A glossary!

This is for Judaism-related terms that come up on the main site whose meanings people may well not know.

To search this glossary for (e.g.) משנה, type

is:answer inquestion:this משנה

in the search box at the top-right corner of this page and hit Enter. Note, though, that that effort may be stymied if you search using one transliteration of a word and the word is listed here with a different transliteration.

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עברית - english (along with any common variants)

Definition goes here, or a links to the term's tag wiki if there is one, possibly a link to Wikipedia or other reference.

For information on typing in Hebrew, have a look at this question.

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2  
@neilfein, but they can't become encyclopedia articles. I was thinking a five-to-ten-word definition and perhaps a link to Wikipedia or somewhere. –  msh210 Dec 25 '11 at 20:27
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What do the votes signify? –  Shmuel Brin Dec 25 '11 at 22:41
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@yydl, 48=22+26 is how many letters there are in the English and Hebrew alphabets, so how many answers we would have had had we gone with the one-answer-per-initial-letter-of-the-term method, which we seem not to be doing. See also today's transcript from the site chat room. As for noteworthiness or what-have-you, the way I figure, a word that appears on judaism.se and needs explanation should go here; what do you think? –  msh210 Dec 26 '11 at 0:42

38 Answers 38

מוקצה – muktze, muktzehliterally set aside

This is grammatically a verb (masculine singular present tense), and other forms are also in common use:

מוקצה – muktza, muktzah – feminine singular present tense
מוקצים – muktzim – masculine plural present tense
הוקצה – huktza, huktzah – masculine singular third-person past tense
הוקצו – huktzu – plural third-person past tense

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חייב or חיב — chayavadj.

  1. obligated (to do something)
    Someone who forgot to say the "Yaale V'yavo" part of the prayer is chayav to repeat the whole prayer.
  2. liable, owing (money or the like)
    If he stole $100, he's chayav $200.
  3. due (a punishment)
    Someone who worships another god is chayav death by stoning.

plural: חייבים — chayavim

synonym: מחויב or מחוייב — mechuyav, m'chuyav (used especially for sense 1, above)

— contrasted with —

פטור — paturadj.

  1. exempt (from an action)
    Someone who forgot to say the "Al Hanisim" part of the prayer is patur from repeating the prayer.
  2. exempt (from a punishment)
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יצר הטובyetzer hatov — good inclination

יצר הרעyetzer hara — evil inclination

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מקור – makornoun – source.

On Mi Yodeya, this usually refers to a textual or similar source for a statement.

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פוסק — poseknoun

plural: פוסקים — poskim, posekim

See also the question "Posek vs. Rabbi?" and the tag .

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ספר — sefer, seifernoun

  1. a Jewish-content or holy book
  2. a book

Plural: ספרים — sforim, sefarim, s'farim

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חזן — chazzan — noun —

  1. The leader of any communal prayer service.
  2. A professional at that job: usually, one with a good chanting and singing voice.
  3. (no longer in common use) Any of various officials in a synagogue or the Holy Temple.

שליח צבור — sheliach tzibbur — noun —

  1. The leader of any communal prayer service.

ש״ץ — shatz — acronym

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כביכול — kivyachol, kaveyacholliterally as with one who is able

— used when saying something about God that does not apply to Him

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