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L

Laban



(lah-VAHN) n. Laban. The son of Bethuel, brother of Rebekkah, and father of Leah and Rachel (Gen. 24:29). Ironically named "white," Laban was the prototypical enslaver of the Jewish people who foreshadowed the wicked Pharaoh of Egypt and his machinations.




Lag B'Omer



(lahg be-OH-mer) n. The 33rd day of counting the Omer (called S'firat Ha'Omer) from Pesach to Sukkot (on the 18th of Iyyar). A Semi-holiday en route to Sukkot (and the celebration of the giving of the Torah on Sukkot). Lag B'Omer is characterized by a day of outings. In Israel and throughout the Diaspora, the day is celebrated with picnics, ballgames, and mock bow-and-arrow play-fighting. It is a scholar's holiday and is noteworthy because during this time persecution of the Jews ceased. Note the use of the gershayim (Lamed = 30; Gimmel= 3).




Lamb of God




(seh ha-e-loh-HEEM) n. The Lamb of God (John 1:29); a Title for the Messiah Yeshua. See the Names of God.  The noun seh means lamb.




Lamed



(LAH-med) n. Lamed. 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet having a sound of "l" as in look. Originally represented by a pictograph meaning "staff," "goad," or "control."
Gematria = 30.




Lamed Tet Melakhot



(lah-med tet me-lah-KHOHT) n. The 39 "types" of work forbidden to be done on Shabbat. Any of the categories of labor forbidden on the Shabbat. In the tractate of Shabbat the Mishna lists 39 prohibited tasks. These are the activities one is forbidden to do on Shabbat, and are based on the actions necessary for the erection of the Mishkan and its contents. The 39 categories of work which were performed in and for the Mishkan are called the Avot Melakhah, the fathers or primary categories, since they are the foundation, the original source for all secondary types of melakhah which are similar and derived from them.




Lamed Vav Tzaddikim



(Lah-med Vahv tsad-dee-KEEM) n. Lamed-Vav Tzaddikim. 36 hidden saints held to keep God from destroying the world on account of their virtue and faith. Note the use of the gershayim (Lamed = 30; Vav= 6). The thirty-six are referred to as "lamed vavniks." The idea is based on the verse Isaiah 30:18 which praises those who faithfully trust in Him - "Lo" in Hebrew - spelled lamed vav (Succah 45b). Another source reckons forty-five righteous Jews upon whose merit the world continues to exist - thirty in the Land of Israel and fifteen elsewhere. There are also thirty hidden righteous gentiles upon whose merit the nations subsist (Chullin 92a).




Lammah?



(LAHM-mah) Why? Interrogative.




LaShanah Haba'ah Bi Yerushalayim



(lash-SHA-NAH hab-BAH-ah bee ye-ROO-shah-LAI-yeem) n. phr. "Next year in Jerusalem," said with joy after a Passover Seder celebrated in the Galut (Diaspora).




Lashon



(lah-SHOHN) n. Tongue; speeh; language.




Lashon Hakodesh



(lah-SHOHN hah-KOH-desh) n. לָשׁוֹן הַקֹדֵשׁ / "The holy tongue," a reference to the classical Hebrew langauge, especially in the sense of its special status as the medium of divine communication. Maimonides stated that Hebrew is called the "holy language" because all the words of the Torah, all the prophecies and words of holiness were originally said in this language and no other - not in Aramaic, not in Greek, etc. Hebrew is the language which the LORD spoke to His prophets and his people; in which He uttered the Ten Commandments and true prophecy, and in which He is called by the various sacred Names in the Scriptures. Yeshua spoke Hebrew and read the prophets in Hebrew at the synagogue, "as was his custom" (Luke 4:16), and clearly the Apostle Paul both spoke and taught in Hebrew (Acts 17:2; 21:40; 26:14).




Lashon Hara



(lah-SHOHN hah-RAH) n. "The evil tongue," which means saying something bad about another person even if it happens to be true. In other words, lashon hara is gossip, spreading evil (even if true) reports, or expressing a critical or negative spirit about others. Such behavior is explicitly forbidden in Levitcus 19:16. Of course there are times when a person is obligated to speak out, even though the information is disparaging (for example, while testifying under oath, and so on). However, the practice of being motzi ra (someone who speaks evil) is related to the status of metzora, the one who is afflicted with tzara'at, and therefore many of the Jewish sages have made the connection between the sin of lashon hara and the unclean condition known as tzara'at.




Last Supper of Jesus



(ha-se-doo-AH ha-a-kha-roh-NAH) n. The traditional Passover seder Jesus shared with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion (actually, a day before the official Passover ceremony was observed). At this seder Jesus instituted the commemoratation his death for our sins as the Lamb of God by means of sanctified matzah and wine. See Mark 14:12, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-8. As such, the Lord's Supper represents the Passover of "the new covenant" (I Corinthians 10:20). The Passover lamb (Exodus chapter 12) was a symbol of its reality in the Person of the Suffering Servant of the Lord, the Messiah who, in the New Testament, is called "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), and "Messiah (or Christ) our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed for us." (I Corinthians 5:7).




Latter Prophets



(ne-vee-eem a-kha-roh-NEEM) n. Latter Prophets. Part of the Nevi'im of the Tanakh consisting of the three main prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel) and the Twelve Minor prophets (trei asar):

  • Yesha'yahu (Isaiah)
  • Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah)
  • Yechezk'el (Ezekiel)
  • The Minor Prophets (trei asar)
    • Hoshe'a (Hosea)
    • Yo'el (Joel)
    • Amos (Amos)
    • Ovadyah (Obadiah)
    • Yonah (Jonah)
    • Mikhah (Micah)
    • Nakhum (Nahum)
    • Havakuk (Habakkuk)
    • Tzefanyah (Zephaniah)
    • Chagai (Haggai)
    • Z'kharyah (Zechariah)
    • Mal'akhi (Malachi)




Law




(TOH-rah) n. Torah. Often Christians identify the word "Torah" with the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These writings are sometimes collectively referred to as the "Law," even though strictly speaking the legal content of these books is a subset of a greater overall narrative.

The word Torah comes from the root word yarah meaning "to shoot an arrow" or "to hit the mark." Properly used, the word means "teaching" or "instruction." In the Tanakh, Torah refers to the first five books of Moses. The actual Torah itself is referred to as the Sefer Torah, or sacred Torah scroll. The Chumash is a book form of the Torah, usually subdivided into 54 smaller literary units called parashiot (the name of each parashah comes from a key word of the section). The word Torah is better understood as "teaching" or "understanding" rather than "law."






Law of Christ



(toh-rat ham-mah-SHEE-akh) n. "The Law of Christ." The teaching (in general) of the Mashiach Yeshua, primarily expressed as an ethic of love -- first to God and then to one another -- based on God's forgiveness and grace extended to those who are saved. Galatians 6:2 identifies this teaching as carrying one another's burdens.  The duty to love one another based on the love of Mashiach is found throughout the New Testament writings (e.g., John 13:34f; 15:12, 17; Rom. 12:10; 13:8; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 4:2; 1 Thess. 3:12; 4:9; Heb. 10:24; 1 Pet. 1:22; 3:8; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11f; 2 John 1:5).




Law of YHVH



(toh-rat Adonai) n. "The Law of YHVH." The teaching (in general) of the LORD God of Israel as revealed in the Torah, Prophets, and Writings (Tanakh). This phrase occurs in Exod. 13:9; 1 Chr. 22:12; 2 Chr. 12:1; 17:9; 34:14; Ezra 7:10; Neh. 9:3; Psa. 19:8; Isa. 5:24; 30:9; Amos 2:4.




L'Chaim!




(le-KHAI-yeem) excl. "To life!" - an exclamation often said before partaking of an alcoholic drink; "Cheers!"




Leadership




(han-hah-GAH) n. Leadership; a manhig is a leader (from the same root). "Who is the leader of all leaders? One who can make an enemy into a friend." (Avot de Rabbi Natan, Chpt. 23). "Who is a leader? One who conquers his passions and emotions" (Ben Zoma).




Leah




(LAY-ah) Leah. The daughter of Laban, first wife of Jacob, and mother of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah. One of the four Matriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel.




Leap Year



(shah-NAH me-oo-BEH-ret) n. Jewish Leap Year; A "pregnant" year. A year with with an additional month (called Adar I) added to the usual 12 (developed to synchronize the solar seasons with lunar months). Adar I is inserted before the month of Adar (which is then renamed Adar II for the leap year). Adar II is the "real" Adar in leap years, so Purim, for example, is celebrated in Adar II on leap years. The inserted month occurs in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of a 19 year cycle.

With the extra month of Adar I, a Jewish leap year contains 54 weeks, but non leap years have only 50 weeks. On the week of Passover and the week of Sukkot, different Torah portions are read, so that leaves 52 weeks for the 54 readings (2 weeks have double portions), and on non leap years only 48 weeks for the 54 (6 weeks have double portions). Confused? Check a good Jewish calendar to make sure you're on the right date!




Leket



(LE-ket) n. "Gleanings" from the field. Remaining pieces (stalks) that remain during the harvest for the poor to gather as food. "You shall not reap every last edge (pe'ah) of your field and not gather in the gleanings (leket) of your harvest.. you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger" (Lev. 19:9-10).




Lekhah Dodi



(le-KHAH doh-DEE) n. Lechah Dodi; Song/poem; welcome the Shabbat. Lechah Dodi speaks of the Shabbat as a Bride and is sung on Friday evening to welcome Shabbat.




Lechem HaChayim




(LE-khem ha-KHAI-yeem) n. Bread of Life. A title for Yeshua the Messiah (John 6:48).




Lechem HaNistar



(LE-khem ha-nis-TAHR) n. (לֶחֶם הַנִסְתָּר); "Hidden bread," referring to the spiritual food that Yeshua ate to sustain Him in His mission (John 4:31-34). Note that this may also be called ma'akhal haNistar (מַאֲכַל הַנִסְתָּר) to correspond with the more general term for food used in the Greek New Testament (i.e., βρῶσις in John 4:32). It may also be called "secret bread," lechem sod (לֶחֶם סוֹד), implying that it is provided by the agency of the Spirit and not through the agency of natural production.  Yeshua found great comfort and joy in doing the will of God and counted it as his spiritual food. As the prophet Job said, "I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food" (Job 23:12).




Lechem HaPanim



(LE-khem hap-pa-NEEM) n. Bread of Presence; Showbread in the Sanctuary of the  tabernacle (mishkan) or Temple (Bet hamikdash).




LeShanah Tovah Tikatevu




(le-shah-NAH toh-VAH tee-kah-TAY-voo) phr. Lit. "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year!" Usually said during Rosh HaShanah. The phrase originates from the idea that on Rosh HaShanah (Yom Din), God writes down the names of all people in either the Book of Life or the Book of Death, and therefore expresses the wish for the recipient to be inscribed in the Book of Life.




Leshem Shamayim



(le-shem sha-MAI-yeem) phr. "For the sake of heaven." For the Name of God; in honor of God. Machloket leshem shamayim is an argument/strife (machloket) for the purpose of reaching truth.




Leshon Hara




(le-SHOWN ha-ra') n. "Evil tongue." Gossip; Slander. The main prohibition against Leshon ha-Ra is mentioned in Leviticus 19:16: "Do not go as a gossip-peddler amongst your people."




Lev




(layv / le-vahv) n. Heart; core; center. In Hebrew there are two terms for heart, lev and levav. The extra bet (which can mean "without") in levav is said to allude to the way of the evil inclination, which should be avoided, leaving lev – the good heart.




Lev Chakham v'navon



(layv khah-kham ve-nah-VOHN) n. A wise and an understaning heart.  From 1 Kings 3:12.

Prov 10:8a
Chakham-lev yikkach mitzvot - the wise of heart will receive commandments




Lev Nishbar



(layv-neesh-BAHR) n. A broken heart; contrition; spiritual regret; teshuvah.



zivchei elohim ruach nishbarah lev-nishbar v'nidkeh elohim lo tivzeh.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51:17).




Lev Tov



(layv TOHV) n. The word lev means "heart" and the word tov means "good," so the middah lev tov simply means (the quality of having) a "good heart." A synonym for a good person or mensch.




Levi




(lay-VEE) n. Levi. 3rd son of Jacob and patriarch of the tribe of Levi (Gen. 29:34). In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Levi was the founder of the Levite tribe of Ancient Israel. He was a son of Jacob (also known as Israel) who was in turn a son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.




Levirate Marriage




(yeeb-BOOM) n. Levirate marriage or type of marriage in which a woman marries one of her husband's brothers after her husband's death (if there were no children) in order to continue the line of the dead husband. The term comes from the Latin word levir, meaning "husband's brother." The concept is drawn from the Torah, in Deut. 25:5-6: "When brothers live together, and one of them dies childless, the dead man's wife shall not be allowed to marry an outsider. Her husband's brother must cohabit with her, making her his wife, and thus performing a brother-in-law's duty to her. The first-born son whom she bears will then perpetuate the name of the dead brother, so that his name will not be obliterated from Israel." The intent of this law was to preserve the name and memory of the brother in Israel.

There is an escape clause if the one of the parties refuses to go through with the "marriage", that is known as chalitza, the "removal" of a leather shoe by the woman from the man who refuses to marry her, as a symbolic act of renunciation of his willingness to perform this marriage. Deut. 25:7-10.  An entire tractate in the Talmud, called Yevamot, is devoted to the subject of levirate marriages.

An instance involving both chalitza (the rite of refusal to marry) and yibbum is recounted in the Book of Ruth, when after the death of her husband, Ruth is rejected by an anonymous relative and subsequently married her husband's remaining kinsman, Boaz.




Levites



(le-vee-EEM) The tribe of the Levites gained no land when they entered Canaan. Instead, they were given the duty of priests and lived in the protection of various brother tribes where they taught the Torah, the Book of Law. The most famous Levite is Moses, who received the law from God on Mt. Sinai in the book of Exodus. His brother, Aaron became the first Levite priest of Israel.




Library




(seef-ree-YAH) n. Library. A place where seferim are kept.




Light of the Torah




(ohr toh-RAH) phr. The light of the Torah; abbreviated Aleph-Tav. Prov. 6:23.




Lilah Tov




(LAI-lah tohv) n. "Goodnight!"




Lilith



(Lee-LEET) n. Lilith; queen of demons. Of the all the figures in Midrash, it is Lilith who is most clearly Babylon. Lilith, aside from a stray reference comparing her to a "screechowl" (the translation is debatable), does not appear in the Scriptures. It is in Rabbinic midrash (presumably relying on earlier legends) that we find the full delineation of Lilith. Warning. Lilith worship is associated generally with witchcraft and sorcery, and is occultic.




Lion of the Tribe of Judah



(ha-ar-YAY mee-SHE-vet ye-hoo-DAH) n. "The Lion of the Tribe of Judah" (Revelation 5:5). One of the Names and Titles for the Mashiach Yeshua. In the book of Genesis, the patriarch Ya'akov (Jacob) refers to his son Judah as a gur aryeh, a "young lion" (Genesis 49:9), and this led to Messianic expectation from the tribe that bears that name.






Listening




(hak-shah-VAH) n. Listening; heeding, and therefore obeying (from kashav, to heed, attend to). Not merely "hearing," but attending to the details of communication, especially interpersonal communication between people. Keshev (n) is attentiveness; kashav/kashuv (adj) means attentive. Shama is a synonym.




Living Sacrifice



(kor-bahn KHYE) n. "Living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1). The lifestyle of one who has taken up the Cross of Yeshua in consecration to the LORD.




Lo Aleinu




(loh ah-LAY-nu) phr. "Not on us!" - used as a "chas v'shalom!" in liturgical expressions.




Lo Yevayesh



(loh le-vah-YAYSH) phr. The commandment not to embarrass or humilate another person. Causing another person bushah (shame) is likened to murder in the Jewish tradition.




Logos




(ha LAH-gahs) n. "The Word." A Greek term meaning both "word" and "reason," used by Greek philosophers to denote the rational principle that creates and informs the universe. Amplified by Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Egypt, to represent the mediator between God and his material creation, as Wisdom had been in Proverbs 8:22-31, the term found its most famous expression in the prologue to the Fourth Gospel to denote the pre-existent Reality of Yeshua Natseret - "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). The Logos represents (in John's gospel, especially) personal wisdom and power in union with Almighty God, His minister in creation and in the government of the universe; the cause of all life (both physical and ethical), and for the attainment of man's salvation became born into the Olam HaZeh as the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second person in the Godhead. 




LORD




(yah-VEH; Adonai) n. In the Tanakh, YHVH is the personal name of God and his most frequent designation, occurring over 5,200 times. This is the Ineffable Name or Unutterable Name of the God of Israel. Because it is composed from the four Hebrew letters , it is also referred to as the "Tetragrammaton," which simply means "The Four Letters."




Lord's Table



(ha-se-doo-AH ha-a-kha-roh-NAH) n. The traditional Passover seder Jesus shared with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion (actually, a day before the official Passover ceremony was observed). At this seder Jesus instituted the commemoratation his death for our sins as the Lamb of God by means of sanctified matzah and wine. See Mark 14:12, Matthew 26:17-19, Luke 22:7-8. As such, the Lord's Supper represents the Passover of "the new covenant" (I Corinthians 10:20). The Passover lamb (Exodus chapter 12) was a symbol of its reality in the Person of the Suffering Servant of the Lord, the Messiah who, in the New Testament, is called "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), and "Messiah (or Christ) our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed for us." (I Corinthians 5:7).




Love



(ah-ha-VAH) (f.; pl. "ahavot"); love.  See also chesed.




Love of all Creatures



(ah-ha-VAT ha-bree-OHT) phr. "The love (ahavah) of creatures." This refers to the value placed on the lives of all creatures. Therefore, one must make sure not to cause any undue pain to animals or other human beings. As it says in Avot 4:1, "Who is respected? He who respects the creations."




Love of Learning



(ah-ha-VAT lee-MOOD) phr. "Love of learning."




Love of Torah



(ah-ha-VAT TOH-rah) phr. "Love of Torah."




Lover of Israel




(oh-hev yis-rah-AYL) n. Friend of Israel. Ohev Yisrael means one who loves or cherishes Israel or the Jewish people. A christian who stands with Israel, who prays for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem is rightly called ohev Yisrael.




Loving God



(ve-a-HAV-ta et a-doh-NIGH e-lo-HAY-kha) phr. You shall love the LORD your God; the very first mitzvah; the "golden rule" of the mitvot. Love for the LORD is the basis for all other commandments. This phrase comes from the Shema (Deut. 6:5).




Lovingkindness



(KHE-sed) n. Grace; favor; lovingkindness; covenantal faithfulness; loyal love. Chesed includes the concepts of loyalty and fidelity along with love; it therefore represents faithful love, and so on. Chesed also refers to an act of lovingkindness or gracious action, i.e., the giving of oneself to help others without regard to repayment or personal benefit. Chesed is therefore the essense of the great mitzvah to "love your neighbor as yourself." עוֹלָם חֶסֶד יִבָּנֶה - olam chesed yibaneh - "The world is built with chesed" (Psalm 89:3).

The sages compared chesed with charity, saying that in three ways is chesed greater. Charity is done with money; chesed can be either with one's person or one's money. Charity is for the poor; chesed can be done for either the poor or the rich. Charity is for the living; chesed can be done for the living or the dead (Sukkah 49b). The act of burying a dead person is called chesed shel emet -- "true kindness" -- since this is an altrusitic act done when the other person is powerless to repay. And of course gemilut chasidim refers to acts of lovingkindness or benevolence.




Loving your neighbor



(ve-a-HAV-ta le-ray-a-kha kah-moh-kha) phr. You shall love your neighbor as yourself; the second great mitzvah; the "silver rule" of the mitvot. Love for others is the basis for all other commandments. This phrase comes from the Shema (Lev. 19:18).




Loving the Stranger



(ve-a-hav-tem et-hag-GAYR) ph. You shall love the stranger (gerim).




Luach Shanah



(loo-akh shah-nah) n. Calendar (of the year). Jewish Calendar. The months of the Hebrew calendar are as follows:

  1. נִיסָן (Nisan) -  30 days; month of Pesach (Nisan 14) [March-April]
  2. אִיָּר (Iyar) - 29 days; Pesach Sheni; Lag B'Omer [April-May]
  3. סִיוָן (Sivan) - 30 days; month of Shavuot [May-June]
  4. תַּמּוּז (Tammuz) - 29 days; fast of 17th day of Tammuz [June-July]
  5. אָב (Av) - 30 days; Tishah B'Av; Tu B'Av [July-August]
  6. אֱלוּל (Elul) - 29 days; month of preparation for High Holidays [August-September]
  7. תִּשׁרִי (Tishri) - 30 days; High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah - Yom Kippur); Sukkot/Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah [September-October]
  8. מַרְחֶשְׁוָן (Cheshvan) - 29/30 days; [October-November]
  9. כִּסְלֵו (Kislev) - 29/30 days; Chanukah; [November-December]
  10. טֵבֵת (Tevet) - 29 days; 10th of Tevet; [December-January]
  11. שְׁבָט (Shevat) - 30 days; Tu B'Shevat; [January-February]
  12. אֲדָר א׳ (Adar I) - 30 days (אדר ב׳ on leap years); [February-March]







Lulav




(loo-LAHV) n. A ripe, green, closed frond of the date palm tree. Lulav is one of the Four Species (arba'ah minim) used during the tenufah (wave ceremony) of Sukkot. The other species are the hadas (myrtle), aravah (willow), and etrog (citron). See the Sukkot Pages for more information.







LXX




(tar-GOOM ha-sheev-EEM) n. "Translation of the Seventy" (LXX) or "Septuagint." The most important ancient translation of the Tanakh is the Greek Septuagint, originally produced for Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt.  It is considered one of the greatest Jewish contributions to Hellenistic culture. Parts of it date from as early as the third and second centuries B.C.E. The title "Seventy" refers to the tradition that the translation was the work of 70 translators (or 72 in some traditions). Initially the Septuagint was widely used by Greek - speaking Jews, but its adoption by the Christians, who used it in preference to the Hebrew original, aroused hostility among the Jews, who ceased to use it after about 70 A.D. Philo and Josephus show a reliance on the Septuagint in their citations of Jewish scripture as does the New Testament. Of the approximately 300 quotes in the New Testament, approximately 2/3 come from the Septuagint (not the Masoretic text).  It should be noted that the Septuagint includes some books not found in the Hebrew Bible (i.e., the Apocrypal Books included in the Catholic Scriptures).

It is generally agreed that the original Hebrew text that was the basis of the Septuagint differed from ancestors of the Masoretic text, though fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls actually agree with the Septuagint rather than the Masoretic Text readings. In other words, there were different Hebrew sources for the Masoretic Text and the LXX. These issues notwithstanding, the text of the LXX is generally close to that of the Masoretic version.




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