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Jewish Terms and their Meanings

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Kabbalah, Cabbalah Doctrine, tradition. Today the term Kabbalah is used for the mystic and esoteric doctrine of Judaism.
Kabbalat Shabbat "Reception of the Sabbath"), term designating the inauguration of the Sabbath in general.
Kabbalist In essence, the Kabbalah is far removed from the rational and intellectual approach to religion. This was the case even among those kabbalists who thought that basically religion was subject to rational enquiry, or that, at least, there was some accord between the path of intellectual perception and the development of the mystical approach to the subject of creation.
Kaddish, Kaddish de-Rabbanan "Holy"; a doxology, most of it in Aramaic, recited with congregational responses at the close of individual sections of the public service and at the conclusion of the service itself.
Kahal Communal autonomy; name of the community board.
Kallah "Bride"; name of a minor tractate of the Babylonian Talmud.
Kallak also called "metaksa" and "peranda silk" and "floss silk"; used for making textiles.
Kami'a Amulet, charm.
Kamra A costly girdle, either made of solid gold, or made of cloth and adorned with gold and precious stones.
Kapparah, Kapparot, Kaparot Expiation; custom in which the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl. The custom is practiced in certain Orthodox circles on the day before the Day of Atonement.
Karaites, Kara'im Jewish sect characterized primarily by its denial of the talmudic-rabbinical tradition.
Karet, Kareth Extirpation, cutting off
Karka'ot Landed property, real estate.
Karmelith Part of a public domain, which is but little frequented, thus regarded as neither public nor private ground. Involved in regulations as to what may be "carried" on the Sabbath.
Karpita Seat
Kasher Same as "Kosher"
Kashrut Dietary laws; the collective term for the Jewish laws and customs pertaining to the types of food permitted for consumption and their preparation.
Katan Young, humble, small; used in expressions like "Tallit katan" for "small tallit".
Katla A band or necklace on which beads and trinkets are suspended.
Kavvanah "Directed intention"; the phrase used in rabbinic literature to denote a state of mental concentration and devotion at prayer.
Kedushah Holiness
Kefar A village or country town.
Kehal Medinah Self-governing institutions for the Jews, set up in almost all territories of the Holy Roman Empire where, during the second half of the 16th and the first half of the 17th century, Jewish communities either still existed or had been reestablished after the expulsions at the end of the Middle Ages. Also called "Benei ha-Medinah".
Kehillah Community, the designation of Jewish social units.
Kelim "Vessels"; a tractate of the Mishnah.
Keliyyot Parched grain
Keren ha-Yovel Ram's horn; same as "Shofar".
Keri The way a word in the Hebrew text was read. See also "Ketiv". This is based on oral tradition.
Keri'ah Rending of the garments as a sign of grief.
Keri'at Shema "Called to the Shema"; the twice daily recitation of the declaration of God's unity, Deuteronomy 6:4.
Keri'at Shema al ha-Mittah The reading of the Shema on retiring, literally "on the bed"; a prayer recited before retiring for the night.
Keri'ath ha-Geber The call of "geber". This word means in Hebrew both "man" and "cock"; thus this expression is interpreted to mean either "at cockcrow" or "as the officer called them in the morning".
Keritot Tractate of the Talmud; the name derives from the 36 sins for which the Torah gives the punishment of "karet" (cutting off).
Keruv, Keruvim Cherub
Kessem Magical practices
Ketannah A minor female under the age of 12 years.
Kethubah Marriage settlement; paid to a woman upon divorce; sometimes also associated with widows.
Ketiv The way a word in the Hebrew text was written. See also "Keri". This is based on oral tradition.
Ketivan we-la' Qaryan In the Hebrew text "words which are NOT to be read although they are written". See also "Qaryan we-la' Ketivan".
Ketovet A tattoo; a sign made by puncturing the skin and inserting pigment.
Ketubbah A document recording the financial obligations which the husband undertakes toward his wife in respect of, and consequent to, their marriage.
Ketubbot "Marriage contracts"; name of a tractate of the Talmud.
Ketuvim Scriptures, the Bible.
Kez ha-Yamim Literally "the end of the days," i.e., "the end of time", same as Aharit ha-Yanim
Kibbud av va-em "The honouring of father and mother".
Kibbutz, Kibbutzim Voluntary collective units.
Kiddush Sanctification
Kiddush ha-Shem Sanctification of the divine Name.
Kiddush Levanah Blessing of the moon; prayer of thanksgiving recited at the periodical reappearance of the moon's crescent.
Kiddushin Betrothal, engagement.
Kikayon Castor oil plant
Kilayim Mixed species, hybrids.
Kinah, Kinot Poem expressing mourning, pain, and sorrow.
Kinnim "Nest"; name of a tractate of the Mishnah.
Kinyan Acquisition
Kinyan perot When land is sold for any period of limited duration then this acquisition is called kinyan perot.
Kippah Scullcap, see also "Yarmulka".
Kippur, Kippurim Atonement
Kishu'im Cucumbers
Kislev The 9th month of the Jewish calendar.
Kisse A throne
Kisse ha-Kavod The throne of God.
Kisse shel Eliyahu Chair of Elijah
Kisuf The use of magic herbs.
Kitab Arabic for "a holy book containing a revelation of God's Word". See also "Ahl Al-Kitab".
Kitel Yiddish for "gown", worn for certain rites; also used for burying the dead.
Kitniyyot Legumes
Knesset Assembly
Knesset ha-Gedolah The Great Assembly.
Kodashim "Sacred things"; tractate of the Mishnah.
Kofer Ransom
Kofer be-ikkar Heresy, belief in ideas contrary to those advocated by religious authorities.
Kohen Priest
Kohen ha-Resha Wicked Priest; character mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Koi, Kevi An animal referred to in the Talmud.
Kol Bo "Everything within"; an anonymous work containing both halakhic rulings as well as explanations of halakhot, arranged in accordance with the subject matter.
Kolel "Comprehensive", "Embracing all".
Komamiyuth Upright
Konam An expression used in a vow of abstinence.
Korobka The word is derived from Russian, a tax imposed on consumption items, mainly on kasher meat.
Kosher, Kasher Originally used in the Bible in the sense of "fit" or "proper"; later in rabbinic literature exclusively for objects that are ritually correct and faultless.
Kotvanim Another name for "Soferim" or scribes.
Kunya Arabic for "nickname".
Kuti Heretic, sectarian, same as "Min".
Kuttah A dish made of bread mixed with sour milk and baked in the sun.