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

Rabban Variant form of Rabbi used as a title of honor in early mishnaic times to a select group of scholars (e.g., Yochanan ben Zakkai)
Rabbana Our Master Title applied to scholars from the family of the Exilarch in Babylonia
Rabbenu Gershom (Meor HaGolah) 10th century rabbinic authority and one of the Talmud's first commentators, he corrected many copyists' errors. His legal decisions and regulations were accepted by European Jewry. They included a ban on polygamy and divorcing a woman without her consent
Rabbi (al. R') My Master; My Teacher A term used during the first century as a mode of address to authoritative teachers who were ordained members of the Sanhedrin. The title was used primarily in Yisrael, whereas Babylonians addressed their teachers as Rav
Rachamim Mercy
Rachatzah Washing; Urchatz One of the fifteen phases of the Seder ceremony in which the hands are washed for the meal
Rachav (al. Rahav) Proud; Broad Wall A term for Egypt
Ramah In ancient Egypt
Rambam Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) Moses ben Maimon, also called the Rambam, perhaps one of the greatest thinkers in all of Jewish history. Trained as a physician, Maimonides was also a commentator and philosopher. Under the influence of Aristotelian thought as articulated by Arabic philosophers of the Middle Ages, he was best known for his Guide for the Perplexed, which caused a great deal of controversy, and his Mishneh Torah, an "easy-to-use" compilation of Jewish law
Ramban Nachmanides Acronym for "Rabbi Moses ben Nachman" a famous scholar and philosopher (1194-1270)
Rasha (pl. Rashim) Wicked One One who intentionally commits a sin and does not do teshuvah (repent)
Rashbam Nickname for Samuel ben Meir, a French scholar who, like his grandfather Rashi, was both a Scripture and Talmud commentator
Rashi Rabbi Solomon ben Yitzchak, the famous rabbinic commentator who lived in France around years 1040-1105. He wrote a very famous and valuable Torah commentary
Rashi Script Semicursive form of Hebrew characters principally used for writing and printing rabbinical commentaries, especially that of Rashi
Ratzon Will
Rav Sage; Teacher Also a Sage of the Talmudic era who lived in Babylonia and composed today's form of the Aleinu prayer
Rebbe The title of the spiritual leader of the Chasidim
Rebbetzin (Yiddish) The wife of a rabbi
Refaenu Heal Us One of the 18 benedictions of the Shomeneh Esrei (Amidah) prayer
Refaim Fallen Ones
Refuah Sheleimah A complete and speedy recovery
Remez Alluding to; hinting to
Rela Shearim 231 Gates 231 possible two (non-identical) letter combinations generated by the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet
Resh - R 20th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
Reshimu Impression The residual impression of the infinite Divine light that G-d withdrew from Creation throgh the process of tzimtzum
Responsa Also called "teshuvot" from shilot uteshuvot (questions and answers). Answers to questions on halachah and observances, given by Jewish scholars on topics addressed to them. They originated during the geonic period, and are still used as a means of modern updating and revision of halachah
Reuven Reuben Behold a Son; G-d Saw; One of Yaakov's sons
Rimmon (pl. Rimmonim) Pomegranates Refers to the individual ornaments that adorn Torah scrolls, in distinction to the keter Torah or crown, which covers both rollers of the Torah scroll
Rishonim First Ones; The Early Ones A general term denoting older authorities, including commentators of talmudic law of the Gaonic period up to the time of the compilation of the Code of Jewish Law
Rosh Head Also nickname of Asher ben Yehiel, a Talmudic codifier whose Responsa are a primary source for the history of the Spanish Jews of the 14th century. His decisions (Piskei HaRosh), a companion of Jewish law, are still standard
Rosh Chodesh Head of the Month; New Moon First day of the Jewish month, celebrated as a minor holy day; it is observed for one day (if the preceding month had 29 days) or two days (if the preceding month had 30 days). it is celebrated by reciting a short form of the Hallel psalms, reading from the Torah with four persons given aliyot, and adding a musaf prayer. The day is also of special significance for women, especially in the modern period, because of the relationship between the menstrual cycle and the lunar calendar
Rosh Hashanah Head of the Year The Jewish New Year commemorating the creation of the universe; universal day of judgment. Falling on the first and second days of the month of Tishri when Jews examine their actions of the preceding year; Eighth tractate in the Mishnah order of Moed, discussing regulations related to the sanctification of the new moon and the blowing of the ram's horn on the festival of Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Yeshiva Head of a Talmudic academy
Ruach Spirit; Wind; Breath Second of the five levels of soul and associated with the vitality of one's emotional life
Ruach Chayim Breath of Life
Ruach HaKodesh The Holy Spirit Divine Inspiration
Rut (Pet form - Ruti) Ruth Friendship. Rut the Convert to Judaism, previously a Moabitess, that marries Naomi's son. She is renowned for her loyalty to Judaism even after the death of her husband.

The Book of Rut is recited in the synagogue on Shavuot, the harvest festival commemorating the giving of the Torah on Har Sinai, because the scene of its story is the harvest field and, too, its leading character embraces Judaism