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Hebrew Glossary - T


































Ta'am / Ta'amim

(TA-am / ta-a-MEEM) n. Bible trope mark(s); cantillation signs placed above or below the words of the Tanakh. These marks serve as musical notes, tone syllable identifiers, and marks of punctuation (e.g., pausal, disjunctive). Ta'amim are also called Ta'amei HaMikra (cantillation marks of the scriptures).

Ta'anit Bechorot

(ta-a-NEET be-khoh-ROHT) n. The Fast of the Firstborn is a fast observed only by firstborn males and commemorats the fact that they were saved from the plague of the firstborn in Egypt. It is observed on the day preceding Passover (Nisan 14).

Ta'anit Ester

(ta-a-NEET ES-ter) n. Fast of Esther. 13th of Adar, the day preceding Purim. The word Ta'anit refers to a fast day or tzom.


(tav-ay-RAH) n. "Burning." A place in the wilderness of Para. Numbers 11:3. For more information, see Parashat Beha'alotekha.


(meesh-KAHN) n. Tabernacle; tent. The portable sanctuary described in great detail in the book of Exodus that served as the model for the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) in Jerusalem, and synagogues today. The word mishkan comes from the Hebrew word lishkon, meaning to rest, and was considered to be the resting place of the Shechinah (presence of the LORD). The mishkan is also called mishkan ha'eidut (see below).

Tabernacle of Testimony

(meesh-KAHN ha-ay-DOOT) n. Tabernacle of Testimony; another name for the Mishkan, so-named since it testified of God's forgiveness of the Jewish people for their idolatry with the egel maseikhah (Golden Calf).

Tabernacles (Feast of)

(khag ha-sook-KOHT) n. Feast of Tabernacles. Feast of Booths. Sukkot. Fall festival; celebrating the forty years when the people of Israel lived in booths or tents in the desert. Sukkot is one of three pilgrim festivals when Jews were expected to go up to Jerusalem.

Table of Showbread

(shool-khan hap-pah-NEEM) Table of showbread; also shulchan lechem panim
(Exodus 25:30).


(takh-LEET) n. Aim, purpose, end; as in, "One of the "tachlitot" (pl.) of studying Torah is to reveal the need for the Mashiach. Romans 10:4 says, "For Mashiach is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes":

Tag / Tagin

(tahg / tah-gin) n. Crown; crownlet on Hebrew letters; serif; tittle. The plural is usually rendered tagin.


(tah-HOR) adj. Clean; pure; innocent. (Psalm 51:10). Lev tahor is a clean or pure heart. The red heifer is said to cleanse from tumah (Num. 19:2).


(tah-ho-rot) n. "Purities."  One of the (six) orders of the Mishnah, Tahorot deals with the clean/unclean distinction and family purity. This is the longest of the orders in the Mishnah.


(tak-kah-NAH) n. (pl. takkanot)  "Case law ordinace"; a law instituted by rabbis that does not directly derive from the Torah (but is inferred from its interpretation). An example would be the lighting of candles on erev Shabbat. The ritual of public Torah recitation every Monday and Thursday is a takkanah instituted by Ezra the Scribe. Takkanot (pl.) can vary by region, based on the prevailing rabbinical authority. Ashkenazic Jews accept takkanot that Sephardic Jews might not recognize as binding. An aspect of Jewish halakhah(mitzvot d'rabbanan).

Tallit (Tallis)

(tal-LEET) n. Tallit.  Prayer Shawl. Lit. a "little covering" designed for use as a private sanctuary during prayer. Only bar mitzvah men wear a tallit during morning services (it is not worn for afternoon and evening prayers because of the commandment that one should see the tzitzit, which has been interpreted as meaning to be seen by the light of the day).

Therefore, the shawl is traditionally worn during:

  1. Shacharit (morning) prayers (Num. 15:38-39)
  2. Torah Reading services (Sat., Mon., and Thurs.)
  3. Yom Kippur (and some other holiday services)
  4. Special occasions such as circumcisions, bar mitzvahs, weddings (used to sometimes make a canopy over the couple)
  5. Burials. An orthodox Jewish man is wrapped in his tallit when he is buried

The Tallit actually inspired the design of the Israeli flag:

The word "tallit" itself does not occur in the Torah (though the verb טָלַל appears and means "to cover over" (Neh. 3:15; Gen. 19:8)). Ruth asked Boaz to "cover" her with his garment because he was a near kinsman (Ruth 3:9). The base word (טל) means "dew" and the word Tallit was perhaps chosen because it alludes to the morning dew in the wilderness that was accompanied by manna (Exod. 16:13-14; Num. 11:9). The unity of brethren is also likened to the dew (Psalm 133:3) as well as the favor of God (Prov. 19:12). The use of the Tallit concerns the display of "fringes" or tzitzit, which were the essence of the requirement given in Numbers 15, Deut. 22:12. The Tallit was sometimes used to indicate the social status of the wearer. The Pharisees sometimes wore extra long fringes to affect a display of piety - a practice that Yeshua condemned (Matt. 23:5). For more information, click here.

Tallit Katan

(tal-LEET kah-TAHN) n. Four-cornered garment worn under a shirt with tassels (tzitzit). Also known as arba kanfot. For more information, click here.

Talmid / Talmidim

(tal-MEED / tal-mee-DEEM) n. Pupil; learner; disciple. A talmid chakham is a wise student, or a learned man.


(tal-mood) n. Talmud. An encyclopedic collection of legalistic interpretations consisting of the Mishnah (oral law) and Gemarah (commentary on the Mishnah). Talmud is also called Shash, an abbreviation for Shisha Sidarim, the six orders of the Mishnah that form the basis of the Talmud. Shas and Chumash with Rashi is considered a good Jewish religious education. Sometimes the Talmud is also referred to as Gemarah...

After the Mishnah was published it was studied exhaustively by generations of rabbis in both Babylonia and Israel. Over the next three centuries additional commentaries on the Mishnah were compiled and put together as the Gemarah. Actually there are two different versions of the Gemara, one compiled by the scholars in Israel (c. 400 AD) and the other by the scholars of Babylonia (c. 500 AD). Together the Mishnah and the Gemara form the Talmud, but since there are two different Gemaras, there are two different Talmuds. The Mishnah with the Babylonian Gemara form the Talmud Bavli and the Mishnah with the Jerusalem Gemara form the Talmud Yerushalami (Jerusalem Talmud).  Since the Gemara functions as a commentary to the Mishnah, the orders of the Mishnah form a general framework for the Talmud as a whole (however not every Mishnah tractate has a corresponding Gemarah).

Talmud Torah

(tal-mood TO-rah) n. 1) Study of Torah (both written and oral Torah); 2) Hebrew school; most generally: the study of Jewish tradition.


(tah-MEED) n. 1) Daily offering in the Temple; 2) Daily prayer service said in the synagogue.


(tam-MOOZ) n. Tammuz. Name of the 4th month. See Hebrew calendar.

Tammuz (fast of)

(shev-ah ah-sahr be-ta-MOOZ) n. 17th of Tamuz. A fast day (tzom) commemorating the breaking down of the wall of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the cessation of Temple worship during the siege of Titus.


(ta-NAKH) n. Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible is called the Tanakh (sometimes transliterated as Tanak or Tanach in English), an acronym for Torah ("law"), Nevi'im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). Note the use of the gerashim to indicate an acronym.


(tan-khoo-MEEM) n. Consolation (which comes from nichum, Isa 57:18 - nichumin - comforts).

Tannaim / Tanna

(tan-na-EEM) n. pl. Aramaic: plural of tanna ("repeater" or "teacher"). Rabbinic sages (successors to soferim, or "scribes" mentioned in the NT) whose views are recorded in the Mishnah and Tosefta, from approx. 70-200 AD.  A sage from this period is called a Tanna (there are said to be approx. 120 Tannaim). The Tannaitic period began with the death of Hillel and Shammai (1st century A.D.) and ended with Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi, compiler and editor of the Mishnah (beginning of the 3rd century), and therefore represent the "first wave" of sages who rejected Yeshua as the Messiah after the destruction of the Second Temple and the Diaspora of the Jewish people. The Tannaim at first taught in Jerusalem, though after its destruction, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai and his students founded a new religious center in Yavne. The adjective form is tannaitic.


(tan-yah) n. Aramaic. An early work of Chasidic Judaism, written by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad, in 1797 CE. The basic work of Chabad philosophy, describing the general Chabad approach to Jewish observance and theology.


(tar-goom) n. Targum. Translation. Version. The name given to the Aramaic translation of the Scriptures that was read to the populace in Babylonian periods. Except for some interpolations and paraphrases, the Targum Bavli, also known as Targum Onkelos, is a very faithful translation. Targum Yerushalmi is less faithful to the text.

The Aramaic Targum (i.e., Onkelos) dates from Tannaic times (c.35-120 CE) though it was refined during the early Middle Ages. It is unlikely it was read in synagogues during the time of Yeshua. The Talmud (3rd century AD) recommends reading the Targum only after reading the Hebrew twice... Most of the Aramaic "translations" include rabbinical elaborations and midrashim that go beyond the plain meaning of biblical passages to teach ethical and religious lessons.

Targum Hashiv'im

(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.

Taryag (mitzvot)

(tar-YAG mitz-VOHT) n. Taryag Mitzvot. 613 commandments found in the Tanakh, 248 positive and 365 negative mitsvot (the gerashim indicates an acronym).


(tash-LEEKH) n. Tashlich. A ceremony held near a flowing body of water on the first day of Rosh Hashanah during which individuals empty their pockets and symbolically "cast their sins upon the water." (Micah 7:19).


(tahv) n. Tav. 22nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet having the sound of "t" as in tall. Originally a pictograph representing a mark or sign or covenant. Gematria = 400. A "Begedkephat letter" (may take a dagesh lene).


(te-khee-NAH) n. Personal prayers. Personal devotions to God, in addition to the prescribed prayers in the synagogue. Plural is techinot, supplications or private devotions to God.

Techiyat HaMashiach

(te-khee-YAT ha-mah-SHEE-akh) n. The resurrection of the Messiah (Matt. 16:21; Acts 2:32), the primary basis for the historic Christian faith. The term techiyah means resurrection or revival.

Techiyat Hammetim

(te-khee-YAT ham-may-TEEM) n. The resurrection of the dead.

Tefillah / Tefillot

(te-feel-LAH / te-fee-LOHT) n. Prayer. The root stem is "pallel" which means "to judge." The reflexive form is "hitpallel" meaning "to judge oneself." Prayer thus involves self-examination and cheshbon nefesh (soul searching). The Amidah ("standing prayer") is called Ha-Tefillah, "The Prayer," meaning the consummate prayer according to Rabbinical Judaism.


Tefillat Geshem

(te-feel-LAT GE-shem) n. (תְּפִלַּת גֶשֶׁם) A ritualized "prayer for rain" associated with the holiday of Shemini Atzeret (i.e., at the end of the holiday of Sukkot). 

Tefillat HaDerech

(te-feel-LAT ha-DE-rekh) n. Prayer before starting a journey. For more information,
click here.

Tefillat Hashachar

(te-feel-LAT ha-sha-KHAR) n. Morning prayer (as in the synagogue).

Tefillat HaTalmidim

(te-feel-LAT ha-tal-mee-DEEM) n. The Lord's Prayer; "Our Father." The prayer Yeshua taught His disciples (talmidim) as an exemplar of communication to the Father. Tefillat HaTalmidim is the consummate Jewish prayer: The first three phrases mirror the Jewish Kaddish, the middle phrases summarize the essential petitions of the Amidah, and the conclusion mirrors the praises King Solomon offered at the dedication of the first Temple (1 Chronicles 29:11-13).

Tefillat Sheva

(te-feel-LAT she-VA) n. Tefillat Sheva. Abbreviated Amidah with only seven of the 18 blessings said.


(te-fee-LEEN) n. Tefillin (תְּפִילִּין); "Phylacteries"; two black leather boxes containing scrolls with Bible passages on them (Exod. 13:1–16; Deut. 6:4–9, 11:13–21). During synagogue prayers men affix one to their hand and arm and the other to their forehead, in obedience to Deut. 6:8. For more information, click here.

Note: The Greek word τὰ φυλακτήρια was transliterated as "phylacteries" by translators of the English New Testament. It does not appear in the LXX (Septuagint) but the word ἀσαλευτόν does, which was used to translate the Hebrew word "totafot" (frontlets) in the verse "And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes (לְטוֹטָפת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ): for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt" (Exod 13:16).

The word "tefillin" (תְּפִילִּין) is probably Aramaic, not Hebrew, though it is obviously related to the Hebrew word "tefillah" (prayer). The word tefillin does not occur in the Torah itself, but rather in the  Oral Torah and traditions of the sages/rabbis. The idea that "totafot between your eyes" (Exod. 13:9, 6, Shema: Deut. 6:8, 11:18) refers to the elaborate rules and ceremonies attached to modern tefillin usage is a rabbinical invention.  Metaphorically, of course, the idea of totafot means practicing the Presence of the LORD in every moment of our day…

Jesus said, "But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments" (Matt. 23:5). Most likely this was intended to be a warning that one shouldn't affect religiosity before men in a vain attempt "to be seen" as righteous/zealous.


(te-heel-LAH) n. Praise; song of praise. Plural is Tehillim.


(te-heel-LEEM) n. Psalms. Book of Psalms. Sacred prayerbook and hymnal of the Tanakh. Divided into five separate books (Psalms 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, and 107-150, respectively). Messianic Psalms include 2, 8, 16, 22, 45, 69, 72, 89, 100, 118, 132. Tehillim means "praises." The singular is tehillah (see above).


(tay-vah) n. Ark. In Genesis chapters 6-9, the word is used 26 times to denote the huge, rectangular, box-shaped vessel which Noach (Noah), his family and the animals entered to escape the judgment of the flood. In Exodus 2, teivah denotes the tiny vessel in which Moses was hidden among the reeds in the Nile river to escape the wrath of the Pharaoh. According to midrash, the beam/tree upon which the wicked Haman was hanged was taken from Noach's teivah.


(te-kee-YAH) n. Tekiah. Shofar blast. One loud blast from the Shofar. Cp. Teruah, Shevarim.


(bayt ham-meek-DAHSH) n. "House of Sanctity"; synagogue. The sanctuary or Temple in Jerusalem. The first building associated with Jewish worship is often referred to as "The Holy Temple." It was built in Jerusalem by King Solomon around the l0th century B.C.E. The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. A second temple was built, but it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. The Temple was the physical symbol of God's presence on Earth and prayers for its rebuilding are a symbolic call for the coming of the Messiah.


(te-moo-RAH) n. A mystical interpretation method that rearranges letters in words, according to an algorithm to derive new words. For instance, the "avgad method" replaces each letter with the preceding letter (i.e., aleph=tav, bet=aleph, and so on), and the "atbash" method replaces the first letter with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the second with the next-to-last, and so on (i.e., aleph=tav; bet=shin, gimmel=resh, etc.).

Ten Commandments

(ah-SER-et ha-di-b'ROT) n. Aseret Hadiberot; Ten Commandments or Ten Utterances. The following are the Ten Commandments given at Mt. Sinai:

  1. I am the Lord your God.
  2. No other gods.
  3. Do not take My Name in vain.
  4. Remember Shabbat.
  5. Honor father and mother.
  6. No murder.
  7. No adultery.
  8. No stealing.
  9. No false witness.
  10. No coveting.

The two tablets (shnei luchot avanim) are also refered to as the two tablets of testimony (shenei luchot ha'edut), or simply as "tables of stone" (luchot even) written with the finger of God. The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus (sh'mot) chapter 20 and Deuteronomy (devarim) chapter 5. Click here for more information.

Ten Days of Repentance

(ah-SER-et ye-MAY te-shoo-VAH) n. Ten days of repentance. Penitential season. Time from the 1st of Tishri (Rosh Hashanah) and ending with the close of Yom Kippur. These days are also known as Yamim Nora'im, the Days of Awe.

Ten Plagues

(e-ser ham-mah-KOHT) n. The ten plagues. The ten calamities that befell Egypt by the hand of the God of Israel as recounted in the Book of Exodus (chapters 7-12) and further mentioned in Psalm 78:44-51 and Psalm 105:23-39.  The Ten Plagues are also called the "Plagues of Egypt" (i.e., makot Mitzrayim: מַכּוֹת מִצְרַיִם). These include:

  1. Makat Dam (מַכַּת־דָם): Water turned to blood (Exod. 7:14–25)
  2. Makat Tzefarde'a (מַכַּת־צְפַרְדֵּעַ): Frogs from the Nile (Exod. 7:25–8:11)
  3. Makat Kinim (מַכַּת־כּנִּים): Gnats (or lice) from the dust (Exod. 8:12–15)
  4. Makat Arov (מַכַּת־עָרוֹב): Swarms of flies (or wild animals) (Exod. 8:20–32)
  5. Makat Dever (מַכַּת־דֶבֶר): Pestilence (Exod. 9:1-7)
  6. Makat Shechin (מַכַּת־שְׁחין): Boils (Exod. 9:8-12)
  7. Makat Barad (מַכַּת־בָּרָד): Hail and Fire (Exod. 9:13-35)
  8. Makat Arbeh (מַכַּת־אַרְבֶּה): Locusts (Exod. 10:1-20)
  9. Makat Choshekh (מַכַּת־חוֹשֶׁךְ): Darkness (Exod. 10:21-29)
  10. Makat Bechorot (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת): Death of the firstborn (Exod. 11:1-12:36)

Exodus 12:12 God says, "... on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments." Thus the plagues are thought to be symbolic of the defeat of various gods venerated in ancient Egyptian mythology (and occultism in general):

  1. Water turned to blood - Hapi and/or Khnum (god of the Nile)
  2. Frogs from the Nile River - Heket (goddess of fertility and water)
  3. Gnats from the dust  - Geb (god of the Earth)
  4. Swarms of Flies - Khepri (god of creation, lord of flies or beetles)
  5. Death of Livestock - Apis (goddess of animals depicted as a bull); Osiris
  6. Ashes to boils - Isis (goddess of nature, healing and peace)
  7. Hail and Fire - Nut (sky goddess and sister of Geb)
  8. Locusts sent from the winds - Set (god of storms, darkness, and disorder)
  9. Three days of darkness - Ra (the Sun god) and Set (god of darkness)
  10. Death of the firstborn - Pharoah ("son of Ra"); Khnum/ Amon (ram god)


Some commentators ask whether the plagues were intended more for the Israelites than for the Egyptians, since the Israelites had been oppressed by the powers of Egypt to the point of being "without the breath of hope."

Tent of Meeting

(oh-hel moh-ED) n. Tent of Meeting. Sometimes referred to as the Mishkan or Tabernacle. Ohel means tent. This appears to be the tent where Moses would meet the LORD before the Tabernacle was established, and later was incorporated into the Mishkan proper.


(te-noo-FAH) n. Wave ceremony; wave service; ceremony of waving (usually in six directions) a sacrifice, bread (lechem tenufah), lulav, etc. According to the Talmud (Menachos 62a), the tenufah was moved back and forth, up and down, to symbolize the fact that it is being offered to the Ruler of the entire world.  A picture of the resurrection.

Ten Words

(ah-SER-et ha-de-vah-REEM) n. The Ten "Words" or "Utterances" used as a synonym for the Ten Commandments.  See entry for Ten Commandments for more information.


(te-roo-AH) n. Teru'ah (תְּרוּעָה): "shout," "alarm," "shout of joy," "war cry," etc., depending on context. During Rosh Hashanah, teruah refers to nine staccato blasts on a shofar. The plural is teruot (תְּרוּעוֹת). Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה) refers to the "Feast of Trumpets" or "Festival of Shouting" that rabbinical tradition later associated with "Rosh Hashanah (ראש השנה). Cp. Tekiah, Shevarim.


(te-shoo-VAH) n. Return; turning; reply; repentance.

Teshuvah Gemurah

(te-shoo-VAH ge-moo-RAH) n. A complete repentance; "perfect" repentance; a full return to the LORD God of Israel and the Torah. Maimonides says that perfect repentance means refraining from repeating the sin in question (Yad, Teshuvah, 2:1).


(ay-DOHT) n. (sing. eidah). "Testimonials" (from the root 'ed, witness). Mitzvot that commemorate or represent something -- e.g., the commandments to put on tefillin, wear tzitzit, eat matzah on Passover, blow a shofar, etc. Since they commemorate or symbolically represent something, the eidot occupy a sort of middle ground between the rationally understandable mishpatim and the supra-rational chukkim. Note that a testimony is eidut in Hebrew.


(tet) n. Tet. 9th letter of the Hebrew alphabet having a sound of "t" as in tall. Originally represented by a pictograph meaning "basket" or "snake."Gematria = 9.


(TE-vet) n. Tevet. 10th month of the Jewish calendar. See Calendar.


(te-vee-LAH) n. Tevilah. Baptism; Immersion. The act of taking a ritual bath in a mikveh of running water, usually to cleanse from impurity (e.g., after menstruation). Complete immersion is also normally required for proselytes on being accepted into Judaism. Tevilah is the act of immersing oneself in a natural water source (i.e., a stream or river). In modern times a specially constructed pool called a mikveh is used. Today, in Judaism, the terms are used somewhat interchangeably. The "trinitarian" baptismal formula given in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) implies that the Christian (or Messianic Jew) has the God-given responsibility to "make talmidim" - i.e., make disciples of the doctrine of the Mashiach.  This includes the ritual of "tevilah" - baptism, which is prefigured in the Jewish mikveh rituals.  It is not, therefore, to be associated (as is done in so-called "Covenant Theology") with the Jewish ritual of circumcision.


(hoh-dah-AH) n. Gratitude; thankfulness; appreciation; praise; worship. Life is a gift from heaven.  Think of seven blessings in your life to create your own personal "menorah of thankfulness."

The Lord is with thee

(ki-Adonai el-loh-HAY-kha eem-makh) phr. "For the LORD is with you" (Deut. 20:1).

The Lord's Table (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" (1 Cor. 10:20).  The Passover lamb (Exodus 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" (1 Cor. 5:7).

Theophoric Names

(THEE-oh-FORE-ik) a "god-bearing" name [θεοφόρητος] that incorporates or embeds the name of a deity as part of the name itself. For example, Daniel means "God is my judge," using the -El suffix; Adonijah means "the Lord is YHVH," using the -Yah suffix, and so. These sorts of names were not unique to Hebrew, of course, but were common throughout the ancient Near East and Mesopotamia.

In the Hebrew Scriptures the use of theophoric names is extremely common. For example, both Eliyah (אֵלִיָּה) and Eliyahu (אֵלִיָּהוּ) come from eli = "my God" [is] Yah/Yahu, both suffixes short for "YHVH"). Apparently the longer form is pre-exilic, whereas the shorter is post-exilic (referring to the Babylonian exile, of course). The same thing is found in Hebrew prefixes, too. The prefix YV- (Yo-) or YHV (Ye'ho-) are common, e.g., Yochanon [יוֹחָנָן] = Yo (short for YHVH) "is gracious," and Yehoshua [יְהוֹשֻׁעַ] = Yeho (short for YHVH) "is salvation," etc. The matter is complicated in the New Testament by Greek transliteration of the Hebrew names. For example, the word "Elias" comes from the Greek (᾽Ηλίας), which usually put 'h' at the beginning of words and therefore substituted an "s" (-ς) to transliterate Eliyah. We note the same sort of transformation occurred when the Greek transliterated "Yeshua" into Iesous (᾽Ιησοῦς).

The Sky's the Limit

(ha-shah-MA-yeem hem ha-ge-VOOL) phr. "The sky's the limit" (
הַשָּׁמַיִם הֵם הַגְּבוּל), an idiom that (optimistically) means the potential is limitless, or there is no upper limit to what can be realized or done...

(In) the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

(b'shem ha-AHV ve-ha-BEN ve-ROO-akh hak-koh-DESH, ah-MEIN) phr. The "trinitarian" baptismal formula in the Great Commission as given in Matthew 28:19. The Christian (or Messianic Jew) has the God-given responsibility to "make talmidim" - i.e., make disciples of the doctrine of the Mashiach. This includes the ritual of "tevilah" - baptism, which is prefigured in the Jewish mikveh rituals. It is not, therefore, to be associated (as is done in so-called "Covenant Theology") with the Jewish ritual of circumcision. See the Hebrew Names of God.

Thirteen Attributes of Mercy

(she-lohsh es-ray meed-DOHT) n. Shelosh Esrei Middot.  Yod-Gimmel Middot Shel Rachamin. After the Jews had committed the grievous sin with the golden calf, Moses despaired of the Jews ever being able to find favor in God's eyes again. God, however (as explained in the Talmud (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 17b)) donned a tallit, and, in the role of a chazzan, showed Moses the order of the thirteen attributes of rachamim (mercy). God proclaims thirty-two words (Exod. 34:6-7) that have become known in Jewish tradition as the Shelosh Esrei Middot, the Thirteen Attributes of God's Mercy:

"And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." (KJV)

13 Attributes of Mercy

According to traditional interpretations, the thirteen attributes are articulated as follows:

  1. The LORD (YHVH) - I, the LORD, am the merciful Source of life
  2. The LORD - The repetition of God's name indicates that God is merciful to a person after he sins if he shows true teshuvah (repentance)
  3. El - God the Mighty: God is the rightful Judge (el)
  4. Rachum: God the compassionate, merciful to the poor and downtrodden
  5. Vechanun: God is gracious and generous even to the undeserving
  6. Erech Apayim: God is slow to anger and patient in waiting for our repentance;
  7. Verav Chesed: God is abundant in kindness to both the righteous and the wicked;
  8. Ve'emet: God is truthful and faithful in carrying out promises;
  9. Notzer Chesed La'alafim: God extends kindness for a thousand generations, taking into account the merit of our worthy ancestors (Zechut Avot);
  10. Nosei Avon: God forgives iniquity, defined in the tradition as wrongful deeds committed with premeditation;
  11. Vafesha: God forgives transgression, defined as wrongful deeds committed in a rebellious spirit;
  12. Vechata'ah: God forgives sin, those wrongful deeds that were inadvertent;
  13. Venakeh: God will cancel all punishment for those who are truly repentant.

The Shelosh Esrei Middot formula is recited on Yom Kippur, and also during the Torah service on the High Holy Days, Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

Thirty Six Righteous

(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).

This, too, is for the best

(gam zoo le-toh-VAH) phr. "This too, is for the best." From a story in the Talmud of a sage named Nachum, whose staunch faith in God led him to declare all of God's actions as being for the best. His name therefore became Nachum Ish Gam Zu, Nachum, the Man of 'Everything is for the Best.'  (Note: gamzu is an abbreviation for the phrase.) An old saying: "The optimist believes this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist is afraid that the optimist is correct."

Thought (Jewish)

(ma-kha-shah-VAH) n. (also machashavah, machshavah, etc., the plural is machashavot). Machashava means "thought" (from the Hebrew root חָשַׁב, to think, reckon), and the word is used colloquially to mean characteristically Jewish thought (hashkafah).

Three Classes (of Jews)

The traditional three-class division of the Jewish population is:

  1. Kohanim - The priestly class (descendants of Aaron)
  2. Levi'im - Levites (descendants of the patriarch Levi)
  3. Yisraelim - Israelites (a Jew or convert in general)

This class distinction is one of the few remnants of Temple-era Jewish society still in force today.

Three Meals of Sabbath

(shah-lohsh se-oo-DOHT) n. The three traditional meals of the Sabbath, though often used to refer to the last meal of the Sabbath day in the afternoon (before Havdalah).  The third  meal of the Sabbath is called seudah shlishit.

Three Patriarchs

(shloh-shah ah-VOHT) n. The three fathers of the Jewish people: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Three Pillars (of Simon the Righteous)

(shloh-shah a-moo-DEEM) n. A maxim (given in Pirkei Avot 1:2) that states that the spiritual life is composed of a three-part balance:

Shimon ha-Tzaddik hayah misyarei kheneset ha-gedolah. Hu omeir:
al sheloshah devarim ha'olam omed: al ha-Torah
v'al ha'avodah v'al gemilut chasadim.

Simon the Righteous was from the remnant of the Great Assembly. He used to say:
'On three things the world stands: On the Torah, on service to God (avodah), and on acts of loving kindness (gemilut chasadim).' Avot 1:2

Like a chair that requires at least three legs to function, so we must engage in the study of Scripture, serve the LORD with passion, and truly love another. Please note that each of these "pillars" is repeated in the teachings of the Brit Chadashah (study [Acts 17:11, 2 Tim 2:15], serve God [Matt. 4:10, Matt. 6:24, 1 Thess 1:9, 2 Tim 1:3], and love one another, even as Yeshua loved us [John 13:34-5, John 15:17, Rom. 12:10, Rom. 13:8, etc.).


(teek-KOON) n. 1) Improvement; amelioration; correction; repair. Tikkun Olam means "repair of the world." 2) A handbook (Tikkun L'korim) that helps you learn to recite the (unvoweled) Hebrew text of the Sefer Torah. Since the Torah scroll has neither vowel points nor ta'amim (cantilation marks), it is challenging to learn to recite or chant unpointed Hebrew (as found in a Sefer Torah scroll). A professional Torah Reciter (called a baal korei - בַּעַל קוֹרֵא) studies from a "tikkun L'korim," a book with two columns on each page: one column contains the vocalized text of the Torah while the other facing column is a reproduction of the same text from a Sefer Torah scroll. The Baal Korei practices chanting from the unpointed text column after studying the printed column:

Note: You can purchase Tikkun L'Korim from

Tikkun Leil Shavuot

(teek-KOON layl shah-voo-OHT) phr. (תִּקּוּן לֵיל שָׁבוּעוֹת) "Rectification for Shavuot Night." The custom of staying up the entire night of Shavuot reading selections from the Torah as a "remedy" or "rectification" for Israel's failure to be awake on the morning of the revelation (the midrash scolds the Jewish people for sleeping the night before they received the Torah, and that is why God had to sound a shofar blast and bring thunder and lightning to wake them up). "We remain awake to show that, unlike the situation of our heavy-lidded ancestors at Sinai, there is no need to bring us to our senses; we are ready to receive Torah." The anthology of passages from the Tanakh and Talmud is called a (Shavuot) "Tikkun."

Tikkun Olam

(teek-KOON oh-LAHM) phr. "Repair of the world." Healing the world; perfecting the world; improving a circumstance.


(teek-VAH) n. Hope. From kavah - wait, look for. Ha-Tikvah is "The Hope" - the national anthem for medinat Yisrael (the modern state of Israel). Tikvatenu means "our hope.

Yesh-tikvah le'acharitekh - for there is hope for your future. (Jer 31:17)

Yesh tikvah
- there is hope (Lam 3:29).

Akh le-lohim domi nafshi, ki-mimenu tikvati - For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)

Ki-attah tikvati Adonai YHVH, mivtachi min'urai -  For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. (Psalm 71:5)

Tikvat Hashani

(teek-vat hash-shah-NEE) n. The "scarlet hope;" the scarlet thread that Rachav (Rahab) dangled from her window to be delivered from God's judgment.  The theme of the "scarlet thread" runs from Gen. 3 to the Cross of Yeshua to Revelation.

Dr. W. A. Criswell said, "Rahab the harlot is an example of the grace of God at work. Her salvation was not based on her character or merits: she lived in a doomed city, practiced a condemned profession, engaged in subversive activities, and falsified [lied about] her actions. Nevertheless she…acted upon faith, and was spared the judgment of God which was executed at the hands of the Israelites. In addition to her deliverance, Rahab was rewarded beyond measure when she married into the household of Nahshon…By Salmon, Rahab became the mother of Boaz and ancestress of David in the Messianic line [of those who were the ancestors of Jesus]. As one of four women listed in the genealogy of Matthew 1, Rahab is in the company of Tamar, who was also a harlot, and Ruth, who was a virtuous Ger Tzedek." 

Tishah B'Av

(teesh-ah be-AHV) Tish'ah B'av. 9th day of Av (Zech 8:19) mentioned as the fast of the fifth month commemorating national calamities such as the destruction of both Temples, the fall of Bar Kochba's fortress, the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. This is a solemn fast day.


(teesh-ree) Tishri. Name of the 1st month of the Jewish religious calendar (7th month of the civil calendar).


(ma-a-SAYR) n. Tithe; "tenth." In addition to the yearly peia, leket, and shikchah gleanings that were to be left for the poor every farming cycle, there are several types of tithes mentioned in the Torah:

  1. Ma'aser behemah: All Kosher cattle were tithed and one tenth of the animals were brought to Jerusalem and offered as a sacrifice in the Mishkan or Temple.
  2. Ma'aser Rishon: A tenth of a farmer's produce was given to the Levite (who did not have their own portion of land in Israel) as a tithe. This amounted to supporting the priesthood of Israel.
  3. Ma'aser Sheni: The land itself was tithed a second (additional) time (after separating the Ma'aser Rishon) on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th year of the seven-year Sabbatical cycle. This produce was taken to Jerusalem and eaten there.
  4. Ma'aser Anni: In the 3rd and 6th year, the ma'aser sheni was given to the poor instead of being brought to the appointed place. The poor could then glean from the crops and enjoy the good of the land.
  5. Ma'aser Kesofim: Today most tithing is done in terms of money, called ma'aser kesofim (a tenth of money). This is the traditional term for the tithe on money income and is distinguished from agricultural and cattle tithes. Every Jew is obligated to give a tenth of his earnings to charity, a custom that goes back to Abraham (Gen 14:20) and Jacob (who pledged to God that "everything that You give me, I will surely tithe to You" (Gen. 28:22).


(koh-tsoh shel YOHD) n. phr. "The Qots of a Yod." The tiniest thing; minutia; the serif mark atop a Yod, the smallest Hebrew letter. See tag, above.


(toh-khah-KHAH) n. (pl. tochachot).  Also spelled tokhachah. n. The Great Rebuke; "Reproach"; reproof or warning of dire punishment; all of which refer to the promised punishments to come upon Israel for their disobedience to the terms of the Sinai covenant (see parashat Bechukotai).  The Torah details the rewards for obedience with 11 verses (i.e., "If you follow my laws...") but uses 33 verses to detail the coming punishment ("But this is what will happen if you do not listen to Me") -- including the great exile from the land of promise and the destruction of the Holy Temple.

Tohu va-Vohu

(to-hoo va-VOH-hoo) n. Form and Void; chaos. (Gen. 1:2).


(tohl-DOHT) n. Descendants; successive generations; lineage, as in the "toldot of Yeshua" (Matt. 1; Luke 3).


(TOH-rah) n. Torah. 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."

Torah Lishmah

(toh-rah leesh-MAH) n. Study of Torah for its own sake.

Torah MiSinai

(toh-rah mi-SIGH-nai) n. Revelation; belief that God revealed both the written and oral Torah to Moses at Mount Sinai.

Torah Perpective

(DAH-'at TOH-rah) n. Torah perspective. Knowledge of Torah. Following a Torah mentality. Through Talmud Torah and the observance of the mitzvot (commandments), a person can develop the mind to have a great understanding of God's will.

Torah Portion

(pah-rah-SHAH / pah-rah-shee-YOHT) n. Weekly Torah reading(s). Cp. Sidrah. The weekly Torah portion is read during services. The Torah is divided into 54 parshiyot. One (and occasionally two) is read each week. Parashah means "portion." A Torah commentator is called a Parshan and the exegesis, interpretation, or commentary is called Parashanut. Here is a list of the weekly Torah readings (note that there are additional readings for holidays):

  1. Bereishit (Genesis)
  2. Noach
  3. Lekh Lekha
  4. Vayeira
  5. Chayei Sarah
  6. Toldot
  7. Vayeitzei
  8. Vayishlach
  9. Vayyeshev
  10. Mikeitz
  11. Vayigash
  12. Vayechi
  13. Shemot (Exodus)
  14. Va'eira
  15. Bo
  16. Beshalach
  17. Yitro
  18. Mishpatim
  19. Terumah
  20. Tetzaveh
  21. Ki Tisa
  22. Vayakhel
  23. Pequdei
  24. Vayikra (Leviticus)
  25. Tzav
  26. Shemini
  27. Tazria
  28. Metzora
  29. Acharei Mot
  30. Kedoshim
  31. Emor
  32. Behar
  33. Bechukotai
  34. Bamidbar (Numbers)
  35. Nasso
  36. Beha'alotkha
  37. Shelach
  38. Korach
  39. Chuqat
  40. Balaq
  41. Pinchas
  42. Mattot
  43. Masei
  44. Devarim (Deuteronomy)
  45. Va'etchanan
  46. Ekev
  47. Re'eh
  48. Shoftim
  49. Ki Teitzei
  50. Ki Tavo
  51. Nitzavim
  52. Vayeilekh
  53. Ha'azinu
  54. Vezot Haberakhah

Torah Sash

(VEEM-pel) n. Yiddish. A long linen sash used to to wrap up a Torah Scroll.  A wimple is sometimes made from swaddling cloth used for a boy's brit milah. The swaddling cloth is cleaned, cut into strips and sewn into a sash. The boy's Hebrew name and date of birth are then embroidered onto the cloth, along with a traditional Hebrew blessing. The wimpel is then used when the child later reads from the Torah scroll (at his bar mitzvah) or on other occasions.

Torah Scroll

(SE-fer TOH-rah) n. Sefer Torah. A handwritten copy of the Torah (the first five books of the Jewish Bible) that meets extremely strict standards of production (collectively called the laws of soferut). There are over 4,000 "laws" or rules used by scribes to prepare a kosher scroll. For instance, the Torah must contain exactly 304,804 well-formed letters in 248 amudim (columns). Each yeriah (sheet of parchment) must come from the hide of a kosher animal that has been specially prepared for the purposes of writing. Special inks are used and whenever a scribe writes any of the seven Names of God, he must say a blessing (l'shem k'dushat Hashem) and dip his quill in fresh ink.

The Torah scroll is mainly used in the ritual of Torah reading during Jewish services (Mondays, Thursdays, Shabbat, and on holidays).  The megillat Torah (Torah scroll) is kept in the Aron Kodesh (holy ark) of the synagogue.  The plural is sifrei Torah. The script style for a Sefer Torah can vary according to the calligrapher (i.e., sofer): Arizal, Bet Yosef, Sefard, etc. The text of the Torah is also printed (for non-ritual or study functions) in book form, commonly called the Chumash (five fifths).

Torah Shebal Peh

(toh-rah sheb-AL pay) n. Torah Sheb'al Pey. Oral Torah; Talmud. Tradition reports that the two forms of Torah, Torah she-bikhtav and Torah she-be'al peh, have existed side by side ever since the revelation at Har Sinai. The Oral Torah, which was not committed to writing during the centuries preceding the compilation of the Mishnah, was transmitted orally by a chain of sages and carriers of tradition. Karaites reject all Oral Torah.

The Talmud is made up of six sections. Each section is called a Seder (Order) and contains several books called Mesechtot (Tracts). The six Sedarim are:

  1. Zera'im (Seeds), this section deals with the laws of agriculture. It also deals with the laws of prayer and blessings.
  2. Mo'ed (Season), this section deals with the laws of Shabbot and Yom Tov (holidays).
  3. Nashim (Women) this section deals with the laws of marriage and divorce.
  4. Nezikin (Damages) this section deals with civil law, such as laws about damages and theft.
  5. Kedoshim (Holy Things) this section deals with sacrifices.
  6. Tohorot (Purities) this section deals with laws of ritual purity.

Torah Shebikhtav

(toh-rah she-bikh-TAHV) n. Written Torah; Written Law; Often used synonymously with the 24 holy writings that make up the Tanakh. Composed of:

  • Torah: Torah is made up of five books. Each book is called a Chumash.
    • B'reishit (Genesis)
    • Shemot (Exodus)
    • Vayikra (Leviticus)
    • Bamidbar (Numbers)
    • Devarim (Deuteronomy)
  • Nevi'im (Prophets): The following prophetic books:
    • Yehoshua (Joshua)
    • Shoftim (Judges)
    • Shmuel (Samuel) - two books
    • Melachim (Kings) - two books
    • Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah)
    • Yechezkel (Ezekiel)
    • Yeshayahu (Isaiah)
    • Trei Asar (The Twelve):
      • Hoshaia (Hosea)
      • Yoel (Joel)
      • Amos
      • Ovadiah (Obadiah)
      • Yonah (Jonah)
      • Michah (Micah)
      • Nachum (Nahum)
      • Chavakkuk (Habakkuk)
      • Tzefaniah (Zephaniah)
      • Chaggai (Haggai)
      • Zecharyah (Zachariah)
      • Malachi
  • Ketuvim (Writings):
    • Tehillim (Psalms)
    • Mishlei (Proverbs)
    • Iyov (Job)
    • Megillot:
      • Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs)
      • Rut (Ruth)
      • Eichah (Lamentations)
      • Kohelet (Eccelesiastes)
      • Esther
    • Daniel
    • Ezra & Nechemiah (Nehemiah)
    • Divrei HaYomim (Chronicles) two books

Torat HaMashiach

(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).

Torat HaNistar

(toh-rat han-nees-TAHR) n. "Hidden Torah;" a reference to Kabbalah and perhaps the Sefer Ha-Zohar.

Torat HaSod

(toh-rat has-SOHD) n. "Secret Torah;" a reference to Kabbalah and to esoteric teachings in general.

Torat 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.


(toh-se-FOHT) n. pl. "Additions" or "supplements." Critical and explanatory notes on the Talmud, printed on the outer margin and opposite Rashi's notes. The authors of the Tosafot are known as Tosafists.  Essentially, Tosefot are (French) medieval commentaries on Rashi's notes of the Talmud.

The Tosafot are printed on the outer margin of the page; i.e., when looking at an opened book you will see the Tosafot in the columns closest to the edges of the pages, farthest from the binding. They appear in "Rashi script" with the headings of each discussion in large square letters.

The give-and-take of a Tosafot discussion has a typical structure: Objections and difficulties are introduced with the formula "Ve'im tomar" [="And if you should say..."], and the solution with "Yesh lomar" [="It can be said..."]


(toh-SEF-ta) n. Tosefta. "Supplement" (to the Mishnah). A secondary compilation of the Jewish oral law from the period of the Mishnah (AD 70-200) written in Mishnaic Hebrew, with some Aramaic. Tosefta is a Halakhic (legal) work which corresponds in structure to the Mishnah with the same divisions for sedarim ("orders") and masekhot ("tractates"). It contains a large collection of tannaitic statements regarding legal cases (halakhah).

Tower of Babel

(meeg-dal bah-VEL) n.  An original place for idol worship. A tall, fortified tower (ziggurat?) that gave the illusion that "the power of the gods" was on their side. A place "to make a name" and demonstrate human power and prowess. A symbol of humanism and the attempted apotheosis human beings. A symbol of hubris and arrogance.

Pieter Bruegel painting

(From Parashat Noach) The descendants of Noah remained a single people group with a single language (leshon hakodesh) for ten generations. However, they eventually returned to the evil ways of the "sons of Cain" by uniting in an idolatrous religion that led them to build a "tower with its top in the heavens." God confounded their evil religion, however, by "confusing their speech" and thereby dispersed the people into the seventy nations of the earth (the abandoned tower was called Bavel (Babel) and is considered by many to be the origin of "Mystery Babylon").

Treasured People

('ahm se-gool-LAH) n. A treasured and befitting nation by virtue of deeds and actions; a special title given to Israel as a nation (see Exod. 19:5; Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 26:18) and also to Christians who serve the Lord Jesus (Yeshua).

Am Segullah does not imply the "chosen people," but rather "choosing" is invariably perceived as a verb and part of what it means to be such a people. That is, the ones who are choosing Adonai and His ways are am segullah.

Trei Asar

(te-RAY ah-SAR) n. [Aramaic] "Twelve," referring to a group of Prophets who prophesied over a period of more than two hundred years. This period begins towards the end of the Kingdom of Israel in Samaria (ca. 722 B.C.E.) up tp the time of Shivat Zion, the "Return to Zion" and the rebuilding of the First Temple in Jerusalem
(ca. 516 B.C.E.). 

Trinity (triune nature of God's echad nature)

(hash-shee-LOOSH hak-ka-DOHSH) n. The Holy Trinity. The Tri-une nature of the echad nature of Adonai. See the Hebrew Names of God.


(beet-ta-KHOHN) n. Trust, security; confidence; rest; also: Trust in God.  The verb batakh means to lean on, to trust, to rest securely.  Trust in God implies the idea of gam zu l'tovah - that all things work for good in the universe and that nothing happens without God's consent and will. Bittachon is an affirmation that God is perfect, full of infinite wisdom and love.

Betakh ba-Adonai va'asei-tov - Trust in the LORD and do good (Psalm 37:3)

Tu B'Av

(too be-AHV) n. Tu B'Av; 15th day of Av; From Biblical days, this day has been celebrated as the Holiday of Love and affection. In Israel, it has become in many ways the holiday of flowers, for on this day it is the custom to give a gift of flowers to the one you love. The Talmud (Taanit 30b-31a) quotes several reasons why Tu B'av was made a holy day, including marriage between different tribes of Israel was permitted that day; intermarriage with the tribe of Benjamin was once again permitted after the Pilegesh B'giva civil war; the generation that left Egypt ceased to die in the wilderness; King Hosea permitted residents of the Northern Kingdom to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem once again; and the dead of the great fallen city of Betar were granted burial by the Roman government (138 C.E.) 

Tu Bishvat

(too beesh-VAHT) n. Tu Bishvat (also Tu B'Shevat); 15th day of Shevat; New Year for trees; Israeli Arbor Day; usually marks first day of spring in Israel. (Note the use of the gerashim to indicate the number 15). For more information about this holiday, see this page.


(too-MAH) n. Impurity; filth. Ceremonial defilement. Ritual impurity. A person or item that is tumah is said to be tamei, or "impure" (the oposite is tahor). Tumah is received by contact with dead body (tum'at met), touching certain animals (Lev 11:29-32), contacting certain bodily fluids (i.e. niddah, zav/zavah (Lev 15)), through childbirth (the period of tumah is 40 days for a boy and 80 for a girl), by contracting tzara'at (or touching a metzora) Lev 13:46, or some other means.

In the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, there were additional sacrifices and ceremonies for purification from tumah including the parah adumah (Red heifer) ceremony for contact with the dead, and special ceremonies for tzara'at and childbirth. Today, in the absence of a Temple, the only purification method available involves washing or immersion in a mikvah (tevillah).


(toosh-la-BAH) Acronym. Tushlaba'. An acronym from the Hebrew phrase:

expressing thanks to God for the completion of a book on a Jewish subject.

Two Tablets of Stone

(she-NAY loo-KHOHT a-vah-NEEM) Phr. Shnei luchot avanim. The Two Tablets of Stone on which Adonai wrote Aseret Hadevarim (the Ten Words or Ten Commandments). These tablets were smashed by Moses after the Sin of the Golden Calf. However, Adonai mercifully let Moses inscribe a second set after a 40 day period of teshuvah.

The two tablets are also refered to as the two tablets of testimony (shenei luchot ha'edut), or "tables of stone" (luchot even) written with the finger of God.

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