Glossary

“House of prayer.” A synagogue or gathering place in which Jews pray.  A synagogue is also called a beit k’neset (a house of meeting/assembly) or a beit midrash (a house of study).  

Literally, “egg.” It is an item on the Passover seder plate that represents the Passover sacrifice from biblical times. And, it symbolizes the spring season.

Son.

A booklet of prayers and songs commonly used at Shabbat meals, weddings, and b'nai mitzvah (bar/bat mitzvah) meals. The booklet includes Birkat HaMazon, the prayers recited after a meal. There are many versions published and often the cover is personalized to reflect the family’s festive occasion.

Intended one; soul-mate.

A gender-inclusive term for b’nai/bat/bar mitzvah. Bet, as the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the first letter of the traditional Hebrew names of this lifecycle event. The term is thus inclusive and gender neutral, giving individuals flexibility to choose the term that best speaks to them.

The English word for Tanach, meaning the Hebrew scriptures.

The platform in the synagogue from which which worship services are led and from which the Torah is read. The bimah, usually raised, can be placed in the front or the middle of the sanctuary.

Prayer said upon surviving a life-threatening illness.

Blessing of the sun.” Birkat HaHammah is observed by the Jewish community every 28 years to celebrate the return of the sun to its original place in the heavens at the precise day and time of its creation.

Blessing after meals. A series of blessings recited after meals, including blessings that express gratitude for sustenance, the land, Jerusalem, and the positive relationship between God and the Jewish people. There are liturgical variations/additions to Birkat HaMazon for Shabbat, festivals, and weddings.