Hebrew Glossary - SH Category

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In-depth Glossary of Transliterated & English Translation with their Meanings of the Hebrew Language


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Hebrew Transliteration English Translation Meaning
Shaatnez Mixture Used to refer the Torah-forbidden combination of wool and linen threads in a garment; or to or an entire garment containing such a combination. Testing laboratories exist in major Jewish communities to analyze fibers of everything from garments to upholstery .
Shabbat (Ashkenazi prounciation: 'Shabbos'; in Yiddish: 'Shabbes') Sabbath Rest. Observed from sunset Friday evening to sundown Saturday evening, marked by rest, worship, and study. One who traditionally observes the legal requirements for Shabbat is called Shomer Shabbat or Shomer Shabbos; its observance is referred to as shemirat Shabbat. Also, first tractate in the Mishnah order of Moed, deals with the rules for Shabbat observance. It also enumerates the thirty-nine specific categories of work that are expressly forbidden on the Shabbat. See further: Shabbat Index
Shabbat Bereishit First Sabbath after Simchat Torah on which the portion of Bereishit is read.
Shabbat HaChodesh The Shabbat prior to the first month of Nisan; the Torah portion describes the fixing of the dates and the regulations for Pesach
Shabbat HaGadol The Great Sabbath One of the special Sabbaths. This is the Shabbat prior to Pesach, called great because it began the story of the passage of our ancestors from slavery into freedom. it is associated with various traditions throughout history; for example, this was the Shabbat when the Jews of Egypt sprinkled lamb's blood on doorposts to prevent the Angel of Death from stopping by their households during the last plague
Shabbat Mevarchim The Sabbath on which the coming month is blessed
Shabbat Nachamu The Shabbat of consolation or comfort, the Sabbath following the fast of Av (Tish'ah B'Av).
Shabbat Parah Special Shabbat during which we read about the Red Heifer, the ceremony of the ritual purification of the entire people.
Shabbat Shabbaton A Sabbath of Sabbaths or High Sabbath.
Shabbat Shalom [May you have] the Peace of the Sabbath A Sabbath greeting for well-being; alternatively, Gut Shabbos in Yiddish.
Shabbat Shekalim Designated because of its special Torah portion that recalls the contribution of a shekel to the Temple economy, a sort of dues for community membership.
Shabbat Shuvah Sabbath of Return [to G-d] The Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Shabbat Zachor The Sabbath of Remembrance before Purim: "Remember what the Amalekim did unto you..." as your ancestors tried to cross the desert
Shabbaton (pl. Shabbatonim) One of the seven annual Sabbaths
Shachah Bow; worship To prostrate in homage to royalty or to G-d; bow down, crouch, fall down, humbly beseech, do reverence.
Shacharit Dawn Morning Service, morning prayer
Shadchan Matchmaker One who arranges a Jewish wedding
Shaddai Almighty; All-Sufficient  
Shachan Dwell
Shakran Liar
Shalach Manot Sending out Portions
Shaliach Tzibur (al. Sheliach Tzibur) Messenger of the Community The lay leader of a service (not an ordained rabbi or cantor)
Shalom Fullness of Peace Also used as a greeting--Hello or Goodbye
Shalom Bayit Peace of the Home The principle that domestic tranquility should be undisturbed as much as possible
Shalom u'vracha Peace and Blessing
Shalosh Regalim The three pilgrimage festivals on which historically the individual was to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Yerushalayim; it now simply refers to the three festivals of Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot
Shalosh Seudot The three festive meals for the Shabbat.
Shamash (al. Shamas; Yiddish - Shammos) Servant; Attendant A term for the middle lamp of the Menorah, which was used to light the other six lamps. Today it is the term for the middle candle used to light the other 8 candles in the Chanukiah (the Chanukah menorah); The janitor or caretaker of a synagogue.
Shamayim Heaven(s) The Hebrew shamayim can mean either the sky, the firmament (as in the first verse of Bereishit), or G-d, as in the Rabbinic expression Yirat Shamayim (the fear of heaven). According to Kabbalah, there are 7 heavens as is also enumerated in Chagigah 12. See further: Shamayim Index
Shammai A Rabbi (1st century B.C.E.) and contemporary of Hillel. He was the founder of a school, known as Beit Shammai, whose scholars usually took a more rigorous and stringent point of view than those of the Beit Hillel.
Shanah Year The twelve-month period of mourning following interment. It is the third and final stage of the mourning process
Shanah Tovah Good Year Meaning..."May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life".
Shas Abbreviation for Shisha Sidarim, the six orders of the Mishnah that form the basis of the Talmud. Today the term is used synonymously with Talmud
Shavua Week A period of seven
Shavua Chuppah Bridal Week A period of seven spent in the honeymoon chamber
Shavua tov (Yiddish - a gut voch) A Good Week Traditional greeting used following Havdalah, on the threshold of a new week
Shavua tov u-mevorach! A good and blessed week! The customary reply to Shavua tov
Shavuot Weeks The Festival commemorating Hashem giving the Torah at Mt. Sinai to Yisrael; Observed on the fiftieth day after the first day of Pesach. Because it is the concluding festival of the season, it is called Atzeret in the Talmud. Purely a festival of nature, the festival of the offering of the first fruits, it was later connected to the Revelation of the Torah on Sinai. It is observed by traditional Jews for two days in the Diaspora, by liberal Jews and those in Yisrael for one day. See further: Shavuot Summary & Shavuot Index
Shechitah The ritual process for slaughtering animals for food, according to Jewish law
Shilot uTeshuvot Questions and responses concerning queries on matters of Jewish law by rabbis and sages
Shehecheyanu A blessing that thanks G-d for "sustaining us and bringing us to this season"; said on various occasions including Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Brit Milah, and Purim. It is also recited on the first day of Chanukah, Pesach, Rosh Hashanah, and Sukkot
Sheitel A sign of modesty. A wig worn by traditionally observant Orthodox women after marriage
Shekel Weight A weight measure of silver equivalent to approx. 12.3 gram
Shekalim (plural of Shekel) Shekels Fourth tractate in the Mishnah order of Moed, dealing with the half-Shekel tax collected during Second Temple times for the maintenance of Temple worship.
Shelamim Peace Offerings
Sheliach (pl. Sheliachim) Sent One; Emissary of; Messenger of A person sent forth as an agent to perform a task for a Principal. In Jewish understanding the identity of the agent becomes that of the Principal when the agent performs the task given to him by the Principal
Sheloshim The thirty-day period of mourning following interment; it is the second stage of the mourning process.
Shema Hear The first word in the Jewish confession of faith proclaiming the One (Echad) G-d. Devarim 6:4; closest thing to a Jewish creed.
Shema Yisrael Hear O Yisrael Opening words to Judaism's fundamental creed--the belief in One G-d and consists of three paragraphs from Devarim 6:4-9, 11:13-21, BaMidbar 15:37-41, which is recited twice daily during the morning and evening prayers and then when one retires for the night
Shem HaMeforash The Ineffable Name; The Forbidden Name Referring to the Tetragrammaton...Y-K-V-K (replace the "K" with a "H")
Shemini Atzeret Eighth Day of the Assembly Concluding festival on the eighth day of Sukkot.
Shemitah Release; Sabbatical Year The seventh year in which the land lies fallow and debts are released or annulled mandated in VaYikra 25:2. Trade in produce that grows that year is forbidden.
Shemoneh Esrei (al. Shemoneh Esreh; also called "Amidah") Eighteen The main section of Jewish prayers recited in a standing position and containing 19 benedictions: praise to 1) G-d of the fathers/patriarchs 2) G-d's power and 3) holiness; prayers for 4) knowledge, 5) repentance 6) forgiveness 7) redemption 8) healing sick persons 9) agricultural prosperity 10) ingathering the Diaspora 11) righteous judgment 12) punishment of wicked and heretics [birkat haminim] 13) reward of pious 14) rebuilding Yerushalayim 15) restoration of royal house of David 16) acceptance of prayers 17) thanks to G-d 18) restoration of Temple worship, and 19) peace.
Shemot Names The Book of Exodus which recounts the first exile and redemption of the Jewish people, is commonly referred to as Shemot, names. This title draws our attention to the importance of maintaining Hebrew names, especially when living in the midst of foreign people. We are told that our ancestors did not change their names in favor of the Egyptian names and that this loyalty helped them to maintain their Jewish identity. Similarly, in every period when the Jewish nation was under foreign domination the Hebrew name has proved to be one of the most important safeguards for preserving its religion. In fact, this practice was one of the meritorious qualities which made the Yisraelim deserving of redemption from the slavery of Egypt. The first passage of Shemot hints at some of the other merits which contributed to their redemption: family spirit and feeling, the formation of large families, a high level of morality, the preservation of the Hebrew language, and the spirit of brotherhood (Shemot Rabbah 1; Tanchuma).
Sheol Abode of the Dead
Sherira Gaon, Rav (906-1006) Pumpedita Gaon who wrote numerous commentaries on the Scriptures and various Talmudic tractates. His famous Letter of Sherira Gaon contains a wealth of information on the history of the Chazal and the development of Jewish law
Sheshet Elafim Six Thousand
Sheva Berachot Seven Blessings Part of a traditional week-long ceremony, following a wedding, at which time the berachot are recited during Birkat HaMazon. This is a cluster of seven blessings, also called the birkhot nissuin, recited over a cup of wine by the bride and groom at every wedding ceremony
Shevarim A shofar sound.
Shevat Eleventh month of the Hebrew religious calendar; 5th month on the Hebrew civil calendar
Shevet Rod; Sceptre; Staff A stick for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc., or also used figuratively for a clan.
Sheviit Seventh Year Fifth tractate in the Mishnah order of Zeraim, dealing with the laws of the Shemittah Year (Shemot 23:11)
Shevuot Oaths Sixth tractate in the Mishnah order of Nezikin, dealing with the various types of oaths (VaYikra 5:4) and the laws applying to one who becomes aware of being unclean (VaYikra 5:2-3).
Shiduch Marital Match Scriptural account of G-d's command to Avraham to offer his son Yitzchak as a sacrifice, found in Bereishit 22
Shifcha Handmaid See further: Shifcha Index.
Shiltey HaGibborim Commentary of Rabbi Yehoshua Boaz (author of Masoret HaShas), a 16th century Talmudic scholar. This book supplements the work of the RIF.
Shimon ben Shetah 1st century sage, noted for introducing compulsory general education for all Jewish boys. He also instituted the Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, in order to make it more difficult for a husband to secure a divorce (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 14b)
Shimon HaTzadik Simon the Just 3rd century Kohen Gadol in Yerushalayim, one of the last survivors of the Great Assembly. He was the first sage of the Oral Law to be mentioned by name. One of his most famous sayings stated, "The world rests on three things, on Torah, on Temple service and on benevolent deeds" (Avot 1:2).
Shin - Small Blue Shin Graphic Sh 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Also the first letter of the Hebrew word Shaddai and is understood to be the sign of Hashem which marks those belonging to Him. Observant Jewish men form the shin on their hand and their foreheads in worship, in obedience to the mitzvah (commandment) that they should bear the Name of G-d on their hand and forehead..
Shir HaMaalot Song of Accent Tehillim 126, sung before Birkat HaMazon on Shabbat and festivals; also used to refer to a group of Psalms (30-45) generally understood to have been sung by the pilgrims as they made the ascent to Yerushalayim to celebrate the Shalosh Regalim.
Shitre Erusin A betrothal contract.
Shiur Lesson A class on a Jewish subject.
Shivah Seven The seven-day mourning period following interment (as in, "to sit shiva")
Shivah Asar B'Tammuz 17th day of the month of Tammuz A fast day that commemorates the following: the penetration of the walls of Yerushalayim preceding the destruction of the Temple, the breaking of the tablets by Moshe when he descended Sinai and saw the Yisraelim celebrating at the Golden Calf, the end of daily sacrifices, the Torah scroll being burned by a villain, and Jewish traitors erecting an idol in the Temple.
ShLIT"A (SHe'yikhye Lirot Yamim Tovim ve'Arukim) That he/she should live to see good and full days (long life) Used for living prominent Jewish scholars.
Shlomo Solomon Peace
Shloshet Yemei Hagbalah The three days prior to Shavuot for preparing for the holiday; it refers to the period of time during which the people were supposed to prepare for revelation (Shemot 19:10-13)
Shloshim Thirty An intermediate stage of thirty days of mourning, which includes the shivah period
Shmuel His Name is G-d
Shmuel HaNaggid 10th century Spanish statesman, poet, and Talmudist. He wrote grammatical works and an introduction to the Talmud now printed in the standard editions
Shmirat HaLashon Careful not to hurt the feelings of others.
Shoah Whirlwind The Holocaust. See further: https://headcoverings-by-devorah.com/Shoah_Index.htm
Shochet The one who performs Shechitah, ritual slaughtering of animals for food, according to Jewish law.
Shofar (pl. Shofarot) Ram's Horn A hallowed out ram's horn, reminding us of the ram offered by Avraham instead of his son (Bereishit 22:13); historically used to herald freedom and assemble the community, it is now used for the month preceding Rosh Hashanah as well as during the Yamim Noraim to call attention to the special character of the period and direct us toward repentance. It is a symbol of revelation and redemption, as sounded at Sinai (Shemot 19:16, 19) .
Shofar HaGadol The Great Shofar
Shofarot Part of the Musaf for Rosh Hashanah, a proclamation of G-d who will sound the shofar at redemption; therefore, speaks of G-d as Redeemer
Shochet A kosher ritual slaughterer.
Shome'a Tefillah The One Who Hears Prayer One of the Eighteen Benedictions of the Shemoneh Esrei (Amidah).
Shomer Watchman
Shomer Daletot Yisrael Guardian of the Doors of Yisrael Also refers to El Shaddai...G-d and then the acronym shin-dalet-yod (Sh-D-Y) which is the abreviated form of Shomer Daletot Yisrael. So the name El Shaddai is short for El Shomer Daletot Yisrael which literally means "G-d, Guardian of the Doors of Yisrael"
Shomer Mitzvot Guardian of the Commandments Refers to one who observes and follows the commandments.
Shomrei Mitzvot Keeper of the Commandments The Orthodox; Observant Jews; Abiding by all rules and regulations
Shomeron Samaria
Shomer Shabbat Guardian of the Shabbat Refers to one who observes the Shabbat and follows the Jewish laws relevant to it.
Shomrim Guards; Keepers People who sit with a body between the time of death and burial.
Shtar Piturin A document of release that allows people to remarry following a divorce.
Shtetl (Yiddish, pl. Shtetlach) A small Eastern European village, usually predominately Jewish.
Shtiebel (Yiddish, pl. Shteiblach) A small synagogue, often a storefront and nothing else.
Shtreimel Hat Usually fur-trimmed, worn by Polish gentlemen of the eighteenth century and adopted by the Chasidim for their dress.
Shuklin Back and forth swaying movement in prayer, most typical of the traditional Jew.
Shul (Yiddish) (al. Schul) An Orthodox synagogue.
Shulchan Table
Shulchan Aruch Prepared Table The Code of Jewish Law compiled and redacted by the Sefardic legalist Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488-1575).
Shulchan Orech Table set for a meal as in one of the 15 steps of the Pesach Seder.
Shulchan Lechem HaPanim Table of the Bread of Faces A table set in HaKodesh of the Beit HaMikdash.
Shushan Purim The fifteenth of Adar ordained by the Jews in Persia's capital and in walled cities
Shvut Regulations that have been imposed on Shabbat to ensure true rest; they include prohibitions against sports, dancing, swimming, boating, and anything that interferes with the spirit of Shabbat.


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