June 21, 2006, by

Joseph; known in Jewish Tradition as “Yosef HaTzaddik,” Joseph the Righteous, for his ability to control his passion when the Egyptian wife of Potifar, Joseph’s initial master when he arrived as a slave in Egypt, attempted to seduce him (“Bereshit”/Genesis 39:12) Earlier, as a brilliant youth of seventeen, a dreamer, and gifted by G-d with […]


June 21, 2006, by

Jubilee Year; Fiftieth year; “You shall count for yourself seven cycles of ‘Shemitah’ years, seven years seven times,” (“Vayikra”/Leviticus 25:8), then “You shall sound a broken note in the Seventh Month, on the tenth of the month, on Yom HaKippurim, you shall sound the ‘Shofar’ throughout your Land. You shall sanctify the fiftieth year and […]

Zechut Avot

June 21, 2006, by

[f.]; merit of the “Avot,” the forefathers Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, possibly also referring to the merit of great ancestors, in general, that accrues to the benefit of later generations. The merit of the forefathers, in particular, is an inexhaustible or nearly inexhaustible reservoir of merit, that is of great benefit to their descendants on […]


February 12, 2014, by

(f., pl. “Zerichot”); shining; as in “Zerichat HaChamah”

Zerichat HaChamah

February 12, 2014, by

(f., pl. “Zerichot HaChamah”); sunrise; the astronomical event that occurs when the disc of the sun begins to appear in the East.

Zevulun (ca. 1562 B.C.E. – ca. 1452 B.C.E.)

February 11, 2014, by

Click on Sons of Yaakov for a general introduction to the lives of these individuals who constituted the original Jewish People. According to “Midrash Yalkut Shimoni” on Shemot, 162, Zevulun was born on the seventh of Tishrei, and lived one hundred ten years. Zevulun was the sixth son that Leah bore to Yaakov, and his […]


February 12, 2014, by

(v. t. for masculine subject); he merits (something); as in, “David was not “zocheh” to build the “Beit HaMikdash” because he had been involved in wars and, of necessity, killing. Therefore, although he conceived the idea, it fell to his son, Shlomo to actually build the Temple.”


February 12, 2014, by

Basic Book of Jewish Mysticism; written by Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai in the Galilean Cave, during his period of enforced hiding from the Romans. Bar Yochai was a disciple of Rabbi Akiva, and was the recipient of a living tradition of Kabbalah from his master, but he is the one who recorded it for posterity […]


February 12, 2014, by

(m.); the other person, as opposed to one’s self; as in “Mitzvat ‘VeAhavta lereacha camocha’ mechayev et ha-Yehudi le-hadgish et ha-Zulat,” “The Commandment ‘You shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself’ requires the Jew to emphasize the importance of the ‘Other’.”

“Eved Ivri” – Hebrew Servant

June 7, 2006, by

The “Eved Ivri” is treated extremely well by the Law of the Torah. He or she is a full-fledged Jew or Jewess in all respects, is obligated in all the Commandments of the Torah, and is included in most respects as a member of the owner’s family. The “Eved Ivri” may bring in his own family, including wife and children, and his “owner” is obligated to support his family as well as himself. The owner has the right to unite him as well with a non-Jewish female servant, and children produced from that union remain with the master.