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Hebrew Glossary - H


































HaAdam HaAcharon

(ha-ah-DAHM ha-a-cha-ROHN) n. The Last Adam. Title for Yeshua the Messiah
(1 Cor. 15:45). Also identified as the Adam HaSheini (the Second Adam).

Ha'akhalat Re'evim

(ha'a-kha-lat  re-ay-VEEM) phr. Feeding the hungry.

Haaretz Ha-Muvtachat

(hah-E-retz ha-moov-TA-khat) n. The Promised Land; the land promised to Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya'akov (and their descendants) to inherit the land of Eretz Israel (the land of Israel). This is also sometimes spelled Ha'aretz Hamuvtachat.


(ha-DAS-sah) n. Hadassah, the Hebrew name for Esther (Esther 2:7). Hadassah means "myrtle."

Green myrtle


(had-dah-VAHR) n. The Word (of Adonai) (John 1:1, 14).

Had Gadya

(khad ga-dee-YAH) n. ("one little goat") A playful song that is traditionally the next to last song of the Passover Seder (sung before "L'shana Ha'ba'ah Birushalayim"). The lyrics are in Aramaic and Hebrew and begin: chad gadya, chad gadya (One little goat, one little goat), dizabin abah bitrei zuzei (Which my father bought for two zuzim). The song is cumulative, progressively building on previous verses as it moves through the song. Note that the song is often transliterated as Chad Gadia, Had Gadia, etc.

Hadlakat Hanerot

(had-lah-KAT han-ne-ROTE) n. phr. Lighting of the candles (on Shabbat). The Shabbat lights are kindled (by the woman of the house) approximately 18 minutes before sunset. The custom of lighting two candles comes from the two synonyms, "Remember" (zachor) and "observe" (shamor) which introduce the Shabbat mitzvah in the two versions of the Torah, respectively. For more information, click here.


(haf-TAH-rah) n. Haftarah (pl. Haftarot); The concluding prophetic section after reciting the Torah on Shabbat or festivals. The person who receives the honor of reading the Haftarah is referred to as the Maftir, the one who concludes the reading of the Torah.


(hag-bah-HAH) n. Hagbaha: The honor of raising the Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) for the congregation to see. Ashekenaz and Sephardic traditions differ as to when this should occur -- before or after the Torah reading. Also performed on Simchat Torah.

Hagedulah Bamarom

(hag-dool-LAH bam-mah-ROHM) n. phr. "The Greatness on High", a euphemism for YHVH (Heb. 1:3).


(hag-gah-DAH) n. Telling; story; narrative. The Haggadah shel Pesach is a book containing the story of the Passover that is read during a seder.

Haggadah Shel Pesach

(hag-gah-DAH shel PAY-sakh) n. A book containing the story of the Passover that is read during a seder.


(ha-gee-NOOT) n. Honesty; integrity.

Hakarat Tovah

(hak-kah-rat toh-VAH) n. הַכָּרַת טוֹבָה "Good recognition"; or "recognizing goodness"; i.e., gratitude; (also spelled hakarat hatov: הַכָּרַת הַטוֹב). Cultivating gratitude means learning to look at things with the "good eye," by choosing to see good in all circumstances. Ingratitude comes from a sense of entitlement, or the impression that good things should to you apart from any merit or need of your own. Instead of focusing on what you lack, and thereby seeing with an eye of fear, make the decision to trust that God is taking care of all your needs. Ask the LORD to open your eyes to His goodness.

We must be careful to practice gratitude, especially before God. Taking God's blessings for granted, or assuming that you are entitled to better or more, is to "forget" the Source of your sustenance. Though we all want God's blessing and help, we must be careful when such blessing is bestowed to us, since that can lead to the illusion that we don't really need God. To live without conscious awareness of the presence of God is horrible.

Hakhnasat Orechim

(hakh-nah-sat oh-re-KHEEM) n. Hachnasat orchim: hospitality; hosting guests, especially on Shabbat or a yom tov. This is the characteristic that commended Abraham before the LORD and he was therefore honored as the father of the Jewish people.

Hakkadosh Barukh Hu

(hak-ka-DOSH ba-rukh HOO) phr. "The Holy One, blessed be He"; see the Names of God.


(hak-ka-FOHT) n. The procession around the synagogue of the Sefer Torah during the holiday of Simchat Torah.

Hakol Beseder

(ha-kohl be-SAY-der) phr. Everything is in order; all is well.


(hak-shah-VAH) n. Listening; heeding, and therefore obeying (from kashav, to heed, attend to). Not merely "hearing," but attending to the details of communication, especially interpersonal communication between people. Keshev (n) is attentiveness; kashav/kashuv (adj) means attentive. Shama is a synonym.


(ha-la-khah) n. An umbrella term for the entire body of Jewish law. The root of the word means "go" or "walk" (halakh). Halakhah, then, is the "way" a Jew is directed to behave in every aspect of life, encompassing civil, criminal, and religious law. In actual fact, Halakhah is used more as a synonym for the Oral Law (Torah Shebal Peh). Halakhah includes three subdivisions: Gezierah, Takkanah, and Minhag (see entries for each of these terms for more information).

Halbashat Arumim

(hal-bah-shat a-roo-MEEM) n. Clothing the naked. Clothing those in need.


(hal-LAYL) n. Praise; Praise songs. Psalms 113-118. As part of Jewish liturgy, the Hallel is a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113-118 used to offer praise and thanksgiving on Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot, Chanukkah, and Rosh Chodesh. Hallel is not said on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, for obvious reasons, nor is it recited on Purim, since the miracles recorded there did not occur in the land of Israel.

There are different types of Hallel:

  1. Full Hallel (הלל שלם, Hallel Shalem) consists of all six Psalms in their entirety (Psalms 113-118 were considered as a single composition). Hallel is recited on all seven days of Sukkot, on Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, on Shavuot, on the first two days of Pesach (only the first day in Israel), and on the eight days of Hanukkah. The Full Hallel is sometimes called "The Egyptian Hallel" (Hallel Mitzrayim) because it was chanted in the temple while the Passover lambs were being slain. This was probably "the hymn" which Yeshua and his disciples sand at the conclusion of the Passover Seder on the night of His betrayal (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26).
  2. Chatzi Hallel (חצי הלל, Half or Partial Hallel) does not include parts of the "Full Hallel," namely the first two halves of Psalm 115 and Psalm 116. It is recited on the intermediate days of Pesach and on Rosh Chodesh.
  3. The Great Hallel (Hallel ha-Gadol) is Psalm 136 (some sages include Psalm 135 as well). It is recited at the morning service on Sabbaths and over the fouth cup of wine during the Passover Seder.

    It begins:

    הוֹדוּ לַיהוָה כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ

    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

    These words, originally coming from the song King David composed celebrating the bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (see 1 Chronicles 16:34) are also found at the beginning of Psalms 106 and 107 and at the beginning and end of Psalm 118.


(ha-le-LOO-yaH) v. imp. "You [pl.]) praise the LORD!" Note that the sheva under the first Lamed is vocal since it is immediately followed by another Lamed. Note also the Mappiq in the Hey.


Terrorist group founded in 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Principal political rival Arafat's Fatah (PLO) organization. Has tens of thousands of Palestinian supporters and sympathizers, but number of hard-core terrorists is unknown.

Haman's Ears

(ohz-NAY hah-MAHN) n. pl. "Haman's Ears," three-cornered pastries used for dessert during the festive holiday of Purim (legend says that Haman's ears were twisted and triangular in shape).  In Yiddish, Haman's Ears are called a hamantaschen (המן־טאַשן) and are often filled with prunes, chopped nuts, apricots, apples, cherries, chocolate, and so on. Haman's Ears are delicious and fit the delicious irony recounted in the Book of Esther.

Hamashiach ben-el Chai

(ham-mah-SHEE-akh ben-el KHAI) n. phr. The Son of the Living God; see John 6:69.

Hamaven Yavin

(ham-may-VEEN  yah-VEEN) Expression: "The person of understanding will understand." This phrase is sometimes used when the author does not want to go into further detail, often because of the esoteric nature of the material.  Common in Kabbalistic and Chassidic writings.


(ne-tee-LAT ya-DAI-yeem) n. Handwashing. Also, the blessing recited upon ritual handwashing ceremonies or upon arising and bathing. Click here for more information about the blessing.


(han-hah-GAH) n. Leadership; a manhig is a leader (from the same root). "Who is the leader of all leaders? One who can make an enemy into a friend." (Avot de Rabbi Natan, Chpt. 23). "Who is a leader? One who conquers his passions and emotions" (Ben Zoma).

Happy New Year!

(shah-nah toh-VAH) phr. Lit. "Good Year," "Happy New Year!" Usually said during Rosh Hashanah. L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu is a phrase customarily said on the Jewish New Year and means "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year!"

Har HaBayit

(har ha-BAI-yeet) n. The Temple Mount. "Efshar l'hitapalel b'Har HaBayit hayom?" - Is it possible to pray at the Temple Mount today?

Har Megiddo

(har me-GEED-do) n. Armageddon. "Hill of Megiddo" (Rev. 16:16). The final battle between the forces of good and evil. The geographic location for the climactic battle between Mashiach ben David and Antichrist, with Mashiach's victory ushering in his thousand-year reign on earth.

Har Sinai

(har see-NAI) n. Mount Sinai. The place where Moses was given the Torah from Adonai (Ex. 19:20).


(ha-ra-cha-MAHN) n. God the merciful One. See the Names of God.

HaRoeh Hatov

(ha-ro-eh hat-TOHV) n. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11); Title of Yeshua the Messiah. See the Names of God.

Hasharat Hanefesh

(hash-ah-raht han-NE-fesh) n. Immortality. The Immortality of the soul.

Hashavat Aveidah

(hash-ah-VAHT a-vay-DAH) n. The principle of returning lost items.


(hash-SHEM) n. HaShem. The Name (of God). Substitute name for YHVH. See the Names of God.

HaShem Yitbarakh

(hash-SHEM yeet-bah-RAKH)  n. הַשֵׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ. This is another circumlocution for the Divine Name YHVH (יהוה) meaning, "The Name (of the LORD), may He be blessed," or sometimes "the blessed Name [of the LORD]. Note that yitbarakh is spelled yisborach in Ashkenaz pronunciation. See the Names of God.

Hashgachah Pratit

(hash-gah-khah prah-TEET) n. Individual divine providence; "private supervision"; the idea that the individual soul is under the direct, private supervision of God Himself (the term hashgachah (הַשְׁגָּחָה) means "supervision" and can refer to laws of kashrut.) This term implies God's overarching rule and sovereign purposes or predestination. Also called hashgachah pratit (הַשְׁגָחָה פְּרָטִית). There is elaborate discussion about how hashgachah pratit does not contradict bechirah chofshit (free will) in rabbinic literature. In general, the sages came up with a form of compatibilism: "Though everything is foreseen by God, yet free will is granted to man" (Pike Avot 3:19). NB: The word pratit means "individual" or "particular," meaning that providence reaches to the smallest of details.

The following story illustrates the idea of hashgachah: "A sage once saw a leaf fall from a tree and drift to the ground. He asked the leaf, "Why did you drop out?" The leaf answered, "I don't know. My branch shook me off." The sage then asked the branch why he shook off the leaf, but it answered that the wind did it. The wind, however, didn't have an answer as to why he blew the branch, except that he had been let loose by his angel. The angel, in turn, told the sage that he had received orders from God Himself to get things windy. So the sage finally asked God who told him to pick up the leaf. The sage lifted it from the earth to find a little worm sheltering in the shade the leaf created underneath. Everything -- even the falling of a leaf -- happens for a reason, and it is up to us and our minds to find or acknowledge the stewardship of God behind it all."


(hash-kah-fah) n. Outlook; view; opinion; Jewish philosophy; personal perspective or philosophy, esp. from a Jewish perspective.

Hashilush Hakkadosh

(hash-shee-LOOSH hak-ka-DOHSH) n. The Holy Trinity. The Tri-une nature of the echad nature of Adonai. See the Hebrew Names of God.


(has-kal-LAH) n. Haskalah; Enlightenment; Jewish education movement.


(hat-teek-VAH) n."The hope"; The national anthem of Israel.


(hatz-lah-KHAH) n. Success!  b'hatzlachah means "good luck!"

Hatznea Lechet

(hatz-NAY-ah LE-khet) n. Self-control; this phrase comes from Micah 6:8 - v'hatznea lekhet im eloheykha - "to walk humbly with your God."


(ha-va-YAH) n. Being; existence. Shem Havayah is another Name of God.


(hav-da-LAH) n. Havdalah; "distinction;" ceremony marking end of Shabbat; four benedictions: wine, spices, light, etc. Saturday evening ceremony that separates shabbat from the rest of the week, sometimes performed at the end of major holidays.

Havel Havalim

(ha-vayl ha-vah-LEEM) n. phr. "Vanity of vanities," used by Kohelet in Eccl. 1:2. The word hevel means puff or vapor, and this construction indicates a superlative meaning - i.e., the utmost sense of fleeting transience.


(rohsh) n. Head; chief; beginning; leader. The shoresh (Resh, Aleph, Shin) appears in the words reshit, bereshit, rishon, ha'even ha-risha (cornerstone), and in combination with other terms (e.g., Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Hashanah, etc.)

Headplate (tzitz)

(TZEETZ) n. Tzitz. the High Priest's headplate, made of pure gold, with the words "Holy for the L-rd" (Kadosh La-Adonai) are engraved upon it. Exodus 28:36-37. For more information, click the image below to take you to the Temple Institute:



(re-FOO-ah) n. Healing.


(shah-MAI-yeem) n. Heaven; sky; Malkhut Shamayim is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Heaven's Gate

(sha-ar hash-shah-MY-eem) n. The gate to heaven; Bet-El (Bethel); When Jacob awoke from his dream of the sullam (ladder) to heaven (Gen. 28), he was so awestruck that he called the place "the house of God" (bet Elohim) and the "Gate of Heaven" (sha'ar hashamayim). Yeshua (Jesus) referenced this ladder when he met Nathanael (John 1:51).
In this passage He makes explicit reference to Jacob's dream in Bet 'El. Just as Jacob saw the ladder (sullam) ascending to heaven with the angels of God ascending and descending upon it, so Yeshua tells Nathanael that He is the very Ladder to God, the true sha'ar hashamayim - the Way into heaven (John 14:6). For more, see parashat Vayetzei.


(eev-REET) n. The word "Hebrew" arises from "Ivri," or "other-sider," a Torah phrase describing Abraham, who immigrated to Israel from the eastern side of the Euphrates River. A Jew - Abraham's descendant - was thus called an Ivri until the word "Yehudi," or "Judaite" (from the Biblical Judah) developed and gave rise to the word "Jew." "Hebrew" can also mean "Jewish" or something pertaining to Jewishness or Judaism, i.e., Hebrew School.

Hebrew today has two forms: Lashon Hakodesh (the Holy Tongue) and Ivrit (modern Hebrew). Lashon Hakodesh is the language the prophets spoke and is the official language of the Tanakh and Jewish prayer. Ivrit is a Westernized version of the Holy Tongue and is the language of present-day Israel.

To the ancient Israelites, Hebrew was far more than just a language - it was a means by which they could interact with God. According to Jewish legend, the Torah was written before the Universe was created, and by implication, the letters themselves predated the Universe. The Torah is supposed to contain all possible truth; since the Torah is a relatively small book, it is believed that the Torah contains not just the "obvious" reading, but many, many different hidden meanings as well.

Hebrew Bible

(ta-NAKH) n. Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible is called the Tanakh (sometimes transliterated as Tanak or Tanach in English), an acronym for Torah ("law"), Nevi'im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). Note the use of the gerashim to indicate an acronym.


(hay-khal Adonai) n. A king's dwelling quarters, i.e. a palace. "Sanctuary" or inner part of the Temple (Bet Hamikdash).  The dwelling place of the great king, God (Ezra 3:6).


(HECH-sher) n. A "k" symbol  on food packaging that means its contents are kosher and were prepared under rabbinical supervision.


(gay-heen-NOME) n. Gehenna (Jer. 32:35); Vision of Hell. The valley of Hinnom in Jerusalem was a location southwest of Jerusalem where children were burned as sacrifices to the "god" Molech. It later became a garbage dump with a continuous burning of trash. Therefore, it was used biblically to illustrate the abode of the damned in Christian and Jewish theology. Gehenna is mentioned in Mark 9:43ff and Matt. 10:28 as the place of punishment of unquenchable fire where both the body and soul of the wicked go after death. It is the future abode of Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41).

In rabbinic literature, Gehenna is a place of restorative suffering, similar to the Catholic idea of purgatory. The preponderance of rabbinic thought seems to suggest that people are not tortured in hell forever; the longest that one can be there is said to be 12 months. Some Kabbalists consider Gehenna to be a "spiritual forge" where the soul is purified for its eventual re-ascent to Gan Eden [paradise], where all imperfections are purged.

Note: The Hebrew word "Sheol" (שְׁאוֹל) technically refers to a landfill (i.e., grave), and by extension, to the underworld (Hades) or the abode of the dead. Both the good and the evil go to Sheol before being appointed to another destination (Gen. 37:25; Num. 16:30).


(mo-rah-SHAH) n. A general term referring to the special heritage one has as a Jew (Deut. 33:4). The word morashah (מוֹרָשָׁה) comes from the root idea (יָרַשׁ) of inheritance. According to the sages, morashah refers to a spiritual (rather than physical) inheritance that will abide forever. Maimonides further notes that the verse refers to the "congregation" (קְהִלָּה) of Jacob, not exculsively to the physical "seed" (i.e., natural descendants) of the Jewish people.... This implies that the Torah would become an inheritance for all those who would congregate with Jacob. All who are "grafted in" to Israel are therefore members of "God's congregation" (John 10:16; Rom. 11:16-24).


(par-DEIS) (Persian) "Orchard, garden or park." Orchard; "Garden of knowledge." An acronym for Peshat, Remez, Drash, and Sod, indicating the four traditional levels of interpretation a given pasuk might have:

  1. P'shat (literal reading)
  2. Remez (hinted/alluded meanings)
  3. D'rash (homiletical or exegetical application)
  4. Sod ('secret' or mystical meaning hidden in the text (e.g., Gematria or Pictographic meanings).

Hester Panim

(hes-ter pah-NEEM) n.  The term hester panim (הֶסְתֵר פָּנִים) means "hiding of the face."  It is often used when discussing the Book of Esther, where God's Name isn't mentioned even once, yet the hidden Presence is realized in the outcome of the story.  In this sense of the term, hester panim is somewhat like the sun on an overcast day: Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.  On the other hand, hestor panim can refer to withdrawal of divine favor or Presence such as mentioned in Deut. 31:17-18 and other places in Tanakh. God hides his face or "turns away" from us in order to afflict us and induce a sense of our need for Him.


(HE-vel) n. 1. Abel, the third son of Adam and Eve. 2. Vanity; vapor; breath (Eccl. 1:2).


(HAY) n. Hey. 5th letter of the alphabet having a guttural sound of "h" as in hay. Originally represented by a pictograph meaning "behold!" Gematria = 5.

Hidden Bread

(LE-khem ha-nis-TAHR) n. (לֶחֶם הַנִסְתָּר); "Hidden bread," referring to the spiritual food that Yeshua ate to sustain Him in His mission (John 4:31-34). Note that this may also be called ma'akhal haNistar (מַאֲכַל הַנִסְתָּר) to correspond with the more general term for food used in the Greek New Testament (i.e., βρῶσις in John 4:32). It may also be called "secret bread," lechem sod (לֶחֶם סוֹד), implying that it is provided by the agency of the Spirit and not through the agency of natural production.  Yeshua found great comfort and joy in doing the will of God and counted it as his spiritual food. As the prophet Job said, "I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food" (Job 23:12).

Hidden Miracle

(nays nees-STAHR) n. Nes Nistar (נֵס נִסְתָר). A hidden miracle, a term sometimes used to describe the story of Purim and other special deliverances of the Jewish people.

Hiddur Mitzvah

(heed-DUR meetz-VAH) phr. "Beautifying the commandments." The custom of making beautiful ritual objects. An action or ritual intended to make a religious act or object as beautiful as possible.

Hiddur Pnei Zakein

(heed-DUR pe-nay zah-KAYN) phr. "Respecting the elders." The midrash says: He who welcomes an old man is as if he welcomed the Shechina (God's presence).

High Holidays

(yah-MEEM han-noh-rah-EEM) n. The Days of Awe; the High Holidays; also, Yamim Noraim - Days of Awe. Ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.  The process of teshuvah - literally "turning," calls us to rethink our goals and aspirations, our relationships with others and with the LORD, and take the steps necessary to repair what is broken.

Highest Heaven

(she-may ha-shah-MA-yeem) n. Highest Heaven. The third heaven.


(heel-LEL) n. Hillel. Jewish student center. Named after the great Rabbi Hillel (110 BCE to 10 AD), a sage highly venerated among some Jews. Hillel was a contemporary of Yeshua the Messiah and perhaps took many of his ideas from the Master. Hillel was called the Nasi, a "Prince," "President," etc. His foil was another sage called Shammai.

Hillel and Shammai
Two opposing schools of thought (known as "houses") developed: one following Hillel and another following Shammai. The Talmud records over 300 differences of opinion between Bet Hillel (the House of Hillel) and Bet Shammai (the House of Shammai). In almost every one of these disputes, Hillel's view prevailed.

Hineni Shalacheini

(hee-ne-NEE she-lah-KHAY-nee) phr. "Here I am; send me." Isaiah's response to the LORD's question: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" (Isa. 6:8). Isaiah's answer, hineni ("Here am I") was the same word both Moses and Samuel used when they had encountered the LORD.

God then commisioned Isaiah to go tell the people, listen again and again (but do not understand); look again and again (but do not see). As with Pharaoh, the heart of the listeners would be hardened and the message would be disregarded. When Isaiah asked how long he should preach, the LORD said until their cities are all destroyed and people are exiled from the land.  Nevertheless, a "holy stump" would remain from which the people would one day be regenerated.


(heet boh-de-DOOT) n. הִתְבּוֹדְדוּת, Seclusion; separation (from בִּדוּדbidud, seclusion, separation). Hitbodedut refers to spontaneous prayer taught by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. The goal is to establish an intimate relationship with God by talking to Him in an intimate, informal manner while secluded in a private setting. Doing hitbodedut involves pouring your heart out to God in an honest, transparent, and earnest way.

From Ushpizin - wonderful movie


(heet ga-LOOT) n. 1) Revelation; Disclosure (e.g., God's ~ to Abraham); 2) In the B'rit Chadashah, the Revelation of Yeshua the Messiah as given to His emissary Yochanan (John) (i.e., the book of Revelation).


(hoh-dah-AH) n. Gratitude; thankfulness; appreciation; praise; worship. Life is a gift from heaven.  Think of seven blessings in your life to create your own personal "menorah of thankfulness."


(khag / khag-GEEM) Holiday(s).

Holiday Prayerbook

(mahkh-ZOHR) n. "Cycle." Prayerbook for the festivals. A High Holiday prayerbook.


(ke-doo-SHAH) n. Sanctification; holiness; The Kedushah is also a prayer (requiring a minyan) that repeats the "Holy, Holy, Holy..." verses in the Tanakh.

Holy Ark (Synagogue)

(ah-ROHN ha-koh-DESH) The Holy Ark. The special cabinet in which the Torah scrolls are kept. The plural for Torah is Sifrei Torah (seef-ray).

Holy Ark (Temple)

(ah-ROHN ha-be-REET) n. The ark of the covenant (brit). This sacred item of the Mishkan (and later of the Temple) was also called the aron ha'edut (ark of the testimony). The ark was a gold-plated wooden chest that housed the second set of two luchot (tablets) of the Ten Mitzvot that God spoke to the Israelites at Sinai (as well as some manna and Aaron's rod that blossomed, though later these two items were removed [1 Kings 8:9]). The Kohathites (a subclan of Levites) carried the Ark during the Israelite's wandering in the wilderness. After the conquest of Canaan, it was initially kept at Shiloh and was sometimes carried into battle by the Kohanim. King David later took it to Jerusalem, and his son Solomon placed it in the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) of Jerusalem, where it rested in the Holy of Holies and was seen only by the high priest on Yom Kippur.

The Scriptures describe the Ark as made of shittah wood. It was a cubit and a half broad and high, and two and a half cubits long (about 3.75 x 2.25 x 2.25 feet). The Ark was covered with pure gold and its lid, called the the kapporet (mercy seat) was surrounded with a rim of gold.

On each of the two sides were two gold rings wherein were placed two wooden poles (with a decorative sheathing of gold) to allow the Ark to be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the Ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward one another (Leviticus 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the kapporet formed the throne of God, while the Ark itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The Ark was placed in the Kodesh hakodashim, the Holy of Holies, so that one end of the carrying poles touched the veil separating the two compartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8).

Holy Bible

(keet-vay hak-KOH-daysh) n. The Holy Bible. Tanakh.

Holy of Holies

(ko-daysh hak-ko-dah-SHEEM) n. The Holy of Holies. The Kodesh Hakodoshim was the inner part of the Heichal (temple).

Holy Priesthood

(ke-hoon-NAT KOH-desh) n.  Holy priesthood. "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9

Holy Spirit

(ROO-akh hak-koh-DAYSH) n. Ruach Hakodesh; Holy Spirit; Divine Spirit; Inspiration; Prophecy. See the Names of God.

Home Dedication

(kha-nook-KAHT ha-BAI-yeet) n. Dedication of the home; the ceremony affixing the mezuzah. Informally, a Chanukat Bayit is a house-warming ceremony. In Deuteronomy one is commanded to dedicate a new home as an official endorsement of its new place and purpose. "Is there anyone who has built a new house but has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his home, lest he die in battle and another dedicate it." (Deut. 20:5).

Upon first moving into your new house, it is customary to leave a certain space or wall free of decoration and furnishing as a remembrance of the destruction of the Temple.
It has also been known for Jewish people to use bread, salt and candles to initiate their new home. The bread represents the hope that there will always be enough food; the candles are a symbol of light and joy; and the salt is a reminder of the Temple sacrifices and tears shed.


(ha-gee-NOOT) n. Honesty; integrity.

Honoring Father and Mother

(key-bood av ve-AYM) phr. "Honor father and mother." Showing respect and love to one's parents (based on Exodus 20:12, 5th Commandment).

Honoring Parents and Teachers

(key-bood hoh-reem oo-moh-REEM) phr. "Honoring parents and teachers." The principle of showing respect to your teachers.


(teek-VAH) n. Hope. From kavah - wait, look for. Ha-Tikvah is "The Hope" - the national anthem for medinat Yisrael (the modern state of Israel). Tikvatenu means "our hope.

Yesh-tikvah le'acharitekh - for there is hope for your future. (Jer 31:17)

Yesh tikvah
- there is hope (Lam 3:29).

Akh le-lohim domi nafshi, ki-mimenu tikvati - For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)

Ki-attah tikvati Adonai YHVH, mivtachi min'urai -  For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. (Psalm 71:5)


(KE-ren) n. Horn (of an animal); natural weapons on heads of animals; when applied to humans, horns can represent pride and defiance (e.g., Psalm 75:5, 10). Horns we used for holding shemen (oil) and as musical instruments. The Shechinah radiance streaming from Moses' face after he met with God (Ex. 34:29) is likened to horns (this mistranslation of keren (in the Vulgate) as "horns" of an animal misled Michael Angelo to place two small homs on Moses' head in his famous statue), and horns were put on the altar to focus the symbolic presence and power of God. To have one's horns exalted by God is to gain victory and salvation (Psalm 92:10; David's horn is to bud, Psalm 132:17). God is the source of all true salvation, hence he is termed the Horn of Salvation (2Sam 22:3).  In a general sense, then, horns represent power, but this metaphor can be applied to God, to the Mashiach, to Moses, to David, to evil men and political rulers, and so on.


(ho-sha'-NA') phr. Hosanna; from an abbreviation of "O save!" (Psalm 118:25). A combination form of the words hosha and na (bring us salvation, please):


(ho-SHAY-ah) n. Hosea, one of the 12 "Minor" prophets and part of the Nevi'im. Adonai's messenger to the northern kingdom during her declining years regarding the love of God despite Israel's failures. Hoshea means "Adonai is Deliverer."

Hoshana Rabbah

(ho-sha'-na' rab-BAH) n. Hoshana Rabba; "Great Hoshana"; The 7th day of Sukkot special service. For each day of the Sukkot festival a Torah scroll is removed from the ark and brought to the bimah. The chazan and congregation circle the bimah holding the lulav and esrog and recite the Hoshana prayer.

On the first six days of the Festival, the bimah is circled once. On Hoshana Rabbah, the last day of the Festival, seven circles are made. This custom commemorates the service in the Bet ha-Mikdash during which the kohanim would circle the altar once daily and seven times on Hoshana Rabbah.


(SHOH-ah) n. Shoah. From the Hebrew word meaning destruction. Usually used to refer to the systematic Nazi destruction of European Jewry which began in 1933 when Adolph Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. This horrendous evil reduced the world's Jewish population by over one third. Also called haShoah.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

(yohm ha-SHOH-ah) n. Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurs on the 27th of Nissan. A day set aside by the government of Israel as the day to commemorate the Holocaust and its victims.


(hakh-nah-sat oh-re-KHEEM) n. Hachnasat orchim: hospitality; hosting guests, especially on Shabbat or a yom tov. This is the characteristic that commended Abraham before the LORD and he was therefore honored as the father of the Jewish people.

House Dedication

(cha-noo-KAT hab-BIE-yeet) n. The dedication of a house; the minhag (custom) of dedicating a new house by affixing a mezzuah to the doorpost.  Often an oneg is held and friends come over to see the new place.  For the blessing, click here.

House of God

(bayt ha-e-loh-HEEM) n.  The House of God; bet Hamikdash; Temple; synagogue.

House of Prayer for all peoples

(bayt te-fee-LAH le-khol ha-am-MEEM) n. "A house of prayer for all nations." This comes from Isa. 56:6-9: "And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant-- these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples" (כִּי בֵיתִי בֵּית־תְּפִלָּה יִקָּרֵא לְכָל־הָעַמִּים). The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, "I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered."


(ho-VEH) n. The present (tense); derived from the root hayah, meaning to be; to exist.


(a-nah-VAH) n. Humility; proper self-respect; Proverbs 16:18-19. The Talmud says that humility is the greatest of all the middot tovot (good qualities) from which all other middot tovot stem. Conversely gei'ah [arrogance-haughtiness] is the primary middah ra (bad quality) from which all other bad middot stem).

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