
Psalms.


Torah
The five books of Moses; the whole body of Judaism's religious ethical literature.


Tzitzit
Ritual strings placed on four cornered garments, as a reminder of the 613 commandments.


Yarmulke
Skullcap.


Zohar
Authored by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, contains esoteric secrets of the Torah.


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