Glossary

Avodah Zarah

June 19, 2006, by

[f.]; idol worship or, in general, worship of anything other than G-d; for example, worship of the sun or the moon or the stars or a particular river, or man-made objects, such as statues of various kinds. King David describes the contrast between HaShem and idols in “Tehilim”/Psalms 115:3-8: “Our G-d is in the heavens; […]

Avot

June 20, 2006, by

the group of “forefathers,” or “Founding Fathers,” of the Jewish people. They were Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov: grandfather, father and grandson. Both Avraham (Abraham) and Yitzchak (Isaac) had children who were founders of dynasties who opposed the goals and purposes of the Jewish People; namely, Yishmael (Ishmael), son of Avraham, ancestor of the Muslim Civilization, […]

B.C.E.

June 20, 2006, by

relating to a system of historical dating of events; specifically, Before the Common Era; that is, before the birth of Jesus. The latter is known in Jewish tradition as “Yeshu HaNotzri,” Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity. This term corresponds to B.C.. Compare to C.E., which is in the Common Era.

Baal Teshuvah

June 20, 2006, by

[pl. Baalei Teshuvah]; “Master of Repentance;” equiv. to “Chozer BiTeshuvah,” “One who has ‘returned’ ,” who has repented, or “done Teshuvah.”

Baalei Tosafot

June 20, 2006, by

a group of Torah Scholars, mainly grandsons and great grandsons of RASHI, who basically formulated and carried forward the Ashkenazic Tradition. They lived mainly in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Christian Europe, during the time of the Crusades. Their works appear on the traditional “daf,” or page, of the Talmud, opposite the works of […]

Bachur

June 20, 2006, by

[m., pl. “Bachurim”]; a young man; if he is above marriageable age, connotation is that he is unmarried. This is meaning as a noun; as an adjective it means “the most choice.”

Bamah

June 20, 2006, by

[f., pl., "Bamot"]; an altar made on a high place, for the service of HaShem or the service of idols. There was a time of “heter habamot,” a time when it was permitted to worship HaShem using “bamot,” but after a certain period, after the “Mishkan,” the Tabernacle, the temporary transportable Temple, moved to Shiloh, […]

Bamidbar

June 20, 2006, by

[English: Numbers]; the fourth book of the “Chumash,” or the Five Books of Moses; literally, “In the Desert,” because it deals with the experiences of the Jewish People in the desert on their forty-year trek. It begins with the census of the People of Israel in the Desert [hence, "Numbers"], and goes on to recount […]

Bar Mitzvah

June 20, 2006, by

[m; pl. "Bnei Mitzvah"]; literally, “son of the Mitzvah;” more correctly, the status of having reached the level of being obligated in all the responsibilities and entitled to all the privileges of an adult male, in Jewish Society. In Judaism, this status is attained when a young man reaches the age of thirteen years. This […]

Basar

June 20, 2006, by

[m.]; flesh or meat; as in “basar mi’besari,” “flesh of my flesh”