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Jewish Terms and their Meanings

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Ha'anakah The gratuity which the master was enjoined to pay his Hebrew bound servant when the latter was set free.
Ha'palah "Resolute ascent"; illegal immigration of Jews into Israel.
Ha-Hinnukh "The education"; an anonymous work on the 613 precepts in the order of their appearance in Scripture, giving their reasons and their laws in detail.
Ha-Kohelet Name for the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Ha-Mappil Night prayer; a prayer recited before retiring for the night.
Ha-Mavdil "Who distinguishes"; a hymn sung in the Havdalah ceremony at the close of the Sabbath.
Ha-Mozi A blessing said before meals.
Ha-Sefarim "The Books"; earliest term for the Hebrew books of the Bible. See also "Sefarim Hizonim".
Ha-Tekufah "The season", or "the equinox", or "the solstice".
Ha-Tikvah "The hope"; anthem of the Zionist movement.
Habash Another name for Ethiopia.
Habdalah A sanctification prayer said over wine.
Habiz A kind of food that was made from flour, salt and oil, with honey being sometimes added.
Had Gadya "An only kid"; name of a popular Aramaic song chanted at the conclusion of the Passover seder.
Hadran "We returned"; a term indicating both the celebration held on the completion of the study of a tractate of the Talmud (see "Siyyum") and the type of discourse delivered on that occasion.
Hafinah The taking of handfuls of incense by the priest
Hafka'at She'arim Raising the price of a commodity beyond the accepted level, or that fixed by a competent authority.
Haftarah A portion from the Prophets read after the reading from the Torah on Sabbaths, festivals, and fast days.
Hag ha-Bikkurim Another name for Pentecost.
Hag ha-Mazzot The 7 Day Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called "Passover" by the Jews.
Hag ha-Pesah "The Feast of the Passover". Here the Jews have incorrectly applied the word "hag" to the Passover. The Bible only applies this word "hag" (or "chag") to three annual occasions: the 7 Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and the 7 Days of Tabernacles.
Hagbahah The lifting and rolling of the Torah scroll in the synagogue. Same as "Gelilah".
Haggadah, Aggadah Legend; same as "Aggadah".
Haggahot Glosses, corrections; a term used both to mean the examination of manuscript and printed works in order to correct errors, and in the sense of "glosses," i.e., notes and brief comments on the text.
Hagigah A tractate in the Mishnah dealing with various laws; also called "Re'iyyah".
Hagiography Embellished accounts of biblical worthies; in the Middle Ages they developed as a specific genre of literature, Hebrew fiction
Hakhel "Assemble"; At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles" there is to take place an assembly of the whole people, "men, women, children, and the stranger that is within your gates." Hakhel is the name given to this assembly.
Hakiroth and Bedikoth Cross-examination of witnesses. In "Hakiroth" the focus is on time and place; in "Bedikoth" the focus is on the accompanying circumstances of the crime, such as the weapon, the clothes worn, etc.
Hakkafot Term used to designate ceremonial processional circuits both in the synagogue and outside it, on various occasions.
Halakhah, Halachah The word "halakhah", the legal side of Judaism, embraces personal, social, national, and international relationships, and all the other practices and observances of Judaism.
Halakhic Midrash The appellation given to a group of tannaitic expositions on four books of the Pentateuch.
Halakhot Gedolot Halakhic code belonging to the geonic period. The Halakhot Gedolot gives a systematic and comprehensive summary of all the talmudic laws.
Halbanat panim Literally "blanching of the face"; insult, defamation of character.
Halizah Levirate marriage; the marriage between a widow whose husband died without offspring (the yevamah) and the brother of the deceased (the yavam or levir), as prescribed in Deuteronomy 25:5–6. It is also called "Yibbum".
Hallah A form of bread.
Hallel The general term designating Psalms 113–118 when these form a unit in the liturgy.
Halukkah Financial allowance for the support of the inhabitants of Erez Israel from the contributions of their coreligionists in the Diaspora.
Halva'ah A loan for consumption; relates to money or "produce" (perot).
Hamesh Megillot The Five Scrolls: Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther.
Hamez Leavened dough.
Hamishah Homshei Torah Pentateuch, Five Books of Moses.
Hanhagah The universal providence which determines the natural order of the world as a whole; see also "Hashgahah".
Hanhagot Literature Ethical literature.
Hanukkah Dedication; an 8-day festival starting on Kislev 25.
Hanukkiyyah Hanukkah lamp; also called menorah.
Haredim, Charedim "Reverently fearful"; common definition, ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel.
Haroset Paste made of fruit, spices, wine, and mazzah meal, which forms part of the seder rite on Passover eve.
Hashgahah Individual providence; see also "Hanhagah".
Hashgahah peratit God's guidance or care of His creatures, emanating from His constant concern for them and for the achievement of His purposes.
Hashilta A brew made from dates. See also "Trimma".
Hashkavah "Laying to rest"; a prayer for the dead; same as "Ashkavah".
Hashkivenu "Cause us to lie down"; an evening prayer.
Hasidei Ummot ha-Olam "The pious ones of the nations of the world"; a rabbinic term denoting righteous non-Jews.
Hasidism A popular religious movement giving rise to a pattern of communal life and leadership.
Haskalah Enlightenment; see also "Maskil"
Haskamah "Agreement" and "Approbation"; rabbinic approval and approbation of the legal decisions of colleagues, usually attached to the original legal decision and circulated with it.
Hassagat Gevul The unlawful taking of another's land.
Hatafat Symbolic circumcision for someone already circumcised, involving a pinprick of blood from the penis.
Hatan Bereshit "Bridegrooms of the law"; honorary titles bestowed on those who are called up to the reading of certain sections of the law during the morning service of Simhat Torah.
Hatan Torah "Bridegrooms of the Law"; same as "Hatan Bereshit".
Havdalah "Distinction"; blessing recited at the termination of Sabbaths and festivals.
Haver, Haverim "Member"; the name for those belonging to a group that undertook to observe meticulously both the laws of heave-offering and tithing.
Havurah Kaddisha Holy brotherhood.
Hazak "Be strong"; salutation
Hazak u-varukh "Be strong and blessed".
Hazakah "Possession", "taking possession"; a legal term.
Hazal See definition under "Chazal".
Hazkarat Neshamot "Mentioning of the souls"; a memorial prayer. See also "Mazkir".
Hazzan, Hazzanim Cantor officiating in a synagogue; used in this specific sense since the Middle Ages.
Heder Literally "room"; the common name for the old-fashioned elementary school for the teaching of Judaism.
Hefker Ownerless property.
Hegmon Parnas "Bishop of the Jews"; title given by the Christian authorities in the Middle Ages to the head of the Jewish community or its rabbi.
Hekdesh Consecrated property, property dedicated to the needs of the Temple.
Hekhsher A symbol somewhat like "kosher".
Heleb Forbidden food, frequently tallow-fat.
Herem ha-Ikkul Ban on confiscation.
Herem ha-Yishuv Ban on settlement.
Herem, Haramim A ban; the status of that which is separated from common use or contact either because it is proscribed as an abomination to God, or because it is consecrated to Him. Also means: a vow dedicating something to the Temple or to the priests.
Heresh A deaf man
Hesped Eulogy in honour of the departed and as a comfort to the bereaved, lamentation.
Hesset The technical term for ritualistic uncleanness induced by the motion or shaking by a person with gonorrhea. See also "Zab". See Leviticus 15:2.
Hetter Iskah A standard form of legalization of interest
Hevra Kaddisha Holy brotherhood; same as "Havurah Kaddisha".
Hevrah A formal membership association in the framework of the traditional Jewish community.
Hezkat ha-Yishuv The right of settlement; residence rights.
Hezkat ironut Residence rights; same as "Hezkat ha-Yishuv".
Hillul ha-Shem Defamation of the divine Name.
Hillula Aramaic for "festivity", especially a wedding celebration.
Hineni he-ani mi-ma'as "Behold, I the poor in deeds"; initial words of the silent prayer recited by the hazzan before Musaf on Rosh Ha-Shanah and the Day of Atonement, according to the Ashkenazi ritual.
Hitbonenut Meditation, contemplation.
Hizonah "Outside"; an outside Mishnah; see also "Baraita".
Hizonim "External"; applied to apocryphal works; see "Sefarim Hizonim".
Hoda'ah Admission; legal concept applying both to debts and facts. Formal admission by a defendant is regarded as equal to "the evidence of a hundred witnesses".
Hodayot Thanksgiving Psalms; also the name for one of the Dead Sea scrolls.
Hokhmah Nistarah Secret wisdom, mystical work.
Hokhmah penimit Jewish mysticism
Horayot "Rulings"; short tractate of the Mishnah.
Hoshana Rabba "The Great Hoshana"; name for the 7th Day of the Feast of Tabernacles
Hoshanot Poetical prayers.
Hoshen Mishpat Civil laws, criminal laws, court procedures, etc. One element of Joseph Caro's four part code of Jewish law.
Hozeh Contract; in general law theory a legally binding agreement between two or more parties, in terms of which one party undertakes for the benefit of the other to perform or refrain from a certain act.
Hullin "Profane"; a tractate of the Mishnah. The word is also used for "unsanctified meat" and "unclean food".
Hummash Pentateuch; same as "Mikra".
Hummash ha-Pekudim Book of Numbers.
Huppah Marriage ceremony.