Menu
Settings
DARKLIGHT
Text Size:

Full Hebrew Glossary

The following terms are highlighted in the Hineni text. When the mouse is placed over the highlighted text, the definition of the term is displayed in a small popup. Moving the mouse away from the term closes the popup.
 
  • The Al Chet is a confession of sins that is said ten times in the course of the Yom Kippur services.
  • The period of time between death and burial.
  • Casket or coffin; usually composed of unfinished wood. Aronot is the plural.
  • Plural of aron, a casket.
  • Mourning. This is a general term for the ritual mourning after burial. Mourners are known as aveilim, those who mourn.
  • Life cycle celebration for a boy to publicly honor his entry into adulthood to take on Jewish mitzvot (commandments).
  • Hebrew phrase meaning, 'Blessed is the True Judge.' This phrase is recited upon hearing of a death.
  • Life cycle celebration for a girl to publicly honor her entry into adulthood to take on Jewish mitzvot (commandments).
  • Visiting the sick. Sometimes used to describe visiting those who are dying or injured.
  • Life cycle celebrations for youth to publicly honor their entry into adulthood to take on Jewish mitzvot (commandments). Commonly known as bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls.
  • Circumcision, usually performed 8 days after birth.
  • Hebrew for "In the image of God" - a fundamental Jewish belief that we are created in the Divine image.
  • Short for Chevrah Kadisha - “Sacred Society” – a communal organization whose tasks are to care for the dead and to support the mourners.
  • “Sacred Society” – a communal organization whose tasks are to care for the dead and to support the mourners.
  • Plural of chevrah, usually referring to several Chevrah Kadisha organizations.
  • A sick man. Chola is a sick woman. Cholim is the plural.
  • A drash is a speech or talk given at a religious service, usually to instruct through inquiry. Drashot is the plural form.
  • A Hebrew phrase denoting that there is no limit on the value of mitzvot (good deeds). The literal translation is "these are the things with no set measure - no limit".
  • Hebrew for “God Full of Mercy”; the title of a prayer for the soul of the departed, recited at a graveside or a memorial service.
  • Acts of loving kindness.
  • Jewish law. This refers to the 613 commandments in the Torah.
  • Placing a body into a casket (such as during the taharah ritual).
  • The dressing of a deceased body in burial clothes, such as during the taharah ritual.
  • The ceremony delineating the boundary between the end of Shabbat (Jewish sabbath) and the beginning of the secular week.
  • The eulogy given for the dead.
  • Eulogies given for the dead. Plural of hesped.
  • Hebrew for "Here I am." This comes from the Torah (Genesis 22:1 and Exodus 3:4), where both Abraham and Moses reply to God that they are present and listening. It is used here to indicate this tool is available at all times to help.
  • Jewish mysticism based on the 13th century book known as the Zohar.
  • A prayer honoring the Divine, written in Aramaic, used to delineate sections of the prayer service. There is a special version of this prayer (Kaddish Yatom) said by mourners.
  • Mourner’s prayer; literally “Orphan’s Kaddish". An Aramaic prayer extolling God that is said to assist the transition of the soul after death.
  • Sacred intent, holy intention. This is an attitude of respect while performing a task that is considered to be holy, or helps to uplift the spirituality of a ritual.
  • An ancient measure of volume, 9 kavim equals 24 quarts of water; the amount of water poured during the spiritual purification part of the taharah ritual.
  • Honor or respect. In this context, it is often seen as kavod hameit meaning to show respect, honor, and dignity to the dead.
  • To show respect, honor, and dignity to the dead.
  • The local Jewish community, sometimes used to mean the congregation.
  • Grave, burial plot.
  • Burial; usually referring to traditional in-ground burial.
  • A linen or cotton white robe worn on holidays (primarily Yom Kippur), and then used as the outer jacket of one's burial clothing.
  • The High Priest in the time of the Temple.
  • Genuine and legitimate. Usually used to indicate a food or action is in accordance with Jewish law.
  • Tearing; the ritual of tearing one’s clothing when learning of a death. Sometimes a ribbon is used instead of clothing.
  • From generation to generation. Usually indicating the transmission of values throughout time.
  • A funeral; literally “accompanying”.
  • "Differentiation" - A Hebrew word meaning to separate, to delineate, to differentiate between two distinct environments or things. Often used to note the separation between the sacred and the secular as one transitions after a holy ritual back into daily life.
  • The "gathering of bones" - The Jerusalem Talmud (Mo’ed Katan 1:5) describes the practice of likut atzamot as a two-phase procedure of burying Jewish bodies in deep pits (mahamorot) and waiting for the skin to dissolve before removing the bones for reburial. The bones were then placed in an ossuary, or bone box.
  • Accompany the dead. Often used to include funeral and burial for a loved one.
  • Action, doing activity, one's deeds.
  • The title of an influential book published in 1626, documenting Jewish customs around caring for the dying and dead. It became the foundational work guiding Jewish end-of-life practices, and underlies what we do today.
  • Jewish prayer book.
  • Headstone or grave marker; literally a “pillar”.
  • Hebrew for "Living Waters" - a term referring to clean running water (often natural, as in a mountain stream).
  • A deceased person. (Meit is masculine, meitah is feminine, meitim is plural.)
  • An abandoned body, (who can become a source of mitzvah for those who bury him/her).
  • A piece of parchment inscribed with specific Hebrew verses from the Torah, which Jews fix to the doorposts of their homes.
  • Community ritual bath.
  • Local Jewish custom (as opposed to halacha, Jewish law).
  • Local Jewish custom; literally, "the custom of the place." Sometimes local custom is in practice for so long it is considered equal to Jewish law for a specific ritual or tradition.
  • A group of 10 adults who compose a Jewish quorum for communal prayer.
  • "May the One Who Blesses..." - a prayer for those who are ill.
  • A commandment in the Torah. In general usage, this term also denotes an action of high value.
  • Comfort; in this context, the comforting of and showing compassion for mourners and families after a death.
  • Soul, breath, life, spirit, living person. One of the five words for the various parts of the human soul.
  • Soul, breath, living being. One of the five words for the various parts of the human soul.
  • Comforting mourners.
  • Deceased person, one whose body has completed its task, and is now free to return to the earth.
  • The world to come, the afterlife.
  • This world.
  • A term used to describe a mourner (close family member) between death and burial of a loved one. Feminine is onenet.
  • "Here is buried". Often seen on headstones in the cemetery, sometimes only the first letter of each word (pay-nun, in Hebrew) are shown as an abbreviation to indicate that this is the grave of X, where X is the name of the deceased.
  • A title used for the President of the Sanhedrin (the legislative and judicial assembly during the time of the Temple). It implies a leader and teacher of significant renown.
  • Washing with water. The portion of the taharah ritual when the body is physically washed (a sponge bath).
  • A complete or whole healing. Often wished for those who are ill or injured.
  • Leader, coordinator, or guide. Literally, “head”. (Rosh is masculine, roshah is feminine.)
  • Spirit, wind, breeze, air. One of the five words for the various parts of the human soul.
  • The Jewish sabbath. It begins at sunset Friday evening and lasts through sunset Saturday.
  • One of the central feminine aspects of God.
  • The first word of the Jewish affirmation, "Hear oh Israel, The Lord is Our God, The Lord is One."
  • The first seven days of mourning following burial. Literally, the number “7”.
  • A Jewish quorum (10 adults) in the home of a mourner for communal prayers. Sometimes this term is used for the prayer service in the home of a mourner.
  • The plural of shiva minyan, a Jewish quorum (10 adults) in the home of a mourner for communal prayers. Sometimes this term is used for the prayer services in the home of a mourner.
  • Thirty days of mourning following burial. Literally, the number “30”.
  • The ritual act of "guarding" (sitting with, accompanying) the dead between death and burial.
  • A “guard” or protector, someone who accompanies (sits with) the dead between death and burial. (Shomer is masculine, shomeret is feminine.)
  • Plural of shomer, a person who sits with the dead between death and burial.
  • A sheet-like drape wrapped around a prepared body as it is placed into a casket.
  • Tachanun (Supplication) is a prayer unit containing confessions of sins and petitions for God’s grace and mercy that is recited immediately after the reader’s repetition of the Amidah in the morning and afternoon prayer services on weekdays.
  • Burial garments, from the Hebrew word “to enwrap.”
  • The ritual to prepare a body for burial. This name is also used for the "spiritual purification" pouring of water during the ritual. From the Hebrew root meaning to purify.
  • Pure; spiritually bounded, integrated, wholely of itself.
  • Jewish prayer shawl.
  • Spiritually vulnerable, diffuse, open. Sometimes used to mean "impure".
  • Prayer, prayer service. Plural is tefilot.
  • A spiritual mandate to heal the world. Jewish practices include this value as a foundational basis for action in the world.
  • Something inappropriate, not genuine, or not legitimate. Usually meaning not allowed by Jewish law.
  • Fringes on a Jewish prayer shawl. These are tied in a specific way to include 613 knots representing the 613 mitzvot (commandments).
  • The bundle of life / the bond of life; often seen on grave markers and used in prayers at the gravesite.
  • The deathbed confession. Sometimes used to denote deathbed rituals in general.
  • The anniversary of a death. Literally, “year time” in Yiddish.
  • A Hebrew term from the root meaning, "to remember," designating the memorial service held 4 times each year.