D - I
"Daf Yomi" - (m., pl. generally not used); the “Daily Daf,” the learning of one “Daf,” or (2-sided) page of Talmud, each day. This idea was the result of the genius of Rabbi Meir Schapiro, in order to bring Torah learning to the masses. In our time, the idea has caught on “like wildfire,” and worldwide, at least tens, probably hundreds of thousands of Jews participate in the program, that allows them, at least to make contact, if not to thoroughly analyze, the entire Talmud in approximately seven years.
Another major contributor to the success of this program is the ArtScroll Publishing Company and the Schottenstein Family that has supported the publication of a version of the Talmud that retains the traditional look of a page of the Talmud, but provides an excellent translation, and an even more excellent set of explanatory notes, that help make the sometimes difficult logic of the Talmud more comprehensible to scholar and layman alike.
- involved with Ezra in the re-building of the First Temple, at around 516 B.C.E.
One of the Books of the "TANACH," the Hebrew Bible, is named after
him, and gives an historical account of his time.
He was brought with his companions Chananiah,
Mishael and Azariah to the royal court of Nevuchadnezzar. There he and they
refuse to eat the king's food (because it is not Kosher (no OU!)), and they
subsist on a meager diet. Nevertheless, HaShem
miraculously keeps them hale and hearty, as they prove to the Minister of
the King responsible for their care.
HaShem protects Daniel from harm when he is thrown into a lions' den, because he has been discovered praying to HaShem and facing towards Jerusalem.
Date Palm - see "Lulav"
He had great courage, as he demonstrated when, as a shepherd, he killed a lion and a
bear. And, when he visited his brothers in battle with the forces of Shaul against the
Philistines and observed the mocking behavior and heard the taunts of the giant Galyat
(Goliath) against the G-d and the People of Israel, he approached him unarmed except with
his slingshot and killed him with one shot.
According to Jewish Tradition, the "Mashiach," or Messiah will ultimately come from the descendants of David.
Day One of Creation - see "Yom Echad"
Day Two of Creation - see "Yom Sheni"
Day Three of Creation - see "Yom Shelishi"
Day Four of Creation - see "Yom Revii"
Day Five of Creation - see "Yom Chamishi"
Day Six of Creation - see "Yom HaShishi"
Deuteronomy - See "Devarim"
"Devarim" - (English: Deuteronomy); the fifth of the Five Books of Moses. Of all the Five Books, this is truly a "Book of Moses," in that it consists entirely of Moshe's farewell address to the Jewish People, on the eve of their entry into the Land of Israel, and on the eve of his own departure. He used the opportunity mainly to review the history of the Jewish People from Egypt to that time, and to warn them that they would face disasters of incredible magnitude, if they left the path of the Torah. But whatever happened, they would in the end return to G-d through "Teshuvah," or Repentance, and be redeemed by Him.
"Din" - (m.; pl. "Dinim"); strict justice, judgment or, any law; as in "Midat HaDin ; the (Divine) Attribute of Strict Justice; or as in the expression "Yikov HaDin et HaHar," "Let the Law pierce the mountain (and let "the chips fall as they may", to mix metaphors);" or as in "Dinei Mamonot BiShelosha," "Monetary judgments require three Judges;" (Masechet Sanhedrin 1:1) or, finally, as in "Dina DeMalchuta Dina," (Aramaic) "The Law of the Land is the Law" (which must be observed when it does not conflict directly with the Law of the Torah)
"Domem" - (m.; pl. "Domemim"); (the state of being) silent; as in "Yesh arbaah matzavei metziut:: Domem, Nefesh, Chai, Medaber; Dugmaot hem: sela, eitz, tzvi, ben-adam," "There are four states of being: Silent, Living, Animated, Speaking; examples are: a rock, a tree, a deer, a human being."
"Egel HaZahav" - The Golden Calf, which was created and worshipped at the foot of Mt. Sinai by the Jewish People only forty days after they received the "Aseret HaDibrot," the Ten Commandments. This was their first major act of rebellion against G-d, for which Hashem threatened to destroy them, but Moshe saved them by his prayers.
"E-l" - (m.) the Almighty, a reference to G-d; sometimes written, without a "dash," as "Kel". Compare HaShem.
- Almighty G-d, the Name most closely associated with His "Midat HaDin,"
His Attribute of Justice; sometimes written, without the dash, as "Elokim."
"Emmet" - (f.); truth; one of the central qualities of Hashem, and one strongly emphasized and recommended for human behavior in the Torah; as we say in the Prayer of "Shema Yisrael," "Understand, O Israel," "Hashem Elokeichem Emmet," "The L-rd, your G-d, is Truth;" or as in "Yaako Avinu haya 'Ish HaEmmet,' " "Jacob our Father was a Man, or a Master, of Truth."
"Emunah" - (f., pl. "Emunot"); Two meanings: 1. A belief; a basic assumption that lies at the root of a religious doctrine, as in "Emunot V'Deot," "Beliefs and Ideas," by Rav Saadiah Gaon; 2. Faithful; without fail; as in "VaYehi Yadav emunah ad bo HaShemesh," "And his (Moshe's) hands remained (aloft) without fail, until sunset (Shemot 17:12)
"Eser Makot" - (English: Ten Plagues); the ten punishments administered by G-d to the Egyptians through the agency of Moses. They proved G-d's mastery over water, land and air. Pharaoh resisted them all until the final one: the killing of the first-born.
"Esther" - the Jewish Queen of Persia, the heroine of the Purim story, who risked her life by appearing uninvited in the throne-room of Achashverosh to plead for her People, using the guise of a private party for the King and the evil Haman.
"Ethics of the Fathers" - see "Pirkei Avot"
"Etrog" - (pl. "Etrogim"); the Citron Fruit; called by the Torah, "the beautiful fruit of a tree;" one of the "Arba-ah Minim," the "Four Species, or Types of Agricultural Produce" which the Jew is commanded by the Torah to hold together and wave in all directions. The symbolism of this act, at least according to one opinion in the Talmud, is to show the supremacy of G-d, its Creator, over Nature.
Eve - See "Chava"
"Evil" Inclination - see "Yetzer HaRa"
Exodus - See "Shemot" when used as the name of the Biblical book. It is also used to refer specifically to the leaving of Egypt by the Jewish People, and generally, to any departure from a place.
Expulsion - Although there have been many expulsions from various lands in the Exile by the nations that lived there, this term has come to refer mainly to the expulsion of the Jewish People from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492, under the influence of the Priest Torquemada. Some 250,000 Jewish, Spanish citizens were affected by this Order of Expulsion, that was issued on Tisha B'Av of that year. On that very day, Christopher Colombus set sail for the New World, on the mission that would result in his discovery of America, and the opening, not much later, of another place for the Jewish community to locate.
HaSofer" - Ezra the
Scribe; a great leader of the Jewish People at the time of the building of
the "Second Temple," in approximately year 516 B.C.E.
He made many decrees preserving the way of life of the Torah among the
Jewish People. He mounted a strong campaign against intermarriage among
those who returned with him from Exile in Babylonia. In his greatness, he is
compared to Moshe.
A Book of the Bible bears his name, and gives an historical account of his time. The word "Sofer," meaning "Scribe," actually meant more than the current meaning of the term "Sofer." It was the name given to the Scholarly Leaders of the People at that time in history.
Five Books of Moses - The Chumash, or Pentateuch, the traditional grouping of the Prophetic Writings of Moshe; according to Jewish Tradition, the fact that material was basically "dictated" by G-d makes every word and every letter profoundly significant; it is said that there are "seventy aspects of the Torah." Books include 1. Bereshit (Genesis), 2. Shemot (Exodus), 3. Vayikra (Leviticus) 4. BaMidbar (Numbers) 5. Devarim (Deuteronomy)
Forgiveness - see "Selichah"
Friday - "Yom Shishi" - the sixth day of the week; very similar to, but slightly different from the Sixth Day of Creation, Yom HaShishi; the similarity is due to the fact that according to Jewish Tradition, the Sixth Day of Creation was indeed Friday; the difference, the letter "heh," the fifth letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, the definite article meaning "the," is due to the fact that the Sixth and Final Day of Creation was singled out, as RASHI explains, to indicate that heaven and earth were created only on condition that the Jewish People accept the Five Books of Moses (Midrash Tanchuma 1).
An alternative, but similar, explanation is that the term "HaShishi," meaning The Sixth, that special Sixth, refers to the Sixth of Sivan, the Holiday of Shavuot, on which the Jewish People accepted the Torah, and on that day it was as if the Creation was solidified; that is, reality somehow became more permanent because, again, the lessons of the Torah are the purpose of Creation (Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:9).
'Gadol'" – (m.,
pl. “Gedolim”); by itself, the word “gadol” means grown-up, or an adult.
In the context desired here, it refers specifically to specific
individuals in a generation who have risen to greatness in the knowledge of
Torah, the ability to analyze the logical fundamentals of Torah topics, or “Halachah,”
Jewish Law; that is, the application of Torah principles to practical problems.
"Gan Eden" - 1. The "Garden of Eden;" the original residence of humanity's first couple. There Adam and Chava were commanded to "work the Garden and Protect it," and also not to eat from the fruit of the "Eitz HaDaat," the "Tree of Knowledge" nor from that of the "Eitz HaChayim," the "Tree of Life." Alomost immediately, they transgressed the first prohibition and ate from the Eitz HaDaat. They were driven from the Garden, and history as we know it began.
2. Also used as an identification of the "place" where the righteous receive their reward in the "World-to-Come."
"Gaon" - (m., pl. "Geonim"); Two meanings, one "historical," the other in common usage, both based on root meaning of "pride." The "historical" meaning refers to the Group of Torah Scholars who followed the "Amoraim." They included Rav Hai Gaon, the last and possibly the greatest among them. The more common meaning is "Torah Genius;" it is one of the highest forms of praise to be considered a "gaon." The prime example in relatively "modern" times was the "Vilna Gaon."
Garden of Eden - See "Gan Eden"
"Gemara" - (Aramaic) Contains comprehensive discussions of
the Mishnah; consists of sixty three "Masechtot",
or volumes, such as "Berachot," Blessings, or "Sanhedrin," the Jewish
Genesis - See "Bereshit"
"Gibbor" - (m.; pl. "Gibborim"); a mighty person, a hero; as in "Aizehu Gibbor? HaCovesh et Yitzro!" "Who is the mighty person? The one who conquers his evil inclination!"
Golden Calf - See "Egel HaZahav"
"Good" Inclination - see "Yetzer HaTov"
"Hachnasat Orechim" - (f,); hospitality; the welcoming of guests into one's home. This was one of the special "midot," behavioral characteristics, introduced into the world by Avraham Avinu, as we see at the beginning of "Parshat Vayera." There HaShem sends three angels in the guise of nomads to appear at the Tent of Avraham, where they receive a royal welcome from the Father of Our People .
"Hadasim" - (sing. "Hadas"); called by the Torah "twigs of a 'braided tree' ; " namely, the Myrtle, which is called "braided" because the leaves on each of its branches come in triplets. Three such twigs make up one of the "Arba-ah Minim," the "Four Species, or Types of Agricultural Produce" which the Jew is commanded by the Torah to hold together and wave in all directions. The symbolism of this act, at least according to one opinion in the Talmud, is to show the supremacy of G-d, its Creator, over Nature.
"Haftarah" - (f.; pl. "Haftarot"); a section from the writings of the Prophets, who were human "conduits," or pipelines through which G-d addressed the Jewish People, related in some way to the Weekly Torah Reading, appended to the weekly Reading. Historically, the custom of reading the Haftorah was instituted when the ruling power forbade, usually on pain of death, the reading of the Torah. As in, "Kavod gadol likro et ha-Haftarah bevait Ha-knesset;" "It is a great honor to read the Section of the Prophets in the synagogue."
- (f., pl. "Halachot"); Actually, this word is used in two senses:
one is as a singular, meaning a single Jewish Law; for example, that one has
to recite a "berachah," a
blessing, before one eats an apple. The second sense is as a collective
noun, referring to "all of Jewish Law." For example, a Rabbi
should be an expert in all of "Halachah."
The word derives from the Hebrew "shoresh," or root, "lech," "to go." The reason is that it describes a "path to follow," or a "way on which to go," in life.
"Haman" - the evil Persian megalomaniac, who saw in the Jewish People and in Mordechai, in particular, the block in his path to the throne of Persia. To get rid of this "obstacle," he formulated a plot, based on a lottery (a "Pur," in Persian), by which he would effectively exterminate the entire Jewish population. Fortunately, at that time, we were able to assemble enough "zechut," or merit, to convince HaShem that we were still worthy of being saved.
And Haman and his ten sons wound up swinging from the gallows that he had prepared for Mordechai.
"HaShem" - (both and neither masculine nor feminine and absolutely no plural); the word means, literally, "The Name," and it is the way that Jews refer to G-d when not in a Prayer or Torah Reading or Torah citation context. The reason is that the Torah forbids us from pronouncing the four-letter Name of HaShem in other than ritual contexts, and even then using only certain Names (other than the four-letter one, known as the Tetragrammaton) that embody characteristics, such as A-donai, E-l, E-lohim.
"Havdalah" - (pl. "Havdalot"); Separation; the prayer recited at the end of Shabbat or a Holiday, the opposite, in a sense, of the Kiddush Recitation. It praises G-d, the Creator of Time, as the One Who separates, or distinguishes between the two kinds of time; namely, the holy time and the mundane time. At the end of Shabbat, fragrant spices are used; they are smelled, and a blessing is recited, to arouse the soul from its sadness at the departure of the "neshama yetera," the enhanced soul, which, according to Jewish tradition, couples with the "regular" neshama on Shabbat, and is part of the delight. A blessing is also recited on a candle on the night of the departure of Shabbat, "Motzaei Shabbat," because it was that night that fire, that great gift, the foundation of all technological progress, was discovered/given to the human being.
Hebrew Calendar - A Twelve-Month Calendar based primarily on the motions of the Earth and the Moon with respect to each other (a Lunar Calendar); for example, the month is defined by the revolution of the Moon around the Earth, which takes approx. 29 and a half days. Over twelve months, this would produce a year of approx. 354 days. In order to satisfy the Biblical requirement that Nisan, the First Month, be in the Springtime, a thirteenth month (Second Adar) is inserted in certain years.
Holiness - See "Kedushah"
Hospitality - see "Hachnasat Orechim"
Idol Worship - See "Avodah Zarah"
"Imahot" - the "Founding Mothers" of the Jewish People: Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah. Each was the beloved wife of one of the Avot. Sarah was the wife of Avraham, Rivkah the wife of Yitzchak, and Rachel and Leah were both the wives of Yaakov. The Imahot were great in their own right. It is said that Sarah had a greater power of prophecy than did her husband, Avraham. Rivkah had the greater insight in favoring Yaakov over Esav. Leah bore and raised some of the greatest of the Tribes. And Rachel, is buried in a strategic spot along the road on which the Captivity of the Jewish People would walk, and only the prayers and cries of their "mother" Rachel would be accepted by Hashem.
Isaac - See "Yitzchak"
Israel - alternate name of "Yaakov", modern State of Israel; "Medinat Yisrael"
"Iyar" - Second month of the year, counting from Nisan, the first month. The month in the Hebrew Calendar which contains the bulk of the days of the Sefirat HaOmer. The month begins right after Holocaust and Bravery Remembrance Day (which occurs at the end of Nisan), and contains Israel's Memorial Day, Israel Independence Day, Lag BaOmer and Yom Yerushalayim. The month is sometimes called "Chodesh Ziv," the Month of Shining, because of the beauty of the Spring and, among other reasons, perhaps because of the brilliance of the Zohar, which is associated with Lag BaOmer and with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
"Iyov" - see here.