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

Saboraim Reasoners Name given to the Babylonian scholars from approximately 500-700 C.E. Some modern scholars have ascribed most of the compilation of the Talmud to the Saboraim
Samael Strong Drug; Poison According to Rabbinical literature, Samael is the name of the evil celestial prince over Edom (Rome)
Samech - S 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
Sanhedrin (Greek) Assembly; High Court A legislative and judicial body from the period of early Judaism and into rabbinic times, traditionally composed of 71 members.

Fourth tractate in the Mishnah order of Nezikin. It deals with courts of justice and judicial procedure, especially with reference to criminal law

Sancheriv Sennacherib King of Ashshur (Assyria), who destroyed ancient Babylon
Sar Prince; Ruler; Chief
Sason When one reaches the epitome of joy, his moment of ecstasy is referred to as sason, whose root is sas which in Kabbalah is considered to be the sixth emotion of the heart
Satan Adversary In Yisrael, a prosecuting attorney in the court of law is called a satan. The name Satan is not a personal name, but is a description of accusation, being an adversary
Savoraim Explainers Scholars and heads of the Babylonian academies in the period between the Amoraim and the Geonim, roughly the sixth to seventh centuries C.E.
Seah An unit of measure equivalent to approx. 6 liters
Sebomai To revere To adore in devout worship
S'chach Thatching used for roofing material for the Sukkah
Seder Order (of the service) Refers to the table ceremony held on the first two nights of Pesach, which celebrates the holiday and retells the Exodus using the Haggadah.
Seder Avodah Order of Service What the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) performs in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) on Yom Kippur
Seder Kriat haTorah Service for the reading of the Torah
Sefardic From "Sepharad", Spain. Refers to Jews from Spain and the Middle East, as opposed to Ashkenazim, who are from Germany, Poland, Russia, etc
Sefer HaBrit Book of the Covenant
Sefer K'ritut Scroll [or book] of cutting off A writ of divorce. Also called a get
Sefer Mitzvot Gadol A compendium of Jewish law written by Rabbi Moshe of Coucy (13th century)
Sefer Mordechai Written by Rabbi Mordechai ben Hillel Ashkenazi, a 13th century scholar, the book is an original work of halachic commentary containing halachic material from the Geonim to the great Rabbis of Germany
Sefer Torah (pl. Sifrei Torah)
A Torah Scroll
Sefira (pl. Sefirot) Counting; Number; Days of Counting; Emanations The days of counting between Pesach and Shavuot.

A channel of Divine energy of life-force. There are altogether eleven sefirot spoken of in Kabbalistic literature. Being as two of them--keter and daat-- represent differing dimensions of a single force tradition generally speaks of only ten sefirot. The order is identified as follows: Keter (Crown), Chochmah (Wisdom), Binah (Understanding), Daat (Knowledge), Chesed (Lovingkindness), Gevurah (Might), Tiferet (Beauty), Netzach (Victory), Hod (Spendor), Yesod (Foundation), and Malchut (Kingdom)

Segan haKohanim Associate High Priest
Selichot Penitential Prayers Recited everyday except for Shabbat, following the last Shabbat in Elul and up until Yom Kippur; specifically used to refer to the service of these prayers offered on the midnight of Saturday night prior to Rosh Hashanah, when these prayers are first said
Selichot Service A service of preparation for the High Holy Days, usually held at midnight on Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashanah
Semachot Joyful Occasions Minor Talmudic tractate, euphemistically called Semachot, but also known as Evel Rabbati (Hebrew for "great mourning"), dealing with death and mourning customs
S'michah Support Act of laying hands upon the head of an animal prior to offering it as a sacrifice; Rabbinic ordination
Serafim Fiery Heavenly Beings The six-winged angels seen by Yeshayahu in his first prophetic vision of the heavenly throne
Seudah Feast
Seudah Mafseket The meal before a fast, specifically, before Yom Kippur
Seudat Shelishit (al. Shalosh Seudot) Third Meal The third meal eaten on Shabbat; a small meal eaten on Shabbat afternoon
Seudat Havraah (al. Seudah Chavurah) The Meal of Condolence The meal of consolation or comfort provided by neighbors for the mourner upon his or her return from the cemetary following interment of the deceased; usually contains foods symbolic of life such as a boiled egg and lentil soup
Seudat Mitzvah (al. Seudah shel Mitzvah) A celebratory festive meal following the fulfillment of a mitzvah, such as following a wedding, Brit Milah, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or completing a tractate of Talmud
Sevivon Dreidel The four-sided top used in a Chanukah game
Siddur (pl. Siddurim) Prayer Book From the Hebrew word ofr order, because it establishes the proper order for the recitation of prayers
Sidra (pl. Sidrot) Scripture portion of the week and read on the Shabbat; A halachic discourse related to the Scripture portion of the week that was delivered weekly (usually on Shabbat afternoons) by a scholar during Talmudic times
Sifra Oldest rabbinic commentary on VaYikra
Sifri Oldest rabbinic commentary on BaMidbar and Devarim
Siloam A pool of water in Yerushalayim
Simchah Joy; Happiness A level of joy that "breaks out" of the confines of one's inner consciousness to express itself in the motions of one's outer limbs, i.e., clapping and dancing. It is said, "Simchah breaks through all fences"
Simchat Torah Rejoicing with the Torah The last day of the festival of Sukkot, reserved for the "rejoicing of Torah," hence its name, during which time the final portion of the Torah is concluded and the first one is begun. The day is marked by rejoicing and processionals with the Torah in hand; Observed in the Galut (Diaspora) on the day after Shemini Atzeret (8th day of Sukkot) but within Eretz Yisrael is observed concurrent with Shemini Atzeret
Simlai, Rabbi 3rd century Amora who was a renowned authority in Aggadah. Simlai is the author of the statement (Makkot 23b) that the Torah contains 613 mitzvot
Sinai The true Har Sinai of Scripture is not the so-called Har Sinai in the Sinai peninsula in present day Egypt. This traditional "Mount Sinai" was "anointed" as the "holy mountain" by a female psychic who never even visited the site. This mountain does not have a campsite at its base, does not have water for more than 100 people, and has no cave (Eliyahu the prophet stayed in a cave at Har Chorev (1 Melachim 19:8-9). The summit of the true Har Sinai should show signs of the scorching fire that accompanied the Theophany. There is no evidence of this at the traditional site
Sitra Achra Other Side In Kabbalist traditions, this term is used to refer to the forces of evil which underlie all of reality. The power of Sitra Achra derives largely from the sins of humans.
As taught by the Mekubalim and explained in the writings of the holy Rav* (the ARI), the purpose of the Tzimtzum -- the limitation or "contraction" of G-d's infinite light that led to the creation of the universe -- was to give man free will. This enables man to choose his destiny and earn his reward through his own efforts. In order to give man free will, there had to be a place for evil in the world. Man is endowed with an evil inclination and placed in a world that has an evil side, the Sitra Achra ("Other Side"). Through following his good inclination and choosing good, man becomes attached to good and bound up with G-d's will. Were it not for the Tzimtzum, which causes G-d's omnipresent perfection to be hidden from man, evil could not exist. By being confronted with evil and struggling to reject it and to embrace good, man gains a great reward. In the end, even the bad turns into good, as it will in time to come, when "I will remove the impure spirit from the earth" (Zecharya 13:2) "and G-d will be one and His Name one" (ibid. 14:9)." (Sitra Achra)
Sivan Third month of the Hebrew religious calendar; 9th month on the Hebrew civil calendar
Siyyum Conclusion A reference to the requisite celebrating when one concludes study of, for example, a tractate of the Talmud or a book of the Scriptures
Sod Mystery; Deeper Meaning Something that can only be comprehended at a deep level of understanding of Scripture
Sofer (pl. Soferim) Scribe A scholar. Used as a general designation for scholars and copyists in both Talmudic and later literature. A learned researcher whose vocation was the study and teaching of the tradition; a scribe whose responsibility it is to calligraph ritual objects such as a Torah and Mezuzah as well as documents such as the Ketubah or Get.

Also, Soferim is a minor Talmudic tractate containing a collection of laws governing Torah scrolls and how they must be written, as well as laws of reading the Torah and Haftarot

Sotah Errant Wife A woman suspected of adultery; Sixth tractate in the Mishnah order of Nashim, dealing with the laws concerning the woman suspected of adultery (BaMidbar 5:11-31). It also discusses which liturgical readings may be recited in any language and the rite of the heifer, egla harufah in Hebrew, whose neck is broken in the event of unusual murder (Devarim 21:1-9)
Sukkah (pl. Sukkot) Booth; Hut Temporary structure built for the celebration of Sukkot in recognition of the temporary dwellings built by our ancestors as they journeyed from Egypt to Kenaan (Canaan); also in recognition of the temporary shelters built in the fields during harvest season. Also, sixth tractate in the Mishnah order of Moed, dealing with laws related to the festival of Sukkot
Synagogue (Greek; Yiddish - 'Shul') Often referred to as temple in more liberal circles. This is the central house of worship for the Jewish community following the destruction of the Temple; there is evidence that these structures coexisted