Peninei Halakha


afikomanlit. dessert; the portion of matza eaten to conclude the Seder meal
aĥsheveia principle whereby one’s actions indicate that he assigns subjective significance to an otherwise insignificant object
al ha-sovawhile satisfied
bal yera’ehthe prohibition against ĥametz being seen in one’s possession on Pesaĥ
bal yimatzeithe prohibition against ĥametz being found in one’s possession on Pesaĥ
basar be-ĥalavthe forbidden mixture of milk and meat
batei midrashTorah study halls
batel be-rovrendered insignificant by the majority
batel be-shishim rendered insignificant as less than one sixtieth of a mixture
be-di’avada level of performance that ex post facto satisfies an obligation in a less-than-ideal manner
bedikasearch; often used as shorthand for bedikat ĥametz
bedikat ĥametz the mitzva to search for ĥametz in order to eliminate it from possession before Pesaĥ; see chapter 4
beit dinrabbinical court
beit knesset synagogue
ben yomoless than 24 hours (the time it takes for absorbed taste to become foul) removed from last use
berakha a formal blessing recited before eating or performing a mitzva, and on other occasions
berakha aĥaronaa blessing recited after eating or drinking
berakhale-vatala a blessing in vain
Birkat Ha-mazonknown as the “grace after meals”; the berakha aĥarona consisting of four berakhot recited after a bread-based meal
bi’ur ĥametz the elimination of ĥametz
bli nedera verbal caveat that ensures that an undertaking does not acquire the status of a vow
de-Oraitabiblically mandated
Eretz Yisraelthe Land of Israel
Erev Pesaĥlit. the eve Pesaĥ; the day preceding Pesaĥ, on which Israel is obligated to offer the korban Pesaĥ
gebroktssee matza sheruya and sec. 8:2
ĤagHa-matzotthe Festival of Unleavened Bread; the biblical name for Pesaĥ
Hagadathe central text of the Seder, the central part of which retells the story of the Exodus
hagala immersion in boiling water; see chapter 10
halakhathe collective body of Jewish law; an individual Jewish law
ĥalla the mitzva to give a part of a large batch of dough to a kohen
Hallelchapters 113-118 of Tehilim, all of which are thanksgiving psalms, recited on Jewish holidays
Hallel Ha-gadolTehilim chapter 136; the “Great Hallel
ĥametzcereal grain that leavened; see chapter 2.
ĥametz gamurabsolute ĥametz, in which the leavening process has been completed
ĥametz nuksheh“hardened ĥametz”; see section 2:5
ĥametz she-avar alav ha-Pesaĥĥametz that belonged to a Jew during the holiday
ha-motzithe berakha over bread
ha-motzi leĥem min ha-aretz“Who brings forth bread from the earth”; the formula for the berakha on bread
ĥaroseta sweet paste made of fruits and nuts eaten at the Seder to commemorate the clay mortar our forefathers made when they were enslaved in Egypt
hasavareclining; see 16:10-11
hatarat nedarimthe annulment of vows before a rabbinical court
heavy libunsee libun
hefsekA problematic interruption between two acts or recitations that must be performed or recited together
heteira balait absorbed permissible matter
Ĥol Ha-mo’edthe intermediate days of Sukkot and Pesaĥ, on which certain weekday activities are permitted
ĥozer ve-ne’or“reawakened”; the reversal of nullification in which a nullified ingredient regains its former status; see sections 7:2-3
ĥutz la-aretzcountries outside of Eretz Yisrael
irui“pouring”; one of the ways taste is transferred; an intermediate phase between kli rishon and kli sheni
isura balait absorbed forbidden matter
karet extirpation, the most severe biblical punishment
karpasthe vegetable eaten at the beginning of the Seder
ke-bole’o kakh poltotaste is released from a vessel in the same manner that it was absorbed; see sec. 10:3
kezayit (pl. kezeytim)a olive’s bulk, a standard halakhic measure of volume or weight; see sections 16:23-24
kiddushthe invocation of the sanctity of a holy day with blessings over a cup of wine
kinyanan act that effects an acquisition or another change in status
kitniyotnon-ĥametz species that may not be eaten on Pesaĥ according to Ashkenazic custom; see chapter 9
klirishon the vessel in which food was cooked; see section 10:8
klishenithe vessel into which hot food was transferred; see section 10:8
korbana sacrificial offering
korbanĥagiga a sacrifice offered at each of the three pilgrimage festivals
korban Pesaĥthe Paschal offering
korekh matza and maror eaten together to commemorate the practice of Hillel the Elder in Temple times; see section 16:28
kosshelberakha a cup of wine linked to the performance of a mitzva
kvisha“pickling,” or the absorption of taste through prolonged soaking; see section 10:14
leĥem mishnehthe two whole loaves of bread/matza over which the berakha of ha-motzi is recited at Shabbat and Yom Tov meals
leĥemoni“poor man’s bread”; how matza is described in Devarim 16:3
le-khatĥilaab initio; a level of performance that satisfies an obligation in an ideal manner
le-shem matzat mitzva“for the sake of the matza of the mitzva”; the required intention one must have when baking matza to be used for the mitzva
libunheating a vessel by fire to the point that absorbed taste is incinerated
light libunheating a utensil by fire to the point that a piece of straw or thread placed on the opposite side of the utensil becomes blackened from the heat
Ma nishtana“Why is this night different?”; a series of questions that the children ask at the Seder
Ma’arivevening prayers
Magidthe part of the Seder in which the story of the Exodus is recounted
MakatBekhorot the Plague of the Firstborn
marit ayin “appearances”; an action that must be avoided because it may give a false impression of being a violation
maror the bitter vegetable that must be eaten at the Seder
Mashi’aĥthe Messiah; the restorer of the Davidic dynasty
matzaunleavened bread eaten by Jews on Pesaĥ
matza ashiramatza that was kneaded in a liquid other than water, colloquially known as “egg matza”; see section 8:1
mayim she-lanuwater drawn before nightfall and kept overnight in a cool place, later to be used in matza
mekhiratĥametz the sale of ĥametz to remove it from Jewish possession before Pesaĥ; see chapter 6
melakhaproductive work of the type prohibited on Shabbat and Yom Tov
melakha gemura full-fledged work; see section 13:2
melolugmava measure of liquid; enough to fill the drinker’s mouth with one cheek inflated
mezonotfood that is made from grain but is not bread, or the berakha recited on such foods
mikveh a ritual immersion pool
mila unit of distance; it takes 18 minues (22.5 according to some, and 24 according to others) to walk a mil
Minĥathe afternoon prayers
minĥa gedola 5.5 seasonal hours before sunset; the earliest time to recite the afternoon prayers
minĥaketana 2.5 seasonal hours before sunset
nat bar nattaste that has been absorbed into a medium twice removed from its origins
nat bar nat bar nattaste that is thrice removed from its origins
netilatyadayim ritual hand washing
Nisanthe first month of the Jewish year
notar uneaten portions of a sacrifice left over until the morning, which must be incinerated and may not be eaten
noten ta’am bar noten ta’amsee nat bar nat
noten ta’am li-fgamsomething that imparts foul taste
olat re’iyaa burnt-offering sacrificed in honor of one of the three pilgrimage festivals
pidyon ha-benthe mitzva of redeeming the [firstborn] son
plataa warming tray used to reheat foods on Shabbat
prashalf a loaf of bread; see section 16:25
reshutvoluntary, optional
revi’ita liquid measure equal to a quarter of a log, calculated by most to be c. 75 ml
safeka case of uncertainty or doubt
safek de-rabananan uncertainly about a rabbinic ordinance
se’or a leavening agent that one uses to make dough ferment
Se’uda shlishitthe obligatory third Shabbat meal
se’udatmitzvaa festive meal celebrating the fulfillment of a mitzva
Sederthe banquet on the first night of Pesaĥ that includes several special recitations, customs, and mitzvot
sefirotmystical “emanations” through which God created and sustains the world
sfek sfeikaa double uncertainty
sha’ah zmanita seasonal hour; one-twelfth of the time between sunrise and sunset (or between sunset and sunrise)
Shabbat Ha-Gadolthe Shabbat immediately before Pesaĥ
Shaĥarit the morning prayers
shali’aĥproxy or agent
she-heĥeyanu“Who has given us life”; a berakha recited at specific significant occasions
Shekhinathe divine presence in this world
shi’ura standard halakhic measurement for weight, distance, or volume
shi’ur akhilat pras the time it takes to eat half a loaf of bread; see section 16:25
shmura matzamatza that has been guarded from becoming ĥametz; see section 1:2
siyummasekhet a se’udat mitzva occasioned by the completion of a tractate of the Talmud
Ta’anitBekhorot the Fast of the Firstborns; see section 13:3
tefaĥima handbreadth; a halakhic measurement equal to c. 8cm
tefillin phylacteries; black leather boxes and straps containing parchment scrolls, worn during weekday morning prayers
terumaa priestly gift contributed from one’s produce
tum’aritual contamination/impurity
Tzafunthe part of the Seder in which the afikoman is eaten
tzeit ha-kokhavim the appearance of three distinct stars, marking nightfall for various halakhic purposes
yadsoledet bo hot enough to cause the hand to recoil, somewhere between 45ºC and 71ºC
Yaĥatzthe part of the Seder in which the middle matza is broken and the larger part designated as the afikoman
Yom Tovthe festivals of biblical origin during which melakha is prohibited
yom tov sheni shel galuyotthe extra day of Yom Tov observed in the Diaspora
zeh ve-zeh goreman effect produced by multiple factors
zero’a a piece of roasted or boiled meat or poultry, preferably a shankbone, placed on the Seder plate

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Translated By:
Series Editor: Rabbi Elli Fischer

The Laws of Shabbat (1+2) - Yocheved Cohen
The Laws of Prayer - Atira Ote
The Laws of Women’s Prayer - Atira Ote
The Laws of Pesach - Joshua Wertheimer
The Laws of Zemanim - Moshe Lichtman

Editor: Nechama Unterman