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

Panim Faces
Parah Heifer Fourth tractate in the Mishnah order of Tohorot, dealing with the regulations concerning the Parah Adumah (BaMidbar 19)
Parah Adumah Red Heifer The sacrificial animal whose ashes was used in purification ceremonies. The priesthood in Yisrael can only function once a parah adumah has been sacrificed and its ashes used for purification
Parashah (pl. Parashiyot) Portion; Section; Division of Torah The division of the Torah into 54 portions; the weekly Torah portions, also now called sidra so that the Torah is completely read in one year
PaRDeS Orchard; Paradise An acronym for the four levels of interpretating a Torah text; Peshat, the simple meaning of the text; Remez, the hints and allusions within the text; Derush, the derivative implications of the text arrived at by way of hermeneutic rules, and Sod, the symbolic and esoteric meaning of the text
Pareve (Yiddish) Neutral Specifically refers to food that is neither meat nor milk and therefore can be eaten with either. Fish is considered pareve for purposes of kashrut
Parnas (pl. Parnasim) Almoner; Community leader Members of an ancient synagogue whose responsibilities included caring for the poor and distributing alms
Parochet Curtain Curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the HaKodesh (Holy Place), which consisted of a double curtain with a narrow passageway along which the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest) walked during the Yom Kippur service. The faces of an ox, a man, a lion, and an eagle were embroidered on the curtain; The curtain (as distinguished from the doors) in front of the Aron Hakodesh
Parsah Measure of distance equivalent to approx. 4.348 kilometers
Pasul Ritually unfit and not to be used, such as a pasul Torah
Payas (al. Payot) Earlocks Hair that is allowed to grow so that a blade might never get near the sideburn area. A custom of the pagans to be avoided assiduously was the engraving of the skin in that area
Peah Corner Second tractate of the Mishnah order of Zeraim, dealing with the setting aside of the corners of one's fields for the poor (VaYikra 19:19)
Peh - P Seventeenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet
Perat Euphrates
Perek Shirah Chapter of Song A Midrash composed of the various verses sung by each element in Creation
Perush (pl. Perushim) Pharisee (Pharisees) Lit. Separatists. The name given to a group or movement in early Judaism. Many scholars identify them with the later Sages and Rabbis who taught the oral and written law
Pesach (pl. Pesachim) Passover The Festival that commemorates the Exodus and liberation from Egypt; the Paschal offering; one of the Shalosh Regalim
Pesach Sheni Second Pesach The Second offering of the Pesach lamb on Iyyar 14 (BaMidbar 9) by those who were unable to offer on Nisan 14
Pesachim Peschal Lambs Third tractate in the Mishnah order of Moed, dealing with the regulations related to the holiday of Pesach
Simple; Plain Interpretative method of reading Torah based on the "plain" meaning of a text
Pesikta Book of Aggadic discussions of the festivals and special Sabbaths
Pesukei DeZimra (al. P'sukei D'zimrah) Songs of Praise Preliminary prayers on Shabbat morning recited before the Shema' and its blessings, selected from Tehillim and 1Divre HaYamim 16:8-36; also provides some extra time for latecomers before the formal morning services begins
Pidyon HaBen Redemption of the Firstborn A ceremony for the firstborn son that symbolically relieves him from service in the priesthood because the Jew of priestly descent, the descendent of Aharon, was given the responsibility in his stead
Pikuach Nefesh The matter of life and death; The care for human life; The rabbinic concept that states that the effort to save a human life supersedes and takes precedence over all the mitzvot of the Torah, with the exception of idolatry, murder, and forbidden sexual relations
Pilpul Dialectical rational method of studying Jewish oral law as codified in the Talmud, usually identified with the Tosafists
Pirke Avot (al. Pirkei Avot) Chapters of the Fathers; Sayings of the Fathers The popular name for the Mishnaic collection referred to as Avot (Fathers) that contains statements of ethical wisdom conveyed by various Talmudic Sages
Pitum The projectile on an Etrog, the pistil of the blossom, without which the etrog is pasul and unfit for use on Sukkot
Piyyut (pl. Piyyutim) Liturgical Poem Medieval liturgical poems written in 300-500 C.E. for special occasions and festivals, among these early writers were Yose ben Yose and Eleazar Kalir
Pizmon (pl. Pizmonim) Poem praising G-d; originally used to refer to the first or last line of the first stanza, a sort of refrain that was repeated. Eventually the Piyyutim in which these refrains occurred came to be called pizmonim; they can be inserted almost anywhere in the liturgy
Pnai Moshe A commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud written by Moshe ben Simeon Margoliot, an 18th century Lithuanian rabbi
Pogrom From the Russian word for "devastation"; an unprovoked attack or series of attacks upon a Jewish community
Po Nikbar Here Lies Buried Usually found on the headstones of a deceased individual
Porshen In following the laws of Kosher, the removal of arteries and sinews by the butcher
Posek A Hebrew term for a scholar whose intellectual efforts were concentrated on determining the Jewish law in practice, in contrast to those commentators who applied themselves to study for its own sake
Pritzut Licentiousness  
Prosbul A legal document annulling the cancellation of debts during the Shimittah. It was developed by Hillel despite the Scripture's standing rule that prohibits the maintaining of debts during the Yovel Year
Prutza Loose Woman  
Purim Lots Festival that celebrates the survival of the Jewish people in the time when Haman the Agagi attempted to kill all Jewish Peoples
Pushke (Yiddish) A box in the home or synagogue used to collect money for donation to charity