Jews who lived in or came from central Europe.
Bar (Bat) Mitzvah:
“Son (daughter) of the commandment” (Aramaic); the coming-of-age ceremony that marks the time when a young person is considered a legal adult within the Jewish community.
Judaism before the destruction of the second temple (70 CE).
An ancient name for the land of Israel.
A branch of Judaism that attempts to blend the best of old and new Judaism.
A contract; the contract between the Hebrews and their God, Yahweh.
The dispersion of Jews beyond Israel, particularly to Persia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean region.
A reclusive semimonastic Jewish group that flourished from c. 150 BCE to 68 CE.
An early-winter festival recalling the rededication of the Second Temple, celebrated with the lighting of candles for eight days.
The destruction of European Judaism by the Nazis; also known as Shoah (Hebrew: “extermination”).
“Received,” “handed down”; the whole body of Jewish mystical literature.
“Writings”; the third section of the Hebrew scriptures, consisting primarily of poetry, proverbs, and literary works.
“Ritually correct”; refers particularly to food preparation and food consumption.
A candelabrum usually containing seven (and occasionally nine) branches, used for religious celebrations.
A savior figure to be sent by God, awaited by the Jews (see Dan. 7:13-14).
“Search”; rabbinical commentary on the scriptures and oral laws.
“Prophets”; the second section of the Hebrew scriptures, made up of historical and prophetic books.
The most traditional branch of Judaism.
A joyful spring festival that recalls the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt and freedom from oppression.
A faction during the Second Temple period that emphasized the observance of biblical rules.
A person inspired by God to speak for him.
A joyous festival in early spring that recalls the Jews’ being saved from destruction, as told in the Book of Esther.
A religious teacher; a Jewish minister.
Judaism that developed after the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE).
A modern liberal branch of Judaism that emphasizes the cultural aspects of Judaism.
A movement beginning in the nineteenth century that questioned and modernized Judaism; a liberal branch of Judaism.
“Beginning of the year”; the celebration of the Jewish New Year, occurring in the seventh lunar month.
“Rest”; the seventh day of the week (Saturday), a day of prayer and rest from work.
A priestly faction, influential during the Second Temple period.
“Order”; a special ritual meal at Passover, recalling the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt.
Jews of Spain, Morocco, and the Mediterranean region.
“Booths”; a festival in the late autumn that recalls the Jews’ period of wandering in the desert after their exodus from Egypt.
A prayer shawl worn by devout males during morning prayer.
An encyclopedic commentary on the Hebrew scriptures.
The complete Hebrew scriptures, made up of the Torah, Prophets (Nevi’im), and Writings (Ketuvim).
Phylacteries; two small boxes containing biblical passages, which are worn by Orthodox males on the head and left arm at morning prayer during the week.
A revelation or appearance of God.
“Teaching,” “instruction”; the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures; also, the additional instructions of God, believed by many to have been transmitted orally from Moses through a succession of teachers and rabbis.
The foundation stones of the western wall of the last temple of Jerusalem, today a place of prayer.
The skullcap worn by devout males.
Day of Atonement, the most sacred day of the Jewish year.
An anti-Roman, nationalistic Jewish faction, active during the Roman period of control over Israel.
A movement that has encouraged the creation and support of the nation of Israel.