The community has generally accepted the following jargon guidelines.1 They're not hard-and-fast rules, but should be considered by users when posting and when editing others' posts.
When writing questions and answers on Mi Yodeya, the overall guiding principle you should have in mind is:
Will any English speaker who is interested in this content be able ...
It does not!
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Like Wikipedia, mi.yodeya makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat mi.yodeya information like it came from a crowd of your friends.
And we mean it! On a website like this you can get some ...
The community has generally accepted this as the canonical list of in- and out-of-scope topics on Mi Yodeya.
If you have a question about...
Jewish law or practice (what to do or why)
How many slices are required to make you responsible to wash on Pizza?
Why is it OK to have a sermon right before Kaddish of Musaf?
Can you recommend an alternative outer ...
Script: Mi Yodeya Referencer by @HodofHod (Me!).
Description: Instant linking to Tanach, Gemara, and Mishna Torah. Just add brackets! (And a prefix).
Main Post: Mi Yodeya Referencer: A Syntax for Linking to Sources
Another thing (besides the other answers here, I mean):
If you are asking a question about a Bible (Tanach) text, and it's not necessary (for your question) that you use a particular translation, then use a Jewish one.
Some good Jewish translations are available online: the Jewish Publication Society translation, the Judaica Press translation, and Rabbi ...
Deprecated: This functionality is now built into the site, and SE used HodofHod's script as a starting point.
Script: Hebrew keyboard, by @HodofHod.
Description: on-demand virtual keyboard for posts and chat (and with nikudot, even!)
Main post: https://judaism.meta.stackexchange.com/a/1781/472
ממה נפשך -- m'mah nafshach, mimah nafshach -- prepositional phrase - literally whatever you think
Used to introduce a disjunction elimination, namely, that no matter which option you choose from a set of options, conclusion X (or question X) follows.
If you're Jewish, you believe in God, ממה נפשך. If you're a Chassid, you believe because you ...
ספק – safek – adjective – a doubt or uncertainty.
וודאי – vaday – adjective – certain
"There was a safek if the meat was from the Kosher store or not."
ספק ספיקא– sefeik sefeika – noun – a double doubt
A principle in Halacha whereby even in certain cases where one must be strict in a doubtful situation one may be lenient if there are two ...
תורה — Torah
The Pentateuch: the first five books of the Bible (Genesis through Deuteronomy).
That word appears six times in the Torah.
(nonstandard) A copy of the Pentateuch, especially a scroll written according to certain rules, of the sort read from in synagogues. (More accurate: Sefer Torah [Torah scroll])
He removed two Torahs from the ark.
תשובה — teshuvah, t'shuva — noun — literally, a return
a reply letter to a question, especially one of Jewish law or practiceRabbi Schwartz spends a lot of time on each teshuvah, making sure it's correct, before he mails it.
(in the plural, as part of a title) such letters, published as a bookHe's reading T'shuvos Maharamash.
(singular only) repentance, ...
Anything that smacks of challenging and looking for debate rather than honest intellectual inquisitiveness. More often than not you can tell by the tone and approach of the question, so i would suggest trying to make sure the tone of the question is respectful. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the answers you will receive.
חז"ל — Hazal, Chazal
[lit. acronym for חכמינו זכרם לברכה; our sages of blessed memory] — Used to refer collectively to the sages of the Talmud. Oftentimes referred to by default as 'the Sages'.
May be used as an adjective: Hazalic/Chazalic, to describe such works.
See also Wikipedia.
נושאי כלים - nos'ei keilim
Literally "armiger" or "arms-bearer," this word is commonly used to refer to commentaries on an earlier work (especially in halacha). For example,
Mishna Berura is among the most commonly used נושאי כלים on the Orach Chayim section of Shulchan Aruch.
באַשערט — bashert —
(originally, adjective) preordained, destined
(thus, noun) soulmate, preordained spouse
This is from the Yiddish adjective, and you sometimes see it declined for case, gender, and number as in Yiddish: basherte, basherter, bashertn.
שבע מצוות בני נח Sheva mitzvot B'nei Noach -- The Seven Laws of Noah (also known as the Noahide or Noachide laws) that apply to non-Jewish people.
Do not worship idols or any deity other than God.
Do not blaspheme God.
Do not murder.
Do not engage in sexual immorality
Do not steal.
Do not eat of a live animal.
Establish courts/legal system to ensure law ...
מִצְוָה — Mitzvah — singular noun — commandment, command; specifically, a religious command of God's or any of a particular class of rabbinic edicts classified as "mitzvah of the rabbis"
mitzvos, mitzvot — plural
מיקל – meikel – verb – to be lenient, as in matters of law.
מחמיר – machmir – verb – to be stringent or strict, as in matters of law.
Rabbi Schwartz is meikil on the issue, while Rabbi Weiss is machmir.
Actually masculine singular present-tense verbs (or present participles), these are often used in English preceded by copulas, as in the ...
חזן — chazzan — noun —
The leader of any communal prayer service.
A professional at that job: usually, one with a good chanting and singing voice.
(no longer in common use) Any of various officials in a synagogue or the Holy Temple.
שליח צבור — sheliach tzibbur — noun —
The leader of any communal prayer service.
— ש״ץ — shatz — acronym
I would suggest you read a few questions to try to get
a feel for the tone and content expected here.
In general, any question that is asked respectfully is welcome. Questions should focus on facts and ideas, not value judgements.
You do not need any background on Judaism to ask questions, and questions are never closed for being too basic. (In fact, ...