Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Jewish Magic and Superstition, by Joshua Trachtenberg, [1939], at

p. 333


Afikomen—a cake of unleavened bread eaten at the end of the Passover meal.

Aggada—non-legal portion of Talmudic literature.

Amora (pl. Amoraim)—post-Mishnaic authorities cited in the Talmud (c. 220-500 C.E.).

Dibbuk—spirit of deceased person which has entered body of living person.

Gaon (pl. Geonim)—heads of Babylonian and Palestinian academies after the sixth century.

Gehinnom—realm in which the wicked expiate their sins.

Gemara—portion of the Talmud containing Amoraic commentary on the Mishna.

Gilgul—transmigration of souls.

Habdalah—ritual marking the close of Sabbath and holidays.

Halacha—legal portion of Talmudic literature; legal tradition, generally.



Hoshana Rabbah—seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Jahrzeit—annual commemoration of death.

Kaddish, more specifically, kaddish yatom—prayer for mourners.

Kiddush—blessing over wine at inception of Sabbath and holidays.

Kosher—ritually pure.

Keri—seminal pollution.

Lag B’omer—thirty-third day in the counting of the Omer; 18th of Iyar.


Mazal—star or constellation.

Maẓẓah—unleavened bread.


Memuneh—"deputy" angel.

Mezuzah (pl. Mezuzot)—a Biblical inscription attached to the doorpost.

Midrash—commentary on the Bible, mainly of an Aggadic nature.

Minyan—minimum of ten men required to constitute a congregation.

Mishna—the "Oral Law" forming basis of the Talmud; edited c. 220 C.E. by R. Judah HaNassi.

Rosh Hashana—New Year.



Seder—Passover meal and service.

Sefirot—the ten creative attributes of God, according to the Kabbalah.

Shechinah—the divine Presence.


Shema‘—the verse beginning, "Hear, O Israel" (Deut. 6:4), and the prayer composed of Deut. 6:4-9, 11:13-21, Nu. 15:37-41.

Sukkot—Feast of Tabernacles.

Tanna (pl. Tannaim)—authorities cited in the Mishna and coëval writings.

Targum—Aramaic translation of the Bible.


Tekufah—"turning of the sun," i.e., the solstices and equinoxes.

Torah—the Pentateuch.

Yom Kippur—Day of Atonement.

Next: Index