Commonly used Transliterations and their Translation
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TransliterationOriginal HebrewTranslation
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Achronimאחרונים
same as Rishonim except generally esteemed in lower stature due to closer proximity in time to us and distance from Sinai, aprox 16th c. CE to present
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ahavas Hashem yisborachאהבת השם יתברךlove of God may He be blessed
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Amoraimאמוראים
sages of the Talmudic era
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apikoresאפיקורוסapostate
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arayosערייותShorthand of גילוי ערייות - forbidden sexual relations
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assurאסורprohibited
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aveiros/aveiraעבירה/עבירותSin/Sins
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avoda zaraעבודה זרהstrange worship (idolatry)
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BavliבבליBabylonian [Talmud]
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Bayamim hahem bazman hazehבימים ההם בזמן הזה[who performed miracles for our forefathers] in those days, at this time
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bedievedבדיעבדex post facto (i.e. the conditions under which one may still satisfy the legal requirement after the ab initio circumstance has not been fulfilled) - or in plain English, "not the best way but acceptable too".
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Beis HaMikdashבית המקדשThe Temple (lit. the House of Sanctity)
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beis medrish, bet midrashבית מדרשstudy hall (literally house of expounding)
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Beth/Bet/Beit/Beis Dinבית דיןA Jewish Court
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bitzelem Elokimבצלם אלוקיםin the image of God
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bli nederבלי נדרliterally "without vow". Since a vow is a very serious thing with all sorts of conditions attached, if one wants to promise something to someone else but make it clear that this is in no way a halachic vow one adds "bli neder" to the promise.
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bnei Torahבני תורהSons of Torah
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Bnei Yisroelבני ישראלThe Children of Israel (i.e. Jews)
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bochurבחורyeshiva student / unmarried young man
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chag kasher v'sameachחג כשר ושמחhappy and kosher holiday (greeting/farewell)
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chametzחמץleavened product of the 5 grains (forbidden to consume on Passover)
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ChashmonaimחשמונאיםHasmoneans
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Chazalחז"לacronym for chachmeinu zichronam livracha, "our Sages of blessed memory"
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cheremחרםexcommunication
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chessedחסדkindness
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chilonimחילוניםsecularists (usually referring to the Israeli secular population)
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chilul Hashemחילול השםdesecration of God’s name (a biblical prohibition)
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chiyuvחיובobligation
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chumraחומראstringency
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d'oraisaדאורייתאbiblical law directly from Torah (also pronounced as d'oraita by modern Hebrew)
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d'rabananדרבנןrabbinic law
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davenדאבעןto pray (yiddish)
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DayanדייןHighest achievable level of Rabbinic strata -- one able to rule on halachic court cases.
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dinדיןjudgement/justice
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E"Yארץ ישראל, א"יEretz Yisroel, land of Israel
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ga’avah or gaivahגאוהhaughtiness
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galusגלותexile - often used to refer to the state of Jews and Judaism after the destruction of the Second Temple
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gedolei hadorגדולי הדורGiants of the generation (i.e. greatest rabbinic sages of the era)
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Gedolei Torahגדולי תורהGiants of Torah (great rabbinic sages)
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Gemilus Chasadimגמילות חסדיםActs of kindness (what cultural American Jewry usually means when they call something a mitzvah)
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gaonimגאוניםearly rabbinic leadership after the closing of the Talmud
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geulahגאולהredemption
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gezeirahגזירהrabbinic decree
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haZakenהזקןThe Elder; The Old Man; eg - Gamliel haZaken
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hechsherהכשרRabbinic approval/certification; a symbol that indicates a product conforms to Jewish dietary law
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hetterהתרhalakhic license (permission)
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ikkarei emunahעקרי אמונהfoundational beliefs of Judaism
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issurאיסורprohibition
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issur schar peulahאיסור שכר פעולהprohibition of being paid with the proceeds from items from which it is prohibited to benefit from
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kana'usקנאותzealotry
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kashrutכַּשְׁרוּתJewish dietary laws
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kiyumקייוםfulfillment
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koferכופרheretic
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korbanosקרבנותsacrifices
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kulaקולאleniency
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l'heichan hadaas notehלהיכן הדעת נוטהthe direction one errs towards after analysis in a case of ambiguity
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lechatchilahלכתחילהab initio (i.e. the law as it should ideally be performed at the outset)
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lehavdilלהבדילby crude comparison (typically used when comparing secular or profane things to holy/religious ones)
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maariv, arvis, arvitמעריב/ערביתevening prayers
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madreigaמדרגהspiritual level (lit. stair)
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matir מתירthe act of or mechanism through which halakhic license emerges
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mesupak מסופקin a state of doubt (regarding a halachic matter)
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mevayeshמביישto embarrass
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middosמידותattributes
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mefarshim מפרשים
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min מיןsectarian/subversive heretic
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minchaמנחהafternoon prayers or particular kind of temple sacrifice
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minyanמִנְיָןgroup of 10 Jewish adults gathered together for specific religious obligations (most commonly, prayer). In Orthodox Judaism, this can only be men. In other denominations, women can also count toward a minyan.
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moshiachמשיחmessiah
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mussarמוסרethics (rebuke)
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nasiנשיאprince; prince/president of the Sanhedrin
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neshamaנשמהsoul
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olam habahעולם הבאthe world to come, afterlife or future messianic era depending on view
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olam hazehעולם הזהthis world, the temporal plane
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p’sakפסקruling (of Jewish law)
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parnassaפרנסהincome/career
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pasken (Yiddish)פסקעןto rule (a matter of Jewish law)
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posekפוסקone charged with making decisions on questions of Jewish law
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posulפסולinvalidated
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pritzusפריצותpromiscuity
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rabbonimרבניםrabbis
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rachamimרחמיםmercy
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RebbeרביLiterally rabbi/teacher. More commonly used to refer to the chief rabbi of an Chasiddic sect.
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Rebbeimrabbis/teachers plural
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Ribono Shel Olamריבונו של עולםMaster of the Universe (God)
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Rishonimראשוניםearly Talmud commentators and halachic codifiers after the Geonic era aprox 11th-15th c. CE
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safeikספקdoubt
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Safeik d'oraisa lehachmirספיקא דאורייתא לחומראin a case of halachic doubt concerning biblical law we are stringent
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Safeik d'rabanan lehakel ספיקא דרבנן לקולאin a case of halachic doubt concerning rabbinic law we are lenient
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Sanhedrinסנהדריןthe great court which rules on matters of Jewish law and has been defunct since the Talmudic era
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sephardicספרדיJews of Spanish and Portuguese descent, most communities of which left during the Inquisition.
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Shabbat/Shabbosשבתsabbath
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shacharis, shacharitשחריתmorning prayers
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ShalomשלוםPeace
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Shayleh (Yiddish)שאיילעהSame as she'eyla
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she'eylaשאלהquestion (of a Jewish legal matter)
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shefichas damimשפיכת דמיםliterally the spilling of blood (i.e. killing)
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shekiyahשקיעהsunset
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shevatimשבטים12 tribes
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