In addition to the core content and an introduction (covered elsewhere), we would like our book to have the following materials (based on suggestions we received last year after publishing the haggadah):

  • a glossary

  • a bibliography

These will depend in part on the questions we include, but not entirely -- we can get started on these even before knowing the final contents of the rest of the book.

Please use this question to propose text for these.

The book will also contain a list of contributors, but that will be compiled from the other posts rather than collected and edited on meta.

Important: The body of your answer should contain only the proposed content, ready for import into the final document. Use comments for any additional information.

Voting: If you down-vote a submission, please leave a comment saying what needs to be changed. Or edit; this is meant to be collaborative.

Please complete submissions by Wednesday, February 26 so we have time to compile the supplement in time for Purim.

Thank you all. Ready, set, go. :-)

2 Answers 2



Adar The twelfth month of the Hebrew calendar. Purim occurs on the 14th of this month.

Ahasuerus (Achashverosh) A gentile emperor of Persia. One of the main characters of the book of Esther (see 1:1).

Amalek A gentile nation. In midrash, Haman is said to be from it.

Aruch Hashulchan A summary of the geeat code of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch, written by Rabbi Yehiel Mihel Epstein, who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Avos (pirkei) A book of the Talmud, full of morality teachings.

Benjamin (Binyamin) A son of Jacob, in Genesis; also, the tribe descended from him.

Bach Rabbi Yoel Sirkis (1561–1640); also, his book of Jewish law.

Beit Yosef Rabbi Yosef Caro (1488–1575); also, one of his books of Jewish law.

Bigthan and Teresh Two minor characters in the book of Esther: they plotted to kill Ahasuerus.

Charvona - A Persian royal advisor from the Purim story.

Chida - Hayim Joseph David Azulai. Born in Jerusalem. Died in the beginning of the 19th century.

Chug Eretz

Chametz - Risen dough, forbidden to eat or own on Passover.

Deuteronomy (Devarim) A the final book Jof the Pentateuch.

Elijah (Eliyahu) A prophet in the biblical book of Kings. He didn't die, and Jewish tradition places him at many later events.

Esther A book of the Bible; also, one of its main characters, the empress consort of Persia.

Elya Zuta Also known as Seder Eliyahu Zuta, the second portion of Tanna Dvei Eliyahu, a midrashic work.

Ezekiel (Yechezkel) A book in the Jewish Biblical Canon, written by a prophet of the same name.

Gemara - The Talmud. An analytic and practical analysis of Jewish Oral Tradition, compiled between the 4th and 6th centuries in two different collections from Jerusalem and Babylonia.

Gra - Rabbi Elijah son of Solomon Zalman Kremer, the Vilna Gaon, a leader of European Jewry who lived in the 18th century.

Hagaos Maimonios. A commentary on Maimonides' code of Jewish law.

Haman - A Persian noble, descended from Amalek. Instigator of the decree against Persian Jewry; the primary antagonist of the Purim story.

Hannukah - A rabbinic holiday celebrating the Hasmonean triumph over the religiously repressive Seleucid occupation during the Second Temple Period.

Hegai A Eunuch in Ahauserus' court, appointed to the king's concubines. Found himself very fond of Esther.

Isaiah (Yishaiyahu) - a book in the Jewish Biblical canon, written by a prophet of the same name.

Jebusite (Yebusi) - one of the Seven Nations of the land of Canaan, an ancient land containing modern-day Israel.

Judges (Shoftim) - A book in the Jewish Biblical Canon, written by the prophet and judge, Samuel.

Joshua (Yehoshua) - A book in the Jewish Biblical Canon, written by Joshua, the primary disciple of Moses, and his successor, who lead the Israelites in their conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan.

Judah (Yehuda) - The fourth son of Jacob by Leah. May also refer to the tribe of his descendents.

King David - The founder of the messianic line of Judite Kings. A leader, soldier, and psalmist.

Kivyachol - Lit. 'so to speak', a term added to colloquial descriptions of Gd that seem to anthropomorphize Him, to clarify that the description in conceptual, not physical or human.

Kol Bo - A compilation of Jewish law of unknown authorship. Speculated to have been published as early as the 15th century.

Ksav Sofer Work of Rabbi Moses Schreiber, who also wrote and is known for the Chatam Sofer. Born in Germany. Live in the 18th and 19th century.

Megillat Esther A Book of the Jewish Biblical Canon, composed by Mordechai, detailing the events of Purim.

Mordechai - A member of the High Courts and a leader of Persian Jewry, Esther's uncle.

Malbim - Meir Leibush son of Yehiel Michel Wisser. Rabbi, gramarian, commentator. Lived in the 19th century.

Matanot leevyonim - A special commandment on purim to give charity to the poor.

Mishloach Manos A special commandment on Purim to give packages of food to fellow Jews.

Maharil - Jacob son of Moses Levi Moelin. Lived in the 14th and 15th centuries in Germany.

Meam Loez - Commentary on Tanakh, written in Ladino by Rabbi Jacob Culi in 1730.

Midrash - Avast body of Rabbinic teachings that expound upon and explain the Jewish Biblical Canon.

Midrash Rabah - A midrashic work on the Pentateuch and the Five Scrolls, (Canticles, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther).

Nitei Gavriel - A collection of books aboutJewish Law, written by Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, who should live and be well in Boro Park, New York.

Orach Chaim - The section of Jacob son of Asher, a medieval rabbinic authority's code of law that deals with general laws of Jewish life throughout the calendar year, such as prayers, sabbath, and holidays.

Pirsumei nissa - Publicizing the miracle

Proverbs - A book of the Jewish Biblical Canon, composed by King Solomon, son of King David, and under King Hezekiah of the Judean Kingdom.

Parshat Zachor - A portion of the Pentateuch that is read every year on the Sabbath before Purim, and is meant to remind every Jew of the biblical obligation to erase the nation of Amalek.

Purim - lit. Lots A celebration of the Divine Providence surrounding the genocidal decree against Persian Jewry by Haman, and the subsequent salvation that took place.

Raavyah - Eliezer son of Joel the Levite. A German rabbi who lived in the 12th an 13th centuries.

Radak - Rabbi David Kimhi, a medieval commentator from southern france who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Rama - Rabbi Moses Isserles. Born in Krakow, Poland. Wrote commentary on Shulchan Aruch that appears within the original text. Lived in 16th century.

Rashi Rabbi Solomon Isaacides, a beloved and prolific commentator on the Jewish Biblical Canon and the Babylonian Talmud. Lived in the 11th and 12th centuries in Troyes, Champagne, France.

Rav hai gaon - Hai son of Sherira. Head of Pumpedita Academy in modern-day Iraq. Lived in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Shushan Purim The 15th of Adar, a second day of Purim, celebrated in historically walled cities.

Sof Nidasa

Talmud - See Gemara.

Torah tmima -

The Mordechai (rishon) - Mordechai son of Hillel. A Cohen, and Rabbi in germany. Lived during the 13th century.

Tractate Bava Basra (Bab) - A section of the Gemara that discusses Jewish monetary law, specifically with regard to property, inheritance, and documentation. F Tractate Megilla (Babylonian) - A section of the Babylonian Talmud that discusses the reading of Megillat Esther, and the rabbinic holiday of Purim.

Tractate Pesachim (Babylonian) - A section of the Babylonian Talmud that discusses the Festival of Passover and its laws.

Vashti - Ahauserus' first wife, put to death for refusing a royal command.

Yad Aharon

Zephania (Tzephania) - A book in the Prophets section of the Jewish Biblical Canon, composed by a prophet of the same name.

  • What I have gathered from the questions that I think need defining for new comers! If you add or remove something, please explain.
    – Baby Seal
    Feb 27, 2014 at 16:46
  • @BabySeal Note that some of these have multiple spellings within the book. It would probably make sense to have entries like "Charvona - See Harvona." for such cases.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Feb 27, 2014 at 18:12
  • I defined "Avos" in terms of the word "Talmud", but we don't have a definition for the latter. So either the definition for "Avos" needs improvement, or we need to add a definition for "Talmud", or (probably the best solution) just leave it as is and let people look up "Talmud" on Wikipedia.
    – msh210 Mod
    Feb 27, 2014 at 18:37
  • @IsaacMoses, Is it acceptable for me to just run through and edit each to be uniform?
    – Baby Seal
    Feb 27, 2014 at 20:58
  • @msh210 would you object to amending Talmud to Gemara? There is a term for that.
    – Baby Seal
    Feb 27, 2014 at 20:59
  • @msh210 better yet, can we change it to "a tractate of Jewish oral law"?
    – Baby Seal
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:01
  • @BabySeal Not sure about that. On the site, we explicitly maintain the transliteration choices of authors as long as they're intelligible and consistent.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:18
  • @IsaacMoses okey doke I'll have to run back through
    – Baby Seal
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:31
  • @IsaacMoses Is this being printed?
    – Baby Seal
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:41
  • @BabySeal, We're formatting it for printing. I, for one, plan to print out multiple copies. Here's the PDF of the current 90% draft. There's a placeholder for Glossary on Page 25, but the format of that is subject to change once the content's ready.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:54
  • BabySeal, based on the amount of content you and @msh210 have already generated here, it looks like it'll take up 2 - 3 pages. If possible, I'd prefer to squeeze it to 2, so I may end up reducing a word here or there where a word can save a whole line. Also, I may come back to you to ask about reducing the number of entries.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Feb 27, 2014 at 21:59
  • @IsaacMoses alrighty
    – Baby Seal
    Feb 28, 2014 at 1:22
  • I added "Pirsumei nissa," since it's used in a blockquote and therefore can't be comfortably handled inline.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 4, 2014 at 5:44


(Please try to keep sorted in some meaningful way, whatever that is.)


  • 1
    Note: Per discussions in the chat room, we are not having a separate bibliography.
    – msh210 Mod
    Feb 27, 2014 at 18:34

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