Tag Archives: beit midrash

Beit Twidrash Dictionary

Not a day goes by that I don’t participate in a BeitTwidrash discussion on Twitter, and inevitably there are words and phrases that go right over my head, and I ask the crew to explain them. I guess if I had learned in a yeshivah (oh, and was a male learning in one of those Batei Midrash where they use their thumbs and fists to punctuate discussions) I would know all these terms.

So here is my attempt to pull together a list of terms that the layman/laywoman can use to understand the torah talk on the web. Please note this is just a start – I will add on from the comments as the terms come in. It’s a work in progress. Please publicize it. Thanks.

Adaraba –  it’s the other way! or actually, it’s the opposite!

Aseh – positive commandment

Assur – forbidden

Aveirah – Sin

Avreich – young guy who learns in Kollel

B’dieved – after the fact

Bitul Zman – waste of time

Bochur – a young man

Boosha – embarrassment

Brings Down – cites

Chacham – wise guy

Chavrusa / Chavruta – study partner

Chassunah / Chatunah – Wedding

Chiddush – a new idea

Chosson / Chattan – bridegroom

Davka – specifically intended

Deoraisa – law from the Torah

Derabbanan – law instituted by Rabbis

Gadol, Gedolim – Sage, Sages

Ger – Convert

Get – Divorce

Hashkafa – outlook on Judaism

Harchaka  / Harchakos – distancing behaviours practiced btw husband and wife when wife is Niddah (see Niddah)

Hechsher – mark of kosher certification

Hishtadlus – effort and initiative

Kallah – bride

Kasha – a question; also groats

Kal veChomer – How much more so

Kaveyochil – as if, metaphorically speaking re: God

Ketubah – marriage contract

Kisui Rosh – headcovering

Klaf – parchment

Kofer – heretic

Kvetch – to complain

Lashon – language

Lav – a commandment that was commanded in the negative – thou shalt NOT kill

Lechatchilah – ideally

L’havdil – I’m going to compare two things, but for philosophical reasons don’t take the comparison to be equivalence

Lo Taa’seh – negative commandment (see Lav)

Machlokes – argument

Makir – recognize

Makpid – Particular

Maskim – agrees

Meakev – prevents

Mechutzif – someone who is disrespectful

Meiseh, BubbeMeiseh – Story, Old wive’s tale

Mekarev – bring closer to religion

Mekor – Source

Merachek – push away from religion

Metzious – phenomenon / nature (according to @DovBear facts or essence)

Mikvah – Ritual Bath

Minhag – custom

Minyan – a quorum of ten men

Mistamah – most likely

Mitpachat – headscarf

Mitzvah – positive commandment

Modeh – agree with, recognize

Moser (Mesirah) – to snitch about a fellow Jew to local governement

Muktzah – forbidden to be moved on Shabbat

Muttar – permitted

Nafkaminnah – practical difference

Niddah – a woman during menstruation and for 7 days after until she immerses in Mikvah

Oilam – the world, the ppl around you

Oiver – to be oiver means to transgress

Pasken – to provide a legal decision

Pilpul – splitting hairs in an extreme manner

Pumfakert – just the opposite

Segulah – superstitious Jewish belief that doing something will magically bring about a desired result

Shailah – question

Sheitel – wig

Shidduch – a match (for marriage), dating

Shita – specific view on a topic

Shiur – lesson

Shtim – work in tandem without contradiction, go together

Shver – hard, father-in-law

Shvigger – mother-in-law

Stam – basic, simple….

Takka – it is so

Tayva – desire

Tichel – headscarf

To Hold By – subscribe to the views of, lend credence too

Please add your own…..and feel free to correct existing definitions.

Hat tip @marksofla

Thanks also to @daniopp@jonathan_meola, @yeshivaguy, @DovBear, @esteelavitt, @RabbiGoldberg.

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