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Maamar Borei Niv Sifasayim

Glossary

Anticipating The Redemption - Volume 1

Glossary

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An asterisk indicates a cross reference within this Glossary.

All non-English entries are Hebrew unless otherwise indicated.

alul(lit., "effect"): in chassidic terminology, the recipient in a downward flux of energy
Asiyah(lit. "deed"): in Kabbalistic terminology, the lowest of the four spiritual worlds, the realm of spiritual existence which relates directly to our material world
Atika lofty spiritual rung, the inner dimension of the level of *Keser
Atzilus(lit. "emanation"): in Kabbalistic terminology, the highest of the four spiritual worlds, the realm of spiritual existence which, although encompassing attributes which have a specific definition, is completely at one with the *Or Ein Sof
avodah(lit., "service"): formerly, the sacrificial service in the Temple, and later, the service of prayer instituted in its stead. In chassidic usage, this term refers to a person's striving for personal refinement and his efforts to establish unity between his spiritual ideals and his actual day to day operational consciousness
baal teshuvah(lit. "master of return"): a person who turns to G-d in repentance, after willful or unknowing transgression of the Torah's commandments
b'drech memeila(lit. "effortlessly"): used as a contrast to *hislabshus, this term refers to an effusion of light or energy that reveals the source as it is, without considering the limitations of the recipient
Binah(lit., "understanding"): second of the Ten *Sefiros, and second of the three intellectual powers; the power that develops a concept into depth and breadth
bittul(lit. "self-nullification"): a term used in two different contexts: with regard to spiritual existence, the nullification caused by the influence of a higher level; with regard to an individual's divine service, the efforts to rise above one's personal concerns and dedicate one's energies towards a higher goal or level of awareness
Beis HaMikdashthe Temple in Jerusalem
Beriah(lit. "creation"): more specifically creation ex nihilio; in Kabbalistic terminology, the second of the four spiritual worlds, the realm of spiritual existence which represents the first beginnings of a consciousness of self
Chabad(acronym for the Hebrew words meaning "wisdom, understanding, and knowledge"): the approach to *Chassidism which filters its spiritual and emotional power through the intellect; a synonym for Chabad is Lubavitch, the name of the town where this movement originally flourished
chassid (pl., chassidim)adherent of the chassidic movement (see *Chassidus)
Chassidismsee *Chassidus
ChassidusChassidism, i.e., the movement within Orthodox Judaism founded in White Russia by R. Yisrael, the Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), and stressing: emotional involvement in prayer; service of G-d through the material universe; wholehearted earnestness in divine service; the mystical in addition to the legalistic dimension of Judaism; the power of joy, and of music; the love to be shown to every Jew, unconditionally; and the mutual physical and moral responsibility of the members of the informal chassidic brotherhood, each chassid having cultivated a spiritual attachment to their saintly and charismatic leader, the Rebbe; (b) the philosophy and literature of this movement; see also *Chabad
Chochmah(lit., "wisdom"): the first of the Ten Sefiros, or divine emanations; the first stage of the intellectual process; the seminal point of a conceptual idea
E-lohimone of the names of G-d. In particular, this name is associated with the Divine attributes that hold back, limit, and conceal G-dly influence so that it can descend and ultimately, be enclothed within the limited context of worldly existence
Gan Eden(lit. "the Garden of Eden"): also used to refer to the abode of the souls in the spiritual realms in their afterlife
Gemarathe second part of the *Talmud; the elucidation of the *Mishnah, and the discussion of related concepts by the Sages
halachah (pl., halachos)(a) the body of Torah law; (b) a particular law
HavayahThe term Havayah is derived from a rearrangement of the letters of the name v-u-v-h which, because of its holiness, is not pronounced in the usual manner. This name of G-d is associated with the Divine attributes which reveal infinite G-dly light
hishtalshelusthe chainlike sequence of spiritual realms that allows for a progressive descent and contraction of Divine light
hislabshus(lit., "enclothing"): the vesting of Divine life energy in a entity in a manner which the Divine life energy adapts itself to the level and condition of the recipient
ikvesa diMeshichathe age directly before *Mashiach's coming when his approaching footsteps can be heard
ilah(lit., "cause"): in chassidic terminology, the first phase in a downward progression of energy
kav(lit. "line"): the vector of Divine light which emanated after the First Tzimtzum.
Keser(lit., "crown"): the sublime level of divine emanation which transcends the set of the Ten *Sefiros; in man's spiritual personality it is the source of the corresponding "superconscious" faculties of pleasure and will
koach(lit., "potential"): a source of energy or force as it exists in a potential state
Likkutei Toraha collection of chassidic discourses by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe
maamar (pl., maamarim; lit., "word")in *Chabad circles means a formal chassidic discourse first delivered by a Rebbe
Malchus(lit., "sovereignty"): the last of the seven Divine attributes, and of their corresponding mortal spiritual emotions
maorthe source from which light, *or, emanates
Mashiach(lit., "the anointed one"): the Messiah
mazalin the context of the maamar, "source of influence," the soul as it exists in the spiritual realms which exerts influence over the soul as it is enclothed in the body
memaleh kol almin(lit. "filling all worlds"): G-d's immanent light which enclothes itself in every particular created being
menorahthe candelabra in the Beis HaMikdash
mesirus nefesh(lit., "sacrifice of the soul"): the willingness to sacrifice oneself, either through martyrdom, or through a selfless life, for the sake of the Torah and its commandments
Midrashclassical collection of the Sages' homiletical teachings on the Bible
mikveha ritual bath in which a person immerses himself as part of the transition from purity to impurity, or from a lower state of holiness to a higher state.
Mishnahthe first compilation of the Oral Law authored by Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi (approx. 150 C.E.). It serves as the basis for the Talmud
Mitzrayim(lit., "the land of Egypt"): figuratively, a state of limitation
mitzvah (pl., mitzvos; lit., "command")a religious obligation; one of the Torah's 613 Commandments
modim(lit., "we thankfully acknowledge"): one of the blessings of the Amidah during which we are required to bow
Moshe Rabbeinu(lit., "Moses our Teacher")
Nasi(a) in Biblical times, the head of any one of the Twelve Tribes; (b) in later generations, the civil and/or spiritual head of the Jewish community at large
or(lit. "light"): an allegory for the effusion of G-dly energy and influence; the relationship between the oros and the keilim ("vessels") parallels that which exists between the body and the soul
Or Ein SofG-d's infinite light. The intent of this name is not merely that this light reveals G-d who is the True Infinity, but that the light itself is infinite in nature.
po'elthe activity resulting when a koach is manifest
Radakan acronym for Rav David Kimchi, one of the foremost Biblical commentators
Sefirah (pl. Sefiros)the Kabbalistic term for the attributes of G-dliness which serve as a medium between His infinite light and our limited framework of reference
sovev kol almin(lit. "encompassing all worlds"): G-d's transcendent light which reveals His unbounded nature
Talmudthe basic compendium of Jewish law, thought, and Biblical commentary, comprising *Mishnah and *Gemara; when unspecified refers to the Talmud Bavli, the edition developed in Babylonia, and edited at end of the fifth century C.E.; the Talmud Yerushalmi is the edition compiled in Eretz Yisrael at end of the fourth century C.E.
Tanyathe classic text of *Chabad chassidic thought authored by the Alter Rebbe
teshuvah(lit., "return [to G-d]"): repentance
Torah Ora collection of chassidic discourses by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe
tzaddikrighteous man
tzedakahcharity
tzimtzumthe process of Divine self-contraction and self-limitation which makes possible the concept of limited, worldly existence
yesh(lit., "it exists"): in chassidic terminology, an entity which is limited and self-conscious
yesh me'ayin(lit., "something from nothing"): creation ex nihilo
yeshusthe state of being a *yesh
Yetzirah(lit., "formation"); in Kabbalistic terminology, the third of the four spiritual worlds, the realm of spiritual existence in which the limited nature of the created beings takes on form and definition
Zaer Anpin(Arm., lit, "the small face"): the term used by the Kabbalah for the Divine attributes which parallel emotions
Zohar(lit. "radiance"): the title of the classic mystical work embodying the teachings of the Kabbalah

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