Here is a collection of many commonly used “Jewish” words—both Hebrew and Yiddish—and anything else your Hebrew school teacher would be proud of you for knowing.


The mezuzah is traditionally affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes. In recent years it has also become a piece of jewelry to wear around the neck as a symbol of Jewishness.

Video about the Mezuzah

Learn more about the mezuzah on the links below.

Articles about the Mezuzah

Tallit and Tzitzit



The Siddur is the Jewish prayer book. Many prayers of our Siddur are as old as Solomon’s Temple. The Psalms were the “prayer book” of Israel in the days of the kings and the prophets. The Sh’ma was taught to Israel by Moses himself. However, it was only after the Exile that the prayer service as we know it began to take shape.

Explore the world of the Siddur on these pages.

Yiddish Words

challa: ceremonial Sabbath bread; egg bread
cheder: literally, one room school; a religious school for elementary-level Jewish children
drasha: sermon
goyim: gentiles
melamed: teacher
mikvah: ritual bath
minyan: quorum of at least ten men for prayer
mishegoss: nonsense
mitzvah: commandment, or righteous deed
Shabbos: Sabbath
shanda: shame
shiddach: match for a bride or groom
shul: synagogue
tallit: prayer shawl
tefillin: phylacteries