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.

If you want the definition of a term you came across on the site, please add it to the list of proposed glossary entries, and (hopefully) someone will define it.

To those who follow a link here: If you see an answer that's inaccurate or misleading, or could be better, please go ahead and modify it if you have the knowledge.

Here's a general format for a simple entry:

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.

  • Also, no reason the answers can't cover dissenting opinions. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Dec 25 '11 at 20:21
  • Or maybe have an answer per initial letter of the term. That way, individual entries can be linked to (approximately). We'll have 48 answers, but they can all be linked to from the question. Thoughts? – msh210 Dec 25 '11 at 20:26
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    @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
  • That's about right. Notations if there are particular site-specific issues would be nice. On Bicycles we have a lot of pictures, but that's just because we like pictures. Cooking is similar, I think. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Dec 25 '11 at 20:49
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    What do the votes signify? – Shmuel Dec 25 '11 at 22:41
  • @ShmuelBrill - Votes aren't all that important here, but like anything else in meta, they mean that you agree or disagree with the definition, or that the definition is useful or not. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Dec 25 '11 at 23:14
  • @msh210 Is 48 the max answers allowed for a question? Also, is there a criteria of how "noteworthy" [not quite the right word...] a particular word must be to get its own entry? – yydl Dec 26 '11 at 0:36
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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
  • @msh210 Oh. Well it depends. My question was based on the assumption that we had a limited number of answers, which meant only "special" words would end up here. If the glossary can be infinitely large, then there's nothing to lose by allowing (just about) any entry. – yydl Dec 26 '11 at 2:08
  • @yydl - There's probably no need to define words like "mitzvah" or "tzedakah" that are relatively well-known, unless there are aspects of these words that need to be defined. Although the answer with the variations on halacha is kind of interesting! – Goodbye Stack Exchange Dec 26 '11 at 6:16
  • Im pretty sure I saw this being discussed somewhere, but has anybody asked SE if we can get some kind of roll-over expansion feature? It beats having to send people to another page, and would be useful for many sites. – Hod - Monica's Army Dec 28 '11 at 19:47
  • @HodofHod, meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/419 – msh210 Dec 28 '11 at 19:54
  • Is this question the location of the glossary or is there a separate glossary on judaism.stackexchange? – Yehuda W Sep 1 '15 at 13:50
  • @YehudaW, this is it. – msh210 Sep 1 '15 at 14:07

61 Answers 61

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תנ״ך — Tanach, Tanakh

  1. the Bible: the following twenty-four books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, and Chronicles
  2. (colloquially) a copy thereof
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