Defining Our Terms

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Defining Our Terms 2016-11-18T10:28:25+00:00

by Judith T. Fox

Translator’s note: I’ve attempted to keep these definitions very brief. Fuller explanations of many of these themes are available elsewhere on this site and I encourage you to read them. If you still have questions, have other words you want defined, or just want more information, please fcontact the Director of Congregational Learning,  at 860-233-2774,

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Seder -  A feast held the first two nights of Pesach and on Tu B'Shevat. Literally, order.
Shabbat -  (pl. Shabbatot) – The seventh day (Saturday). According to the Torah, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, we are commanded to rest on the seventh day.
- Synonyms: Shabbatot
Shabbat Nahamu -  The Shabbat of consolation – the Shabbat after Tisha B’Av.
Shabbat Shira -  The Shabbat on which we read the triumphal song that the Israelites sang when they crossed the Red sea.
Shacharit -  The morning service.
Shavuot -  A holiday which occurs 7 weeks after Pesach which celebrates the giving of the Torah.
Sh’lihei Tzibbur -  Those who lead the service on behalf of the community.
Sh’mini Atzeret -  The holiday that extends the joyful celebration of Succot for an extra day
Shiva -  A seven day mourning period observed by the immediate family of the deceased.
Shofar -  A rams horn blown in prescribed patterns on Rosh Hahanah.
Shtender -  Yiddish. The lectern used by the prayer leader.
Shul -  The Yiddish word for synagogue.
Simha -  Happy occasion.
Simhat Bat -  Ceremony for naming a baby girl.
Simhat Torah -  Holiday which celebrates the conclusion of the yearly cycle of Torah readings.
Sivan -  The month in which Shavuot occurs.
Succah -  A booth used on the holiday of Succot
Succot -  The Harvest festival during which we sit in the Succah and use the Lulav and Etrog.