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Glossary of commonly used terms in the Daily Halacha

Acharonim The period of the "Acharonim", or the "later Sages", starts from about the 15th Century C.E. and extends to contemporary times. Among the most famous of the Acharonim are: Rav(Rabbi) Yosef Caro and Rav Moshe Isserles, the authors of the Code of Jewish Law; Rav Eliyahu, the Gaon of Vilna; Rav Chaim Soloveichik; Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan, the Chafetz Chaim; and Rav Moshe Feinstein. They wrote commentaries on the Talmud and the Written Law, works of philosophy and ethics, and responsa.
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Ashkenazim Jews of Western or Eastern European origin
Bediavad An acceptable, but not best way to fulfill a Mitzvah.
Bishul Akum Even though ingredients are 100% kosher, but if a non-Jew cooked it, so then itís considered Bishul Akum and we are not allowed to eat it.
Chatzitzah intervening substance that does not allow the water of the Mikveh to come in contact with the body surface
Eruv A consturction of virtual walls that encloses a public place so that it becomes considered a private domain, in which carrying on Shabbat is permitted
Geonim The Geonic period extends from about 690 C.E. until the 11th century. The first Geonim or
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Haftarah a passage from the Prophets that follows the Torah reading on Shabbat and festivals
Hatarat Nidarim Nullification of Vows. The person wishing to nullify his vow must ask three men to sit together as a Rabbincal court and nullify his vow for him.
Havdalah the prayer recited at the conclusion of Shabbat and festivals
Heter A decree making something permissible
Kabetza the volume of an egg, defined as 57.6 grams or 2 fluid ounces
Kezayit the volume of an olive defined as either the volume of a thrid of an egg (19.2 grams or .7 fluid ounces)
Lechatchila The best and right way to fulfill the Mitzvah
Machloket Argument, Conflict
Machmir The most strict and dedicated way
Machzor(im) holiday prayer books
Mikveh A ritual pool used for purification purposes
Mincha Gedolah Half an hour after midday. THis is the earliesttime one may pray Mincha.
Minhag Custom
Minyan A quorum of ten men.
Mitzvat Ase SheHazeman Gerama Sephardic ladies are exempt from making Berachot that are bound by time. However,
Muktze An object such as money, that our Chachamim forbade to move on Shabbat
Musar Ethics, Conduct, Morals
Rashi "Rashi" is an acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitchaki, a French scholar born in 1040. He is one of the most popular and prolific of the Medieval commentators. Rashi wrote commentaries on the Five Books of Moses, the Prophets,the Writings, the Mishna, the Gemara and the Midrash. His works are such an essential part of Jewish literature, that the Code of Jewish Law considers it mandatory for every Jew to study the Torah with Rashi's commentary weekly.
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Responsa "Responsa" are the responses of Torah scholars to questions of Jewish law posed to them both by laymen and experts.
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Reviit 86.4ml or 3.4 fluid ounces.
Rishonim The period of the Rishonim, "the early Sages", starts from about the 11th century C.E. and extends to the 15th century. Among the most famous of the Rishonim are: Rashi, Maimonides, and Nachmanides.
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Safek Doubt
Safek Berachot Lihakhel When it comes to making Berachot, we are always concerned and take the opinion not to make the Beracha.
Safek Safeka Double Doubt- Combining lenient opinions for a Halachic conclusion
Sephardim Jews of Spanish or Portugese Origin
Shulchan Aruch The Code of Jewish Law is known in Hebrew as the "Shulchan Aruch" or the "Set Table." It contains in its four sections: 1) Orach Chaim - the laws of daily practice, Sabbaths and festivals. 2)Yoreh De'ah - the laws of Kashrut. 3) Choshen Mishpat - the laws of business. 4) Even Ha'Ezer - the laws of marriage and divorce. The Shulchan Aruch was written by a Sephardic scholar, Rav Joseph Caro, in Safed in approximately 1560 C.E.. It also contains the comments and rulings of Rav Moshe Isserles of Cracow, that include European Jewish custom (Ashkenazic).
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Yom Tov Holiday
Zayin Minim The seven staple crops of Israel--Dates, Figs, Olives, Pomegranates, Grapes, Wheat, and Barley
Click on the link below for a more thorough Glossary of Basic Jewish Terms and Concepts:
http://www.ou.org/about/judaism/index.htm