Dictionary of Jewish Words/

By Joyce Eisenberg; Ellen Scolnic | Go to book overview

V

va'ad ha-kashrut n. Hebrew (VAH-ahd ha-kash-ROOT) A local organization of rabbis and mashgichim that oversees standards of kashrut and bestows certificates of compliance.

Vashti (VASH-tee) In the story of Purim, Queen Vashti was the first wife of King Ahasuerus of Persia. Legend says that she displeased the king by refusing to show off her beauty at a banquet and was deposed and replaced by the heroine of the Purim story, Esther. Vashti is now thought to be the original feminist for standing up to the king and defending her rights as an independent woman.

Va-yikra n. Hebrew (vah-YEEK-rah) The Hebrew name for the Book of Leviticus, the third book of the Torah.

Ve-ahavta n. Hebrew (veh-ah-HAV-tah) The name given to the second paragraph of the Shema, the central prayer of Judaism.The Veahavta is pivotal to every morning and evening service. This prayer begins with the words “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” The customs of reciting morning and evening prayers, teaching Jewish traditions to one's children, wearing tefillin, and putting a mezuzah on a doorway come directly from the words of this prayer. The Ve-ahavta is written on the parchment found inside tefillin and mezuzot.

Ve-shamru n. Hebrew (veh-SHAHM-roo) The name, and first word, of a prayer sung during Shabbat evening services and often as part of the Kiddush before Shabbat lunch. The words, which come from Exodus, are a reminder that “the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath and observe it through all generations as a sign of the covenant.”

Vidui n. Hebrew (veh-DOO-ee) Literally, “confession.” A special confessional prayer recited at Yom Kippur that is a long declaration of sins. The Vidui is also recited at the deathbed, by, or on behalf of, the one who is dying.

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Dictionary of Jewish Words/
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • A 1
  • B 12
  • C 23
  • D 31
  • E 35
  • F 40
  • G 44
  • H 51
  • I 65
  • J 67
  • K 72
  • L 86
  • M 91
  • N 109
  • O 114
  • P 117
  • R 125
  • S 132
  • T 158
  • U 170
  • V 172
  • W 173
  • Y 175
  • Z 182
  • Bibliography 185
  • Category Lists 188
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