Glossary

    Ancient inkwell from Qumran

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Pick A Letter! Save some time. Rough English/Hebrew   equivalent sounds are grouped together (example: t/taw/tet; 'alef and `ayin are found with A).

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 H X S C

 


SOURCES INCLUDE:

Tor-Ch Hebrew FAQ

Samuel, Edith. Your Jewish Lexicon. New York: UAHC, 1982.

Eisenman, Robert. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians: Essays and Translations. Rockport: Element, 1996. Pp. 423-32.

*Terms may feature the transliteration systems used in their sources and can vary. Mistakes are my own as definitions have been supplemented and some transliterations have been altered from the original. Other additions appear in square brackets [thus].

 

 

 

 

K

kabbalat ol mitzvot
acceptance of commandments as binding (lit. acceptance of the yoke of the commandments).

Kabbalat Shabbat
service welcoming the Sabbath.

kal vahomer
a category of halachic inference in which we generalize from a weak case to a strong
case. As an common expression, it means something like "how much more so."

kavanah, kawwanah
intention, devotion, inner concentration during prayer.

kevah
fixed; a fixed time; fixed words or prayer (often contrasted with kavanah, inner concentration during prayer).

kiddush hashem
sanctification of the divine name; martyrdom.

kiddushin
betrothal (for the purpose of marriage)

klal
a general principle

klal Yisrael
the Jewish community as a whole

koah
strength.

Kohanei-Yerushalaim ha-Aharonim
in 1QpHab, ix.4f. "the Last Priests of Jerusalem" who "profiteered from the spoil of the Peoples" and whose wealth would he given over in the Last Days to the Army of the Kittim; probably reflective of first-century euphemisms like "High Priests"/"Chief Priests".

kol hakavod
lit. all honor, used idiomatically to express praise or congratulations for an achievement.

kol tuv
everything good (may you be blessed with everything good).

kosher
legally proper; usually used for food permitted under the dietary laws, or kashrut ("kasher" means "fit, proper").

kulot
leniencies.

k'vod hatzibur
the honor of the community.





L

lashon hara
(lit. "evil tongue") defaming or badmouthing.

leval`o/ leval`am/ teval`enu
the language of "swallowing"/"destruction"; applied in 1QpHab, xi.5ff. to the confrontation between "the Righteous Teacher" and "the Wicked Priest" and the "destruction" of both. Its resonances with the 'Bela' "/'Belial" equivalence are purposeful, not to mention the "hayil bala' " of 11QT, xlvi.10/Job 20:15 (i.e., "swallowing wealth"). Cf. also 'Balaam" as "Swallower of the People" in b. Sanh 105a. In this sense, all aspects of the B-L -' usage were considered illustrative of the activity most characterizing the Herodian Establishment, i.e., "swallowing".

lechalah/ lechalot
the language of "destruction", applied in 1QpHab, xii.5f. to the conspiracy to destroy the Righteous Teacher and the Poor, i.e., "as he plotted to destroy the Poor", so too would "God condemn him to destruction "-in this context synonymous with "leval'o" "swallow him"/"leval'am" "swallow them".

l'chatchilah
from the beginning, ab initio (Latin). What the halacha prescribes in the ideal situation (before you've acted) as opposed to b'diavad (see entry) For example  L'chatchilah, you should add "Al Ha-Nissim" to the amida on Hanukkah and Purim, but b'diavad, if you forgot, your amida is valid and you need not repeat it.

leyn
(Yiddish) to read (usually to read Torah)

losif
the language of "gathering", applied in 1QpHab, viii.12 to the Wicked Priest's/Last High Priests' "gathering Riches" and "profiteering from the spoils of the Peoples" and a consonant harvest of blame.





M

ma'ariv
evening; the evening prayer service.

ma'as [ma'1v]
"reject"/"deny"/"speak derogatorily about"; a catchword for the legal posture of "the Lying Spouter" and those of his "Assembly" or "persuasion"; in 1QpHab, v.11f. the former "rejected" the Torah in the midst of their whole Assembly" or "Church". Cf. the parallel, more general, use in i.10, 1QS, iii.5f., and CD, vii.9, viii.18f., and 31f.

machmeer
stringent; one who observes a chumrah (stringency)

Maftir
The aliyah consisting of the last few lines of the Torah reading, or the person assigned that aliyah. The person assigned the maftir aliyah also chants Haftarah.

mamzer
a person born from a prohibited union (i.e., from an incestuous or adulterous union).

ma`asim tovim  [ma`1c9m]
good deeds

ma'asim/ma'aseihem
"works"/"their works"; generally "works of the Law," paralleling the usage in the Letter of James and the use of " 'amal" in 1QpHab and Is 53:11. Also used with inverted sense as in 1QpHab, x.11f.'s the Liar's "instructing them in Lying works" (ma'asei-Sheker) and 1QS, iv.23's "ma`asei-Remiyyah", "Works of Deceit"; also see "ma'asei-To'evot' in 1QpHab, xii.8.

Ma'otz
"Protection" or "Shield"; in 1QH, vii.8ff and 23ff. related to "Fortress", "strengthening", 'building", "Wall", "Foundations", "Stone", and "Cornerstone" imagery; it parallels the "Oblias "/"Protection"/'Bulwark" allusion applied to James in early Church testimony and related to "Stone" and "pillar" imagery in the New Testament generally.

mara d'atra
(Aramaic, lit. master of the place) the local rabbi, whose decision carries the force of law in that locality.

mar'it ayin
the way something appears (i.e. wearing a kipah in a treif resturant)

mashgiach (pl. mashgichim)
ritual supervisor of kashrut who watches/supervises on the premises for dietary supervision of ingredients, food preparation, serving, dishes and cutlery, etc.

Mashiach, (Moshiach) [Mas9)h]
messiah

Mattif/ Mattif ha-Kazav
"the Spouter"/"Pourer Out of Lying"; a variation of the "Ish ha-Kazav" (the Man of Lying) and the "Ish ha-latzon" (the Man of Jesting/Scoffing/Comedian) imagery at Qumran, incorporating plays on what appear to have been his characteristic activities, "pouting out" words or waters--even perhaps speaking with his "Tongue" or "in tongues"--- and "Lying".

mechitsa
division; a barrier separating men from women in the synagogue.

Mefirei ha-Brit
"Covenant-Breakers"; synonymous with "the Bogdim"/"House of Absalom" in 1QpHab, ii.1ff. and v.8ff, and related to the "breaking" charge in Ezek 44:7ff. and Ja 2:10ff. The opposite of 1QS, v.2ff's "Sons of Zadok" as "Covenant-Keepers".

midrash
an interpretation; a story that fills in gaps in the Torah narrative, or answers questions about the narrative; (when capitalized) any of several volumes of such stories compiled by rabbis of the Talmudic era.

Migdal
"Tower"/ "Fortress"/ "Bulwark"; in 1QH, vii. 8ff. applied together with the language of "Strength", "Stone", "Wall", "Cornerstone", "Building" and "Foundations" imagery to the person of the Righteous Teacher.

mincha
the afternoon prayer service.

minhag
custom.

minhag ha-maqom
local custom.

minyan
quorum of 10 needed for a rabbinic public prayer service

Mi Sheberak
"The One Who Blessed", a blessing recited on someone else's behalf, usually after a Torah reading, often for one who has had an aliyah, or for one who is ill. It begins "May the One who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, bless ... who has...."

Mishna
the early core of the Talmud, consisting primarily of case law decisions

mishna
(not capitalized) one unit, typically a single sentence or short paragraph, in the Mishna

mishpat (pl. mishpatim)
law from the Torah that can be rationalized.

Mishpat
"Judgement"; used in 1QpHab, v.4ff. in conjunction with "Beit ha-Mishpat" above; expressive of that Judgement God would make by "the hand of His Elect" (i.e., "the Bnei-Zadok" in CD, iv.3ff.) on all Gentiles and backsliding Jews; cf. "Beit ha-Mishpat" above, "Yom ha-Mishpat" below, and 1QS, iv.4's "qin'at Mishpetei-Zedek" ("zeal for the Judgements of Righteousness"-the opposite of 1QpHab, ix.1's "Mishpat Rish`ah").

mitzvah/ mitswah
commandment; not "good deed" in Hebrew, but has come to mean that in Yiddish, especially among more secular people.

Moreh-Zedek/ Moreh ha-Zedek
the "Righteous Teacher" or "the Teacher of Righteousness".

mutar
permitted.





N

ner tamid
eternal light.

nefesh-Zaddik
(see also nefesh Evyon and nefesh-'Ani), "the soul of the Zaddik"; terminology remounting to Is 53:1 1ff. paralleling "heart" and "body" imagery generally at Qumran and in Ezek 44:7ff., etc. Cf. CD, i.20 where "nefesh-Zaddik" is used synonymously with "Moreh ha-Zedek" and "nefesh-Ebion" and "nefesh-'Ani" in 1QH, ii.32, iii.25, v.6, etc.

niddah/niddat
"unclean"/"uncleanness"; often used at Qurnran in conjunction with the imagery of "tum'ah" pollution), as for instance in 1QpHab, viii.13, CD, xii.lf., 1QS, iv.10 ("Darkei-Niddah", replete with "Lying" and "fornication" imagery), and the Temple Scroll generally.

nigun (pl. nigunim)
wordless prayer melody, usually repeated many times over to create a spiritual mood.

nilwu/Nilwum
"joined"/"Joiners"; evoked in 4QpNah, lii.5 in relation to the "Peta'ei-Ephraim" and in eschatological exegesis of Ezek 44:15 in CD, iv.3 (also echoed in 4QpNah, ii.9's "ger-nilweh"). Es 9:27 concretizes it as connotative of Gentiles "attaching themselves" to the Jewish Community, which in turn helps elucidate the "Ephraim"/"City of Ephraim"/ "Simple Ones of Ephraim" usages. Probably synonymous in other vocabularies with the terminology "God-Fearers".

Notzrei ha-Brit/ Notzrei-Brito
"the Keepers of His Covenant"; cf. Ps 25:8ff., and Ps 119, where the expression is used synonymously with "Shomrei ha-Brit "-the qualitatively precise definition of "the Sons of Zadok" in 1QS, v.2ff.; also "britka yinzor" in Deut 33:9 and 4QTest. The allusions "Notzrim"-[modern] Hebrew terminology denoting "Christians"-and "Zadokites" can be viewed, therefore, as variations on a theme.

nusah
(lit. formula) Used for melodies and musical modes associated with particular services and portions of services, and also used for verbal formulas of particular prayers and services.





 

O

 

olam ha-ba
the world to come.

'oseh ha- Torah/ 'Osei ha-Torah
"doing Torah"/"the Doers of the Torah"; the expression "'Osei ha-Torah" limits the soteriological scope of the exegeses of Hab 2:3 and 2:4 in 1QpHab, vii.11ff. to "Torah-Doers in the House of Judah". "Doers"/ "doing"/ "Breakers"/ "keeping" usages are also reflected in the language of Ja 1:22ff. "'Oseh ha-Torah" defines xii.4f.'s "Peta'ei- Yehudah", distinguishing it from 4QpNah, iii's "Peta'ei-Ephraim" and tying it to the "Keepers of the Covenant" terminology. The root of "ma'aseh"/ "ma'asim".





P

parnassa
sustenance, sufficient livelihood, (earn/grow) enough to eat.

parsha (pl. parshiot)
(n) the weekly Torah portion.

patur
something or someone who is exempt (from an obligation or a law).

Peta'ei-Yehudah/ Peta'ei-Ephraim
"the Simple Ones of Judah"/"Simple Ones of Ephraim"; in 1QpHab, xii.4f. the former are the "Torah-doing" Community rank and file. In 4QpNa, lii.5f. the latter must be associated with Gentile "Nilwim", who, it is hoped, "will once again join themselves to Israel" (cf. "ger-nilweh" in ii.9). In 8f. they are associated with being led astray by "Deceivers ... teaching their Lies, a Tongue of their Lies, Deceitful lips, and misleading the Many". Cf. also the use of "Little Ones" and "Samaritans" in New Testament usage.

pikuah nefesh
saving a life (usually in context of breaking Shabbat or other mitzvot).

posek (pl. poskim)
the rabbi one consults for halachic decisions; an authority on Jewish Law.

posken
to render an halachic ruling, usually one that clarifies the law in a specific case.

P'rushim
Pharisees. Oral Torah proponents and founders of rabbinic Judaism.

p'sak
decision, verdict.

pesher
interpretation of a biblical passage.

p'shat
straightforward meaning of a passage (literal meaning).





Q

Qohelet
the book of Ecclesiastes





R

Rabbim
"the Many", used at Qumran to designate the rank and file of the Community, who were presumably the beneficiaries of the justifying activities (whether via "suffering works" or imparted "Knowledge") of the Righteous Teacher/Community Council; the usage goes back to the vocabulary of Is 53:11f---cf. also its use in the Dan 12 passage noted above. Its sense is reversed in 1QpHab, x.11's "wearing out Many with worthless work" and 4QpNah, ii.8's "leading Many astray" both relating to activities of "the Man of Lying".

Rasha'/Resha'im
"Evil"/"Evil Ones"; usually connected in the Pesharim to "the Wicked Priest", but sometimes, as in 1QpHab, v.9f., to the "Man of Lying".

Remiyyah
"Deceit"; in 1QS, viii.22 and ix.8 tied to covert infractions of the Law and in 1QS, viii.22ff, ix.8ff. (reflected in CD, viii.30) to consonant bans on work, table-fellowship, or common purse; cf. "Deceit"/"Deceitful works" in 1QS, iv.9 and 23 and "Deceitful lips" in 4QpNah, ii.8.

rehilut
gossip.

Ribono shel Olam
Master of the universe.

Rishonim
"the First"; to be viewed in conjunction with allusions to "the Last" and resonating with New Testament parodies of both; in CD, i.4ff and iv.9, specifically denoting the Zaddikim of old (or "the Forefathers") with whom God made "the First Covenant".

Rosh Hodesh
first day of the new Jewish month.

ruah
spirit, wind (with qodesh, spirit of holiness).

Ruah-Emet
in 1QS, iv.21 (amid allusion to baptism, etc.), "Spirit of Truth"; a variation of the language of the "Holy Spirit". In viii.12 this relationship to "the Holy Spirit" is made explicit. Also to be viewed in the context of several contraries more or less typifying "the Spirit" of "the Lying Scoffer", i.e., "Lying", "fomication", "insults", "Evil", "Darkness", etc. in 1QS, iv.9ff.





 

S











































































sedra
the weekly Torah portion.

shavo [saw7]
"worthless"; in 1QpHab, x.10f. used to characterize the Community's perception of the Liar's activities, i.e., "the Worthless City" and the "worthless service with which he tires out Many" (cf. Ja 1:26 on his "worthless Religion", "heart of Deceit", and "Tongue").

shaharit
the morning prayer service.

shaliah
emissary, appointed agent (male pl. sh'lichim, sh'lichei; fem. sing. sh'lichah; fem. pl. sh'lichot). Also used with xibur, (lit. emissary of the community) the person leading services.

shelom bayit
peace in the home.

Shekinah
(lit. that which dwells) Elohim's presence (often associated with feminine imagery, but not always). Hebrew has either male or female nouns only. Cp., ruah.

Sheqer/ma'asei-Sheqer
"Lying"/"works of Lying"; the terminology is part and parcel of the "Lying"/"Spout:ing"/"boast:ing" imagery at Qumran. Often accompanied by allusion to "the Tongue" or "lips" and used in conjunction with reference to "works", baptismal imagery, or "1eading astray".

Shir Ha-Shirim
Song of Songs

shlit"a
(acronym for "sheyechyeh l'orech yamim tovim amen." lit., may he live a long and good life, amen) an honorific appended to the names of living rabbis

Shemot
(lit. names) the 2nd book of the Torah (Exodus).

shomer (pl. shomrim)
watchman, guardian.

Shomrei ha-Brit
"Keepers of the Covenant", 1 QS, iv.2ff's qualitatively precise definition of "the Sons of Zadok", harking back to allusions in Ezek 44:6ff, and Psalms; note the parallel represented by "Notzrei-Brito" and the contrast represented by "Mefirei ha-Brit"/"Covenant Breakers".

shomer shabbat
observant of the laws of Shabbat.

sinat hinam
gratuitous hatred.

s'miha
rabbinic ordination.





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