Bar/Bat/B’* MitzvahSon/Daughter of the Commandment – at 13 years – the traditional moment when a Jew becomes responsible for living Jewishly.

*B’ Mitzvah is a recent gender-neutral term for this coming of age

Chanukkah ‘Dedication’. Festival celebrating the re-dedication of the Temple (desecrated by the Assyrian Greek Emperor Antiochus IV) in 164 BCE

Chumash‘Fived’. Edition of the ‘Five Books of Mosesincluding the ‘concluding’ [Haftarah] readings from the ‘Prophets’ read on Shabbat mornings

ElulMonth of spiritual preparation prior to Rosh Ha-Shanah

G’milut Chasadim​​​Loving Deeds

Haggadah​​​​Text ‘telling’ the story of Pesach (‘Passover’) first included in the Mishnah

Halakhah​​​​Jewish Law. Root meaning: to ‘go’ or ‘walk’

Kabbalat TorahReceiving the Torah a Liberal Judaism innovation, marking the point when young 15yearolds are welcomed as adult members

Kashrut ​​​​Dietary laws concerning what is kasher (‘fit’) for Jews to eat

Kiddushin‘Setting apart’ of a couple in Marriage

Kippah​​​​​Literally: ‘Dome’; ‘cap’ – skullcap

Lag Ba-Omer​​​​33rd day of the Omer. See: ‘Omer’

M’zuzahDoorpost. The box placed on the external and internal doorposts of one’s house containing the biblical passages that mention fixing the Divine words on ‘doorposts’: Deuteronomy 6:4-9 & 11:13-21

Machzor‘Cycle’. Name for the Festival Prayer Book

Mishnah‘Teaching’. The first post-biblical code of law containing the teachings of the first rabbis, edited c. 200CE

Omer Sheaf [of grain] presented daily by the priests in Temple times for 7 weeks from Pesach to Shavuot. The Omer period is counted day by day

Pesach​​​​​Passover’. 7day festival celebrating the Exodus from Egypt

Purim ​​​​​‘Lots’. Festival focussing on the reading of the Scroll of Esther

Rosh Ha-Shanah‘Head of the Year’. The Jewish New Year – the first of 10 days of repentance, culminating in Yom Kippur

Seder‘Order’ of the telling of the Exodus tale at Pesach

Sh’maThe name given to 3 Biblical passages (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21 & Numbers 15:37-41) that begin with the word, Sh’ma! ‘Listen!

S’lichot​​​​​Prayers of ‘Forgiveness’ prior to Rosh Ha-Shanah

Shabbat​​​​The Sabbath. The 7th day of the week set aside for ‘ceasing’ from work

Shavuot​​​​Festival of ‘Weeks’ celebrating the early summer harvest and also

Z’man Matan Torateinu ‘the Season of the Giving of our Torah

Siddur​​​​​‘Order’. Name for the Sabbath & Daily Prayer Book

Simchat Torah‘Joy of the Torah’. Festival celebrating the conclusion & beginning of the annual cycle of Torah readings on the 8th day following Sukkot

Sukkot​​​​​‘Booths’. 7day late harvest festival when we ‘dwell’ in a sukkah, ‘hut/booth’

Siyyum​​​​​The ‘completion’ of a period of study, usually involving a celebratory meal

T’fillin​​​​​Leather straps & boxes bound on the left arm and head for dailymorning

prayer containing Torah texts that mention this binding, e.g. in the Sh’ma

   Tallit  Shawl’ worn for morning prayer, with tzitzit – ‘fringes’ on the 4 corners

Talmud‘Learning’. Name for the combined work of the early rabbis, edited c. 500 CE, containing the Mishnah & G’mara (commentary on the Mishnah)

TaNaKHAn acronym for the Hebrew Bible – which falls into three parts: Torah (Five Books), Nvi’im(Prophets) and Ktuvim (Writings)

Tikkun Olam​​​​Repair of the World

Tishah B’Av9th of Av. Commemorating the destruction of the Temple in 586 BCE & 70 CE

Torah​​​​             Teaching’. Specifically, the Five Books of Moses

Tu Bishvat​​​​15th day of (the month of) Sh’vat’. The New Year for Trees

Tz’dakah​​​​Economic acts of justice tzedek. The Jewish form of charity

Yom HaShoah​​​​Holocaust Memorial Day in the Jewish calendar [Sho’ah = Devastation]

Yom Ha’Atzma’ut​​​[Israel] Independence Day

Yom KippurDay of Atonement. Day of confession of our misdeeds