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Jewish Terms and their Meanings

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Pakku'at sadeh, Pakku'ot Cucumber
Paqaha Another name for king Pekah.
Parah "Heifer"; name of a tractate of the Mishnah.
Parah Adumah "Red heifer".
Parashiyyot The 54 weekly portions into which the reading of the Torah was divided in Babylonia for reading the entire Talmud in one year. See also "Sedarim".
Pardes A mnemonic for the four types of biblical exegesis; an acronym of peshat ("the literal meaning"), remez ("hint," i.e., veiled allusions such as gematria, and notarikon), derash ("homiletical interpretation"), and sod ("mystery," i.e., the esoteric interpretation), the word "Pardes" being made up of the initial letters of these words.
Pareve "Neutral"; i.e. kosher foods that contain neither meat nor dairy products.
Parosh Flea
Parush, Perushim Separated, the Pharisees.
Parveh, Parev Neutral foods; term applied to foods which cannot be classified as milk or meat, and which may therefore be eaten with either without infringing the dietary laws.
Pe'ah "Corners"; left for the poor to glean.
Pe'ot Sidelocks grown in accordance with the prohibition of the Torah that "you shall not round the corners of your heads".
Pelugta Conflict of opinion; a legal term.
Perot Fruits
Perushim Same as Pharisees.
Perutah A small coin.
Pesah Sheni The Second Passover, kept one month later.
Pesahim "Paschal lambs"; tractate in the Mishnah.
Peshat The literal meaning.
Pesher In the usage of the Qumran texts an inspired application of biblical prophecies to the circumstances of the end of days.
Pesikta de-Rav Kahana One of the oldest of the homiletic Midrashim. The word pesikta means "the section" or "the portion."
Pesikta Rabbati A medieval Midrash on the festivals of the year.
Pesikta Zutarta Another name for "Lekah Tov", which means "good doctrine". See also "Lekah Tov".
Pesukei de-Zimra Aramaic for "verses of song/praise"; in the Ashkenazi rite, the Psalms and cognate biblical passages recited in Shaharit immediately following the morning benedictions.
Petihah "Opening"; the ritual of opening the Ark in the synagogue during services to take out the Torah scroll for the reading of the Law.
Pidyon ha-Ben The duty to circumcise and redeem the firstborn child if it is a son; the redemption money of a firstborn.
Pidyon Shevuyim "Ransoming of captives"; the religious duty to ransom a fellow Jew captured by slave dealers or robbers, or imprisoned unjustly by the authorities to be released against ransom paid by the Jewish community.
Piggul Abomination; same as "To'evah"
Pikku'ah Nefesh "Regard for human life"; the rabbinical term applied to the duty to save human life in a situation in which it is imperiled.
Pirka See entry under "Teshuvah".
Pirkei Avot "The Chapters of the Fathers"; treatise of the Mishnah, same as "Avot".
Piyyut, Piyyutim A lyrical composition intended to embellish an obligatory prayer or any other religious ceremony, communal or private.
Posekim A Hebrew term for scholars whose intellectual efforts were concentrated on determining the halakhah in practice.
Pritzus Term to describe any woman who dresses untznius (i.e. immodestly).
Purim Lots; festival instituted in the Book of Esther.
Purim Katan Minor Purim; special communal Purims.
Purim Meshullash "Triple Purim"; when the 14th of Adar falls on Friday, the celebration in Jerusalem and other "walled cities" extends over three days.
Purim-Shpil Yiddish meaning "Purim Play".