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Jewish Terms and their Meanings

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Yad Literally "hand"; the pointer used by the reader to indicate the place during the reading of the Torah.
Yahad "Union"; term used in the Dead Sea Scrolls in the sense of "community" with special reference to the Qumran community.
Yahadut Judaism
Yahrzeit The anniversary of a death; also known as "Nahalah".
Yahya ibn Zakariyya John the Baptist
Yam ha-Aravah Dead Sea
Yam ha-Talmud "Sea of the Talmud"; a post-talmudic expression indicating the vastness of the Talmud.
Yam Kinneret Sea of Galilee
Yam Suf Red Sea
Yamim Nora'im "Days of Awe"; a term applied to the period from the first day of Rosh Ha-Shanah until the Day of Atonement and more particularly to these two festivals.
Yammah, Zibah Both these words refer to a woman's flux, an excessive abnormal discharge. By contrast "onah" is used to refer to her normal period.
Yare'ah The moon
Yarmulka Yiddish for the Hebrew "Kippah"; a skullcap
Yatom Orphan
Yavam brother of a man who died childless, and who was to marry his brother's widow. Same as "Levir".
Yayin Wine
Ye'ush "Despair"; despair of property. A person's ownership of property ceases when it is apparent that he has made up his mind that the property will be out of his possession forever.
Yekki Jews of German background.
Yekum Purkan "May deliverance arise"; the name of two prayers recited in the Ashkenazi rite immediately after the reading of the haftarah on the Sabbath.
Yerushalayim Jerusalem
Yeshivah shel Ma'lah "Academy on high"; in rabbinic tradition, a heavenly body of scholars.
Yeshivah, Yeshivot "Sitting"; designation for an academy, also an orthodox Jewish school.
Yevamah A woman whose husband had died childless, and who was then obligated to marry his brother.
Yezer ha-Ra Inclination to evil, bad impulse.
Yezer ha-Tov Inclination to good, good impulse.
Yibbum 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 "Halizah".
Yiddish Language Language used by Ashkenazi Jews for the past 1,000 years. Developed as an intricate fusion of several unpredictably modified stocks, the language was gradually moulded to serve a wide range of communicative needs.
Yiddishkeit Literally "Jewishness"; refers to practicing Judaism based on how Judaism understands the Torah.
Yidoni, yidonim A wizard, wizards
Yigdal "May He be magnified"; opening word of a liturgical hymn.
Yihud "Being alone together"; forbidden as a safeguard against fornication.
Yihus Genealogy
Yirat Elohim Fear of God
Yirat Shamayim "Reverence of heaven".
Yishtabbah "Praised"; first word and the name of the blessing which concludes the Pesukei de-Zimra section of the morning service.
Yizhar "New oil", ointment.
Yizkor "He shall remember"; opening word of the memorial prayer, said for departed close relatives on the last day of Passover.
Yom ha-Azma'ut Israel's Independence Day
Yom ha-Sho'ah Holocaust Remembrance Day
Yom Kippur Katan Minor Day of Atonement; the eve of the new month which became for the pious a day of fast and repentance.
Yom Kippur, Yom ha-Kippurim Day of Atonement
Yom Tov Festivals
Yoreh De'ah Dietary laws; one element of Joseph Caro's four part code of Jewish law.
Yovel Jubilee
Yozer, Yozerot A series of piyyutim inserted in the benedictions which precede and follow the Shema of the morning prayers.
Yuhasin Pedigrees; laws dealing with the determination of an individual's personal status and its legal consequences, insofar as such a status derives from a person's particular parentage.