N - P
"Nachat" - (f., generally not used in plural); satisfaction, pride, pleasure; as in “nachat ruach,” “satisfaction of the spirit.” It is the task of the Jew to bring “nachat” to HaShem, even as it is the task of the child to bring “nachat” to his or her parents.
"Navi" - (m., pl. "Neviim"); a Prophet; as in "Hagam Shaul BaNeviim?" ("Shmuel"/Samuel 1(10:11) "Is Shaul also among the Prophets?"
"Ne'eman" - (m., pl. "ne'emanim"); faithful; as in "B'chol bayti ne'eman hu," "In all of My Palace, he (Moshe) is faithful" (Bamidbar12:7), and as in the blessing given to Jewish newly-weds, that they build a "Bayit ne'eman b'Yisrael," a home faithful to the Traditions of Israel.
"Nefesh" - (m.; pl. nefashot");soul, essence of life; the state of being alive; as in "Ki HaDam hu HaNefesh," "For Blood is the essence of life," or "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."
"Neshamah" - (f.; pl. "Neshamot"); soul or breath; as in "BeYom HaShabbat yesh leAdam Neshamah Yetera," "On the Day of Shabbat, a person has an 'extra soul,' " or "VaYipach be-apo nishmat chayim," "And G-d breathed into his nose the breath of life." (Bereshit (2:7)
- (f., pl. "Niddot"); literally "removed or separated;"
generally in the context of Jewish Marital Laws (known as "Taharat
HaMishpacha," or Family Purity). When a married woman is in the
menstrual state, Jewish Law requires a period of separation from her
It is the
obligation of the woman to examine herself, and if she detects even the
smallest drop of blood, she must inform her husband, and they must withdraw
from each other, until her period of "clean days" is over. Then
she should immerse herself in a Mikvah, and
afterwards, they should return to each other and resume normal marital
use the term to depict the People of Israel when they are involved in sin,
such as immorality or idol-worship or violence, and consequent estrangement
Numbers - See "Bamidbar"
Observant - In the Jewish context, the word describes individuals who follow a lifestyle dictated by scrupulous observance of the "Mitzvot," the Commands of G-d, as recorded in the Torah. Again in the Jewish context, the word has essentially the same meaning as "Orthodox." The common denominator is that both believe strongly in the Principle of "Torah min HaShamayim;" namely, that the Torah was given by HaShem to the Jewish People, on Mt. Sinai and during their forty year sojourn through the desert, as recorded in the Bible. Ultimately, by their fulfillment of their role as "A light unto the nations," the People of Israel will communicate the principles of the Torah to all of humanity, as well.
"Olam HaBa" - The "World-to-Come"; the "place" of Reward for the Righteous, where Hashem completes His "payment" to them, "Midah K'neged Midah," Measure for Measure," in spiritual terms, a Fundamental Belief and Article of Faith of the Jewish Religion.
Described as where the "Righteous sit with their crowns on their heads, and derive pleasure from the Radiance of the Divine Presence."
Also described as "The World of Truth."
And also described by King David as "No eye has seen it, O L-rd, but Yours."
"Olam HaZeh" - "This World;" the world in which we live, where each of us is given the opportunity to honor the Name of Hashem by performing "Mitzvot," commands of G-d, and learning and teaching Torah, according to his or her gifts, and behaving in an honest and decent manner with our fellow human beings.
A vote was taken in the Talmud as to whether it was to the advantage of Man to have been created. The result of the vote was that it was not to his advantage. However, since he or she was created, it was their obligation to carefully examine their behavior.
According to Rabbi Yaakov, one of the great Tannaim, one should view the relationship of "Olam HaZeh" to "Olam HaBa" as that of an "entrance" or "anteroom" to a "Palace." Prepare yourself in the entrance, advises Rabbi Yaakov, so that you will be admitted to the "Palace."(Chapter 4: Mishnah 21)
"Omer" - the name of the Grain-Offering of barley which was brought in the time of the Temple on the Sixteenth of Nisan. The bringing of this Offering in those times and, in our times, it is the Day itself, which constitutes the barrier between two "states" of grain, the prohibited "chadash" state and the permitted "yashan" state. The Counting of the Forty-Nine Days beginning the Second Day of Passover (Sixteenth of Nisan) until (and including) the Day before Shavuot, is a Positive Command of the Torah and is called Sefirat HaOmer.
“Olive-Oil” – See “Shemen-Zayit”
Oral Law - Principles of Jewish Law transmitted originally to Moshe (Moses) by G-d at Mt. Sinai, during the forty days and forty nights that Moshe was at the top of the mountain, to be transmitted from parents to children or from teachers to students. Contains explanations of the Written Law, where it is necessary, e.g. physical definition of Tefilin, and explanation of Jewish concept of an "eye for an eye," which would otherwise be completely misunderstood. Originally, the "Oral Law" was not meant to be written down, but when the difficulties of Jewish History threatened to cause its forgetting, Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi compiled the Mishnah, and Ravina and Rav Ashi compiled the Gemara.
Orthodox - In the Jewish context, the word describes individuals who follow a lifestyle dictated by scrupulous observance of the "Mitzvot," the Commands of G-d, as recorded in the Torah. Again in the Jewish context, the word has essentially the same meaning as "Observant." The common denominator is that both believe strongly in the Principle of "Torah min HaShamayim;" namely, that the Torah was given by HaShem to the Jewish People, on Mt. Sinai and during their forty year sojourn through the desert, as recorded in the Bible. Ultimately, by their fulfillment of their role as "A light unto the nations," the People of Israel will communicate the principles of the Torah to all of humanity, as well.
As in, "The Orthodox Union serves the interests of some one thousand Orthodox Synagogues as well as the interests of the general Jewish Community, and of the general public.
"PaRDeS" - an acronym, emphasizing the letters capitalized and bolded, referring to the four fundamental branches of Torah study; namely, "PSHAT," Simple Meaning, "REMEZ," Hinted-At Meaning, "DRASH," Derived Meaning and "SOD," Secret, or Hidden Meaning. In Hebrew, the word "pardes" means orchard, and the meanings are not unrelated. For when one tastes the fruit of the orchard, benefit is derived on many levels: the simple taste, the hinted-at, more subtle taste, derived benefit, such as when one makes grapes into wine, and the secret, unexpressed benefit, which lingers in the imagination. There was more than a "taste" of danger when one entered the "Pardes" of the Torah, as we see in the Talmud's account of the four great Torah scholars who "entered the Pardes," of whom only Rabbi Akiva emerged whole.
Pardon - see "Mechilah"
"Parshah" - (pl. parshiyot); section - as in a section of the Torah read on each Shabbat
Patrilineal Descent - determining descent by the father; this is the method of determining "status," in terms of whether son is a Kohen, Levi or Yisrael, and accordingly, whether son's daughter is a bat-Kohen, bat-Levi or bat-Yisrael; as opposed to matrilineal descent.
"Pesach" - Hebrew for "Passover". The Festival of Redemption, in which the Jewish People, who had been captives and slaves in Egypt for more than two hundred years, were freed from the "House of Bondage." This Redemption was proof of many of the fundamental beliefs of Judaism. It was proof of the Existence of G-d, that G-d was concerned about the world, that He would and could intervene in human history in order to establish His moral order in the World. Passover represented Physical Redemption. The real goal was Spiritual Redemption, which was represented by the Holiday of Shavuot. Passover and Shavuot were connected by Sefirat HaOmer, the Counting of the Days from the Second Day of Passover till Shavuot, a period of time over which the Jewish People were expected to grow sufficiently to take the first step of spiritual growth, Accepting the Torah.
"Pidyon HaBen" - Redemption of the (First-Born) Son; by Biblical command, at the age of 30 days, when the son has established a claim to viability, the father is obligated to "redeem" him by giving five "shekalim," (currently, five silver dollars) to a Kohen, who may or may not choose to keep it, return it to the giver, or donate it to "Tzadakah," or Charity. This is in lieu of the Plague of the First Born, when Hashem killed all the First-Born of the Egyptians, and spared the Jewish "Bechorim," or First-Born, by "passing over" the doorposts of the Jews in Egypt, which had been smeared with the blood of the Pesach Sacrifice.
This work contains the moral and ethical and philosophical teachings of about sixty great "Tannaim," Scholars of the Mishnah, over a period of some five hundred years. Deals with topics of freedom of the will, true love, the Purpose of Man, how to develop one's character, etc. etc. This is the work of the Oral Law devoted entirely to the behavior of Man, and how he can improve it.
Chapter 1, Mishnah 15: "Shammai says, 'Make your Torah study a fixed practice. Speak little and do much. And receive everyone with a cheerful face.' "
Chapter 3, Mishnah 12: "He (Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa) used to say, 'Anyone whose good deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom will endure; but anyone whose wisdom exceeds his good deeds, his wisdom will not endure.' "
Chapter 3, Mishnah 13: "He (Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa) used to say,
'If people are pleased with a person, then Hashem is pleased with him; but if people are
not pleased with a person, then Hashem is not pleased with him either.' "
Proverbs - the Biblical Book; see "Mishlei"
Psalms - see "Tehilim"
"Purim" - the holiday which commemorates the Salvation of the Jewish Community in the Kingdom of Achashverosh, which included basically the entire world, after the destruction of the First Temple and before the building of the Second, from the genocidal plans of the wicked Haman. Haman wanted to kill all the Jews, children and adults, in one day, the thirteenth of Adar. However, "Pride goeth before a fall," and his devilish plan wound up on his own head, as he and his ten sons spent the holiday swinging from the gallows that Haman had prepared for Mordechai.