Defining Our Terms
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,
Talmud Torah -
Study of Jewish text. One of the 613 mitzvot.
A ceremony conducted on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. We go to a body of water and symbolically cast our sins into to the water by emptying breadcrumbs from our pockets.
The Hebrew month during which Hanukah ends.
Tikun Olam -
Repairing the world.
Tisha B’Av -
A summer fast day which commemorates the destruction of the Ancient Temples in Jerusalem in 586 BCE and 70 CE.
The first Hebrew month. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot and Simchat Torah are all in Tishrei.
Literally the first 5 books of the Bible also known as Humash, the Pentateuch or The Five Books of Moses. The word Torah is also used to refer to all of Jewish learning.
Tu B’Shevat -
A minor holiday which celebrates the New Year of the trees.
- Synonyms: Tu Bishvat
Literally righteousness. Usually translated as charity, tzedakah is a mitzvah which seeks to restore a righteous balance to the world.