At the moment I am at a loss for material. Yet I crave your attention, and hence need to post. So here is a fragmentary glossary, derived from recent studies. I will let you try to guess what I have been reading based on the word-hoard below. And perhaps you'll find something in it that you did not know before.
Go ahead. Explore.
AMHAARETZ = Earth person, peasant, and hence not a scholar. Thus coming to mean an ignoramus.
ANTI-SEMITE = Bad Goy! No bagel!
APIKORSUS = Heresy, and selectivity in one's studies and beliefs, which is considered deviation.
ARGAMON = A sea-snail dye coloured yarn, which the Rambam (Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon) avers is red, while by Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Ben Yitzhak) it is purple. But the Raavad (Rabbi Abraham Ben David HaLevi, Toledo, approx 1110 - 1180) describes different colored strands of wool twisted together.
ARIZAL = The holy Ari (Alef Reish Yod = Eloki Rabbi Yitzhak, the divine Rabbi Isaac), kabbalist of Safed (Tzfat, Tzfas). Rabi Yitzhak (רבי יצחק) Ben Shlomo Luria (1534 – 1572).
ASKONIM = Functionaries, whether really appointed or self-designated.
ASSUR = Prohibited.
AVODA ZARA = Idolatry (literally: odd or foreign service).
AVODAS HASHEM = Service of Hashem; piety.
BAHAIMA = Animal, beast. Cow.
BATALA = Negation; hence a waste of time, especially activities which take away time from Torah study.
BEDIKAS CHOMETZ = Maseches Pesachim, the third tractate in Mo'ed, in the first part, Pesach Rishon, goes into excruciating detail on ridding chometz from our abodes and our lives, in every conceivable way in preparation for the chag. You really don't want to know all the details, trust me! Gross! I'm not even going to mention where we're supposed to hunt for chometz with that feather! And I'm not touching wooden spoons ever again!
BEIS HILLEL = The house of Hillel, being one of two schools of thought in the decade or two ending around 15 C.E., centered on the sage Hillel and his students and followers. Hillel veered towards interpretations that took man’s frailties and essential goodness into account, whereas Shammai and his school insisted on stricter, more rigid interpretations. Hillel was humble, Shammai was passionate.
To follow Hillel is to be humane, but to follow Shammai often is to be utterly correct.
Halacha generally agrees with Hillel, while holding that Shammai is also right – Elu va elu divrei Elokim chayim (this and that, both are the words of the living G_d; Talmud Bavli, Eruvin 13b).
Hillel and Shammai were the final pair of leaders (zugos) in the period following the death (273 BCE) of Shimon HaTzaddik, Simon the righteous, last member of the Great Assembly (Knesses HaGadol).
BEIS YOSEF = A book by Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488 – 1575), which is a commentary on the Arba Turim (The Four Rows; a bawuste compendium of Halacha by Rabbeinu Yakov Ben Asher, 1275 – 1349, son of the Rosh), based on a variety of Halachic opinions, primarily drawing from Rabbi Yitzhak Alfassi (the Rif), Rabbeinu Asher (the Rosh) and Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon (the Rambam).
BEZALEL = In the shadow of El; name of the master workman divinely chosen to design the mishkan, a descendant of Yudah.
BIRCHAS HA TORAH = The blessing over the Torah, recited before reading an Aliya. It is customary that the first Aliya be read by a Kohen (if available), the second be a Levite (also if available).
The blessing for the Torah is as follows: "Baruch Adonai Hamevorach l'olam va-ed; Baruch Atta Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha olam, Asher bachar b'anu mikol ha'amim, Ve natan lanu et Torato, Baruch ata Adonai, Notein ha Torah.
" (Blessed are you Lord that blesses the world forever; Blessed are you, Lord our God master of the universe, That selected us from among all of the peoples, And gave to us your Torah. Blessed are you Lord, giver of the Torah.).
Ashkenazim read it thus: "Boruch ata Adonoi HaMevoruch l'olom va-ed; Boruch ata Adonoi, Eloheinu melech ha olom, Asher bochar bonu mikol hoamim, venoson lonu es toraso boruch atoh Adonoi, Nosein hatorah.
CHAZAL = Chachmeinu zichronam livracha (our sages whose memory is a blessing); the sages of the past.
DAAS TORAH = Accepted mainstream views in the Talmud,as well as the writings of great rabbis.
EDAH = A modern orthodox organization that seeks to reshape the concepts that collectively define orthodox Judaism - it is considered dangerously liberal, even new age, by some.
EFOD = The decorated smock of the high-priest, being precisely that garment which the evil scientist wore in Raiders Of The Lost Ark when preparing to open the ark. It has a breastplate containing twelve semiprecious stones - one for each tribe.
FRUM = Observant, pious.
GEDOLIM = The greats - Torah scholars past and present whose wisdom guides and instructs; in the modern day they are the rabbis whose decisions are seen as binding, whose opinions are normative and formative.
IN THE PARSHA = Within the same division or section as oneself, and thus both vouched for and possessed of the requisite ahavas yisroel is to be cleanminded.
ISSUR D’ORAISA = A prohibition that is in the Torah, rather than one determined by the Talmud.
ISSUR D’ORAISA OF BORER = A prohibited process of selection, sorting, or separating on the Sabbath, because it is work, and, additionally, suggestive of commerce.
KABBALA = Received' - Jewish mysticism; everything from the 'chariot' through the 'Zohar', not including Madonna.
KEFIRA = Disbelief. Hence rejectionism, utter heresy.
KILAYIM = There were two disputes which Rabbeinu Tam initiated - one over mezuzot, the other over tefillin. Rabbeinu Tam defined Shaatnez as including cloth spun and woven separately, then sewn together, whereas his grandfather (Rashi, 1040 – 1105) opined that it is shaatnez only if the wool and linen are spun and woven together, his argument being that the prohibition against shaatnez is specifically against garments of mixed materials (Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam lived in France; this explains, probably, their neurotic interest in clothes).
But concerning kilayim, the point they disputed has to do with the prohibition against mingling of things which it is inappropriate to mix. It says in Parshas Shoftim (Judges) in Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:19 "Et chukotai tishmoru behemteicha; lo tarbiya kilayim sadcha, lo tizra kilayim u veged kilayim shaatnez lo ya'ale aleicha
" (My statutes you shall guard; do not let your cattle mix-breed, do not sow your field with mixed seeds, and do not wear a garment of mingled cloth.).
Hence there are four categories of things which should not be mingled: plowing by cattle and asses in the same furrow, grapes and other crops in the same arbor, wool and linen in the same garment, and Jews and Midianites in the same world. According to the Mishneh Toreh, these prohibitions promote peace.
LEHACHIS = Annoyance; to annoy, to irritate, to rebel. Hence an act of rebellion or defiance, such as Jews reading the Talmud was to Gentiles for several centuries (during most of which time, reading by itself was also an act of defiance).
LIFNEI IYVER = Parshas Kedoshim, Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:14 "Lo tekalel cheresh ve lifnei iver lo titen michshol ve yareta me'Eloheicha Ani Adonai
" (You shall not curse the deaf, nor place a stumbling-block before the blind; you shall fear your God - I am the Lord.).
The word blind is interpreted to mean anyone who is ignorant, or unsuspecting, or even morally dense; one is not permitted to take advantage of them, or to tempt them to do wrong.
The rule against this type of error is referred to as 'lifnei iver, lo titen michshol' (before the blind, do not place a stumbling block - in short, 'lifnei iver').
A necessary corollary is 'Lo telech rachil b'ameicha' (do not go as a gossip among your companions), which urges one to be truthful, or silent.
MACHMIR = Strict, stringent.
MAKOM TUMAH = A place which conveys its pollution; Makom = place; Tumah = both ritual and spiritual pollution and filth. Makom Tumah: Europe or Washington DC, depending on your weltanschauung. Kansas.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483 – 1546), an Augustinian monk after whom a sect is named, who nailed a screed to a church-door (October 31st. 1517), got excommunicated (cherem, xtian style, January 3rd. 1521), and became one more notable member in a long line of farbissene Taytshe anti-semitn. A rich full life. Pope Leo the tenth (1475 – 1521; the 217th occupant of the throne of Peter) characterized him as "a drunken Teuton who writes objectionable tracts; when he’s sober, he’ll change his mind
In a book Luther published three years before his death, he recommended that Jewish synagogues, schools, and homes be destroyed, Jewish writings be seized, Jewish teachings be outlawed, and Jews be forced to become farmers or be expelled.
MIDRASHIM = Derivational lessons or interpretive narrative.
NISHTANU HATEVA = "Nature has changed" – an attempted explanation of why chazal's science is now clearly wrong, and why cures mentioned in Talmudic literature are obvious mumbo-jumbo.
PARSHAS KORACH = bald, bald fellow. Bamidbar (Numbers) 16:1 - 18:32.
From psook 16:32 "Va tiftach ha arets et piha, va tivla otam, ve et bateihem, ve et kol ha adam asher le korach ve et kol harchush
" (And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men sided with Korach, and all their stuff).
PARNASSA = Livelihood; earning one's living.
PESACHDIKKE PANCAKE MIX = Like Rashi, I do not know what this means. Perhaps it is a Gentile sawdust compound.
RABBEINU NISIM GAON = A native of Keruwan in North Africa, died 1050. Authored the Sefer Ha Mafteach, which is printed in the margins of the Vilna Shas – a backgrounder on concepts discussed.
RABBEINU TAM = Rabbi Yakov Ben Meier (1100 – 1170), a mediaeval French Torah exegete from a family of exegetes. He was the grandson of Rashi (1040 - 1105). Tam, which means straightforward or righteous in this context, was the characteristic ascribed to Yaacov the brother of Esav, so Rabbeinu Tam translates as 'our righteous rabbi'.
RABBI YAKOV BEIRAV (1474 or 1475 – 1546), a Talmudic authority from Northern Africa who moved to Tzfat. After disputes over smicha, he was forced to return to Morocco. He had tried to reinstitute the stages leading up to a Sanhedrin, of which smicha (ordination) was to be the first step. The intent was to continue the chain of transmission established by Moses, in preparation of the expected coming of the Moshiach. But there was much opposition.
According to some sources, he ordained only one person (Yosef Karo), according to others, four rabbis were ordained by him; in addition to Yosef Karo, they were Rabbi Moshe Ben Yosef Mi-Trani (Ha Mabit, chief rabbi of Tzfat, b. 1505 – d. 1560, author of the Kiryat Sefer, which is a commentary on the Yad Chazaka of Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon), Rabbi Shlomo AlKabetz (who wrote Lecha Dodi (Come, o beloved), a famous song to welcome the Sabbath), and Rabbi Yosef Sagis (b. ? – d. 1573).
RESHAIM = The wicked, the guilty
REISHIT TZMICHAT GEULATEINU = "The beginning of the flowering of our redemption" (the beginning of the end of exile and dispersion
SEGULAS = Spiritual remedies and talismans.
SELF-HATING JEW = A member of JVP, Bay Area Women In Black, or Een Ander Joods Geluid, among others.
Jews for Jesus, however, are not necessarily self-hating - merely very confused (see Amhaaretz and Apikorsus).
SITRA ACHRA = The Other Side - the dark side, evil, the world of pollution and temptation. That party whose candidates we do not support.
TAIKU = Leave it till Elijah comes - there is no answer until the end of times.
TZITZ ELIEZER = Rav Eliezer Waldenberg, a modern day posseik, known after his great collection of responsa, the Teshuves Tzitz Eliezer.
The tzitz was a golden headplate with an inscription (kodesh l’Hashem) worn by the kohain hagadol on the forepart of the migba’as (turban).
TZNIUS / TZENUA = Proper modest dress code and the sensitivity and frumkeit that go along with that. Sheitels and streimels, yes. Chains and leather, no. Wearing only whipped cream is right out.
YECHEZKEL RABBAH = Literally, ‘Great Ezekiel’; an early commentary on the Sefer Yechezkel (Book of Ezekiel), which is a part of Tanach dealing with the prophet so named, a contemporary of Tsefaniah and Uriah, and the son of Yirimayu.
The Radak (Rabbi David Kimchi, grammarian and Talmud commentator, 1160 - 1235), commenting on Ezekiel's agitation, observes that Ezekiel insisted upon a fair wage structure to the point of obsession, "midah keneged midah
" (measure for measure).
Labels: Baffelyk, Berkeley cossacks, Nice Pink Blogs, Perush, WIBs