A B D E F G H I K Ch L M N O P R S Sh T Tz U V Y Z

Kabbalah That Which is Received Esoteric dimension of Torah; a reference to the inherited tradition, especially when it is placed with another word such as shalshelet hakabbalah, the chain of tradition, or kabbalat Shabbat, the traditional ushering in of the Sabbath.

Also refers to a particular credential for doing something within the context of a religious community, particularly for the Shochet, who ritually slaughters animals for food.

This term also refers to the general mystical tradition in Judaism

Kabbalat al Mitzvot Acceptance of the yoke of the Commandments Acceptance of commandments as binding
Kabbalat Shabbat Welcoming the Shabbat The opening section of the Shabbat evening service
Kaddish (pl. Kaddishim) Kaddish is a prayer sanctifying G-d's Name which is used to signal passage from one stage to another of the liturgy. There are five different types of Kaddish; the text is determined by when it is recited, why, and by whom; it can be recited up to twelve times in a traditional worship service
Kaddish De Rabbanan The Rabbis' Kaddish Used as an epilogue to the study of rabbinic texts, containing a prayer for the welfare of all students of the Torah
Kaddish D'itchadata Burial Kaddish Said only at the gravesite, immediately after interment. It includes a paragraph that refers to resurrection of the dead and a restoration of the Temple
Kaddish Shalem Whole [or Complete] Kaddish Includes the prayer requesting G-d to accept all of the reciter's heartfelt prayers
Kaddish Yatom Mourner's (or Orphan's) Kaddish Recited for the first year after interment, making it the primary prayer of the bereaved throughout the generations; does not mention death at all. The Reform movement introduced a variation of the Kaddish that includes an extra paragraph mentioning death, but it feel to disuse and was eventually excluded. In some non-Germanic Orthodox synagogues, everyone rises for Kaddish Yatom. In German-based Orthodox synagogues and in many conservative synagogues, the congregation sits. The reform movement instituted a movement-wide policy of standing. Often, parents will refer to a child as kaddishel - the one designated by Jewish law to say kaddish for them after their death; it has become a somewhat endearing term of affection
Kadosh Holy; Separate
Kadoshim Holy Ones
Kaf - K Eleventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet
Kahal; Kehillah (Klal Yisrael) Congregation; Assembly; Community; Gathering Assembly of the people of Hashem; Used to refer to the corporate Jewish community of medieval Europe
Kallah Bride Late Hebrew tractate dealing with marital relations
Kal Vachomer An a fortiori inference, and a fundamental principle of rabbinic exegesis. This is a rule of logical argumentation by means of which two cases are compared, one lenient and the other more stringent. The Kal Vachomer principle asserts that if the law is stringent in a case where we are usually lenient, then it will certainly be stringent in a more serious case
Kanaanim Canaanites
Kapparah This Yom Kippur custom is based on the idea of ransom, one life for another. It rests on the same ritual as the scapegoat ritual from the Temple period. After reciting from the Book of Iyov (33:23-24), a rooster (for men) or a hen (for women) is swung three times over the heads of the penitent and the following is said: "This is in exchange for me (us, you), this is instead of me (us, you), this is ransom (kapparah for me (us, you). This rooster will go to its death, but I (we, you) will go forward to a good life and into shalom." Money or other living things are used as well; alternately this is called among Ashkenazi Jews shluggen kapparos
Kapporet Seat of Atonement The Covering of the Holy Ark
Karet Cut Off A divine punishment (of a short life) for serious transgressions
Kasher (al. Kosher) Fit; Proper Ritually fit for consumption or use
Kashrut The body of Jewish dietary laws governing what is and is not kosher
Kavanah Intention; Devotion Inner concentration during prayer; One's heartfelt direction in prayer, used to refer to the immediate feelings or response, in contradistinction to keva
Kedushah Sanctification; Holiness The sanctification, in the liturgy, "Holy, Holy, Holy is Hashem Tzevaot, the whole earth is full of G-d's glory..." In the prayer, G-d is hallowed in the assembly of people. Prayer proclaiming G-d's holiness, recited on Shabbat and festivals
Kedushat Yisrael Sanctification of Israel; Holiness of Israel  
Kehunah Priesthood
Kelim Utensils First tractate in the Mishnah order of Toharot, which discusses the ritual uncleanliness of vessels (cf. VaYikra 11:32; BaMidbar 19:14)
Kematnat Yado The principle of not coming before G-d with empty hands, but according to one's means (from Devarim 14:22; 16:1). It refers originally to the sacrificial system and the pilgrimage festivals
Keriah The act of tearing the garment either at graveside or at the beginning of the funeral service, depending on the custom of the congregation; this act is referred to as "cutting keriah." In some non-Orthodox communities, ribbons are attached to the garment and cut instead of clothing
Keritot Excisions Seventh tractate in the Mishnah order of Kodashim, dealing with the punishment of Karet
Keruv (pl. Keruvim) Cherub Cherubim in the Sanctuary; a type of heavenly being
Kes The religious officiate or priest among Ethiopian Jews, often called a chacham
Keter Crown
Keter Torah Crown-like ornament for the Torah
Ketivah VeChatimah Tovah May you be inscribed with a good seal A greeting used during Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur
Ketubah (al. Ketuvah; pl. Ketubot) Marriage contract Traditional Jewish marriage contract, which spells out the contractual responsibilities of the groom to the bride; Ketubot Second tractate in the Mishnah order of Nashim, dealing primarily with the money to be received by a wife in case of divorce or widowhood
Ketuvim Writings The third and last division of the Jewish Tanach (TaNaKh), including large poetic and epigrammatic works such as Tehillim and Mishlei and Iyov as well as miscellany of other writings (Shir HaShirim, Rut, Eichah, Kohelet, Ester, Daniel, Ezra-Nechemya, Divrei HaYamim)
Keva Fixed Referring to those prayers that are fixed in word or time by Jewish law or custom
Kibbutz A communal settlement in modern Yisrael
Kibbutz Galuyot Ingathering of the Exiles
Kiddush Sanctification The Sanctification ritual performed on Shabbat and Festivals consisting of liturgical text recited over a full goblet of wine. For example, the Shabbat Kiddush tells how G-d completed creation on the sixth day and then rested; we thank G-d for giving us Shabbat by which to remember creation and the Exodus and for choosing the Jewish people to be an am segulah, a special people.


Kiddush HaChamah (Alt. Birkat HaChamah) A special prayer giving thanks to G-d for the sun; recited when the cycle of the heavenly bodies completes itself, at spring equinox, every twenty-eight years
Kiddush Hashem Sanctification of the Divine Name One who dies a Jewish martyr is said to have died "Kiddush Hashem"
Kiddushin Consecration; Set-apart; Betrothals Refers to the full wedding ceremony and the state of being married; Seventh and last tractate in the Mishnah order of Nashim, dealing with regulations reltated to marriage
Kiddush Lavanah The moon's renewal is associated with the restoration of Yisrael; this forms the guiding principle behind Rosh Chodesh; the prayer is said several days after the crescent of the moon has reemerged
Kilayim Diverse Kinds Fourth tractate in the Mishnah order of Zeraim, dealing with the prohibitions of mingling different kinds of plants, animals, and clothing (VaYikra 19:19)
Kinneret (Lake) Harp Sea of Galilee
Kinnim Bird Nests Eleventh and last tractate in the Mishnah order of Kodashim, dealing with the regulations for the bringing of an offering after childbirth (VaYikra 12:8)
Kinyan; Kinyan Sudder The Acquisition Through a Cloth A ritualistic ceremony by which the wedding contract is legalized through a transaction and exchange of goods, namely the handkerchief; A mode of acquisition, a formal procedure to render an agreement as legally binding. After the act of kinyan occurs, the object is legally the property of the purchaser
Kippah (pl. Kippot) Headcovering; Skullcap Skullcap worn by Jewish men; symbol of respect and submission to G-d Who is above us. Also called a Yarmulke in Yiddish
Kiruv From kiruv r'chokim (bringing close those who are distant). Used to refer to Jewish outreach of all kinds
Kislev Ninth month on the Religious Hebrew calendar, third month on the Hebrew civil calendar
Kittel Robe-like white garment worn by men under the Chuppah, during the High Holiday period, at the Seder, and when buried
Kiyum Mitzvot The upholding or fulfillment of the Mitzvot
Klal Yisrael Community of Israel The Entire Jewish People
Knesset Assembly The legislative branch of the present-day Yisraeli government
Knesset HaGadol The Great Assembly The main spiritual and legislative body of the post-prophetic era, numbering 85 or 120 Sages (depending on the source). Institutionalized many important liturgical practices (reading of Torah on Shabbat, Festivals, Mondays, and Thursdays; recitation of the Amidah two times daily; blessings before meals, etc) and the foundations of halachah
Knesset Yisrael Assembly of Yisrael The Jewish people as a whole
Koach Strength
Kodashim Holy Things Fifth order of the Mishnah, consisting of eleven tractates that deal with the laws of ritual slaughter, sacrifice, and other Temple-related objects
Kodesh HaKodashim Holy of Holies
Kohen (pl. Kohanim) Priest The priest and his descendants, traditionally considered to be directly descended from Aharon. The Kohen is held to certain obligations and special ceremonies, and subject to certain restrictions, especially regarding marriage and funerals, in order to prevent his being tainted. Historically he was responsible to arrange for the Atonement of the sins of the community
Kohen HaGadol The High Priest
Kol Chamira The formula used to make null and void the Chametz not found, following the attempt to collect and dispose of it for Pesach
Kol Dichfin The Pesach Seder begins with the formula, "Let all who are hungry come and eat..."
Kol HaKavod All Honor Used idiomatically to express praise or congratulations for an achievement
Kol HaNearim All the Children The final Aliyah during Simchat Torah reserved for children
Kol Isha Voice of a Women Considered by the Rabbis of the Talmud to be distracting to men and thus lewd
Kol Nidre (al. Kol Nidrei) All Vows Refers to both the opening prayer-chant and the evening of Yom Kippur. The prayer asks for release from all vows made henceforth as a historical protective device for Jews forced to make vows to other religions in order to save their lives; while no longer relevant, its haunting melody and memory binds us to the holiday, its mood, and our history
Kol Tuv Everything good; All the best May you be blessed with everything good
Kosher (Hebrew - Kashrut) Proper; Ritually Correct Dietary laws that regulate the life of an individual Jew. While kosher literally means fit, it can be used to refer to a ritual item that is ritually fit for use, as in a kosher Chanukiah. Glatt kosher is used today to refer to a generally higher or stricter standard of kashrut. Glatt literally means "smooth." It refers only to the lung - it must be perfectly smooth. According to "regular" kashrut laws, some blemishes of the lung are acceptable; by glatt standards, all and any blemishes render the lung (and, therefore, the whole meat) unfit. After inspecting the lung, the rest of the meat must still be inspected, as with "regular" kashrut
Kotel From Kotel ha'Maaravi (Western wall). All that remains today of the second Beit HaMikdash (Temple)
Kol Yisrael Arevim Ze Lezeh All Yisrael is responsible one for the other Jews are responsible for one another, hence, the tradition of Jews taking care of their own throughout the world, whatever the need
Kof (al. Koof) - K (or Q) Nineteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet
Kutim Talmudic term for Samaritans; Refers to any person or group rejecting the Oral Law; A minor tractate in which the relationships among Samaritans, Jews, and Gentiles are discussed