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Hebrew Glossary - K


































Note: because of common transliteration conventions, many entries beginning with Qof (i.e., "Q" entries) are here transliterated with a "K." For English, check letter "C" words.


(kab-BA-lah) n. Kabbalah [קַבָּלָה]. Qabbalah, Cabbalah, and other spellings. "Reception; Acceptance." The Kabbalah codifies Jewish mystical teachings from the 13th century and therefore is mainly a Jewish variety of occultic medievalism, though it has roots back in the writings of Simeon bar Yochai (2nd century AD). The Jewish mystical doctrine is distinguished by its theory of ten creative forces (Ten Sefirot) that intervene between the infinite, unknowable God (Ein Sof) and the created world. Through these emanations God sustains and rules the universe, and it is by influencing them that humans cause God to send to Earth forces of compassion (masculine, right side) or judgment (feminine, left side).

A sefirah (pl. sefirot) is a channel of divine energy or life-force. In the process of creation an intermediate stage was emanated from God's infinite light to create what we experience as finite reality. These channels are called the Ten Sefirot or Ten Divine Emanations which are the basic terms and concepts of the inner wisdom of the Torah which is called Kabbalah.

The Ten Sefirot are:

  1. Keter - Crown; Divine Plan; God's Self-Consciousness
  2. Chochmah - Wisdom; Yesh me'ayin - being from nothingness (ex nihilo)
  3. Binah - Understanding; revelation as outworking of love
  4. Chesed - Kindness; everlasting love
  5. Gevurah - Strength; intentionality
  6. Tiferet - Beauty in the universe
  7. Netzach - Victory; resurrection
  8. Hod - Awe; surrender
  9. Yesod - Foundation; 1st principles of human knowledge
  10. Malkhut - Kingdom; physical revelation in space-time

Rabbi Isaac Luria substitutes the sefirah Keter with Da'at (knowledge), which is then said to be the mystical state of unity of the 10 Sephirot, sometimes called the Tree of Life).

10 Sefirot

Kabbalat Shabbat

(kab-ba-LAHT shab-BAHT)  n. Kabbalat Shabbat [קַבָּלַת שַׁבָּת]. Qabbalat Shabbat. Welcoming of the Shabbat. A special ritual designed to welcome Shabbat that sometimes involves special preparations, most of which included the theme that Shabbat was the Bride of Israel and the Shekhinah comes to the Jewish community during Shabbat. Also the opening service on Friday evening preceding the Ma'ariv service.

Kabbalat Yisurim

(kab-ba-LAHT yees-soo-REEM)  n. Acceptance of suffering; finding same'ach be'yisurim (joy in suffering). Yeshua is the Master of kabbalat yisurim.


(kah-dah-SHEEM) n. pl. Kadashim; Holy things; consecrated things; sacrifices.


(KAHD-deesh) n. Kaddish [קַדִּישׁ]; Doxology glorifying God's Name; prayer said for the dead. An Aramaic prayer recited for the deceased, up to a year following the burial, on the anniversary of the death, and at some memorial services. This prayer is said for members of one's immediate family. Versions of the Kaddish are also said at transitions in the prayer service, but are not used as prayers for the deceased. Traditionally a minyan is required for Kaddish. Kaddish means "May His Great Name be Sanctified."

Kadesh (Barnea)

(ka-DAYSH bar-NAY-ah) n. fr. Kadesh = "holy" A stopping place while Israel wandered in the desert, located north of the Sinai Peninsula between the Wilderness of Paran and the Wilderness of Zin. It's first mentioned in during the time of Abraham, and later, during the Wilderness Journey after the Exodus, the Israelites remained for many years at, and in the vicinity of, Kadesh. It was at Kadesh that the awful Sin of the Spies occurred.

Kadesh et HaShem

(ka-DAYSH et hash-SHEM) n. To sanctify the Name of God by noble deeds or by martyrdom.


(ka-DOHSH) n. / adj. Saint; holy; sacred. Kedoshim is the plural form.


(ka-DEE-mah) n. / adj. "forward," from kadim (קָדִים), meaning east, east wind, eastward; and kadum (קָדוּם) meaning antiquity; related words are kedem (קֶדֶם) meaning front; and kadam (קָדַם) meaning to be in front, to lead; to go forward, etc. The word derives from the connection to the rising sun that moves forward throughout the day. The word kadimah may be used colloquially as "Let's Go!" or "come on," or it may refer to various political groups that assert "progressive" ideals, such as the Kadima political party in Modern Israel.


(kahf) n. Kaf / Khaf. 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet having the a sound of "k" as in kite (without the dagesh, "ch" as in bach). Originally represented by a pictograph meaning "palm" (of a hand) or "open." Gematria = 20. Transliterated as "k(h)." Khaf also has a sofit form.

Kaf Zechut

(dahn kol ha-a-dam le-kaf ze-KHOOT) n. Avot 1:6. "Judge everyone favorably"; give the benefit of the doubt (kaf zechut - the hand of merit). Judge righteous judgment.


(KAHL-lah) n. Bride; Engaged girl.

Kamets / Qamets

(ka-MAYTZ) n. Qamets; (Long) vowel of the "A-Class" with a sound of "ah."


(kan-NA) adj. Jealous (Ex. 20:5).


(kap-pah-RAH) n. Atonement. Forgiveness. A Yom Kippur custom is based on the idea of ransom, one life for another. After reciting from the Book of Job (33:23-24), a rooster (for men) or a hen (for women) is swung three times over the heads of the penitent and the following is said: "This is my exchange, this is my kapparah. This rooster is going to be killed, and I shall be admitted and allowed to a long, happy and peaceful life."


(kap-POH-ret) n. The pure gold cover (or lid) over the Ark of the Covenant that held two cherubim at each end and from which God would manifest His Presence during times of the Mishkan and Temple; 2. The "Mercy Seat" or place where the blood was applied during Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  For more information, see the articles on the Mishkan and Yom Kippur.


(KAH-raH-'ee) n. Karaite; Karaism; Member of a Jewish sect that rejects Rabbinical / Talmudic interpretation of the Tanakh. A devotee of the written law, from kara, the reading, which means the Torah. A movement arising in the eighth century which denied the authenticity and therefore the force of the common law in the Talmud and its subsequent rabbinic jurists. Karaism in time evolved its own common law, with variations from the main tradition. There are more than 30,000 Karaites (Qaraite) in Israel and 10,000 to 20,000 in Russia, USA, and Europe.


(kash-ROOT) n. System of laws that govern what Jews may and may not eat. Jewish dietary laws that forbid the consumption of certain foods, such as pork and shell fish, as well as the eating of meat or chicken with dairy products, and describe the method of ritual slaughtering of animals.


(ka-TOOV) n. Biblical verse; pasuq.


(ka-vahn-NAH) n. Kavanah (כַּוָנָה), sometimes spelled kavannah (כַּוָנָּה). Intention; purpose; design; resolution; resolve; inner disposition; mindfulness; wakefulness; the chief requirement for prayer and worship, as well as for acts of mitzvot. Inner concentration during prayer; heartfelt direction in prayer. "The truth is that the absolute contrast between expression (kavannah) and empathy (keva) exists only in abstraction. In human experience they are intimately intertwined; the one cannot happen without the other. And act of empathy is involved in genuine expression, and profound empathy generates expression." -- R. Abraham Joshua Heschel, "Man's Quest for God", p.31.


(ka-VOHD) n. Glory; honor; wealth. The shoresh (root) with its derivatives occurs 376 times in the Tanakh. This term can also mean "respect."


(ke-ah-RAH) n. Also transliterated as Karah, Ka'arah, etc. Seder Plate; the central object of the Passover table. The seder plate has six dishes around a bowl of salt water where each dish contains a food that is used while telling the story of Passover during the reading of the Haggadah. These foods include:

  • Beitzah - A roasted egg
  • Karpas - Parsley (or vegetable)
  • Ze'roa - Roasted shank bone (or chicken bone)
  • Charoset - Chopped apples and nuts
  • Maror - Bitter herb (horseradish)
  • Chazeret - Romaine lettuce

For more information, see the Passover Pages.


(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.


(ke-far-na-KHOOM) n. Capernaum. In the B'rit Chadashah, the city where Yeshua did much of His ministry. "Village of Nachum."


(ke-fee-RAH) n. Apostasy; heresy; denial of the faith; status of being mumar.  Orthodox Judaism holds that all Jews who reject the simple meaning of Maimonides's 13 principles of Jewish faith are apostates.


(ka-hal / ke-heel-LAH) n. Assembly; Community; Congregation; the construct form is kehillat, as in Kehillat Israel.


(ke-heel-LAHT ke-doh-SHAH) n. A Jewish Community.


(ke-hoon-NAH) n. Priesthood; office.

Kelal Yisrael

(ke-LAL yees-rah-AYL)  n.  Kelal Yisrael (כְּלַל יִשְׂרָאֵל) refers to the worldwide Jewish community as a whole. There is a common responsibility, destiny, and kinship among of all Jews, and the concept of kelal Yisrael (sometimes spelled klal Yisrael) represents Jewish solidarity. "Israel is one, though dispersed among the 70 nations" (Zohar).  The value of kelal Yisrael is often expressed as Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Lazeh: "All Israel is responsible for one another." The Jewish community is also sometimes called keneset Yisrael, i.e., "the community of Israel" as a spiritual entity in aggadic literature.


(ken) part. Yes.

Kena'an (Canaan)

(ke-na-'an) n. Canaan; the land of Canaan.

Kenesiyah (Church)

(ke-NAY-seey-yah) n. Church. A small k'nesset.


(ke-NES-set) n. Knesset (Israel's Parliament); Assembly; Congress. The Knesset HaGedolah is called the "Great Knesset" or Sanhedrin.

Kenesset HaGedolah

(ke-NES-set ha-ge-doh-LAH) n. The "Great Knesset" or Sanhedrin. The Anshei Knesset HaGedolah (אַנְשֵׁי כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה, "The Men of the Great Assembly") are noted in the Mishnah (Ab. i. 1) as those who occupied a place in the chain of authority between the last of the Jewish Prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) and the earliest named sages of Jewish tradition. Ezra the Scribe is thought to be the founder of the Great Assembly.

The Great Assembly (which included Mordecai (of the Esther story), Daniel, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Zerubabel, among other notables) is also said to have instituted other traditional practices such as the recitation of Kiddush (on Shabbat); the idea that prayer should occur three times a day; the structure of the Amidah prayer; the recitation of various blessings before eating, and so on.

Kere / Qere

(ke-RAY oo-khe-TEEV) Qere means "what is to be read" and refers to a margin note in the Masoretic text. Whenever a scribe felt that the text he was copying was not right, he would not change the text he was copying, but instead wrote a note in the margin. The margin note is called the "Qere" (pronounced "ke-RAY"), and the actual text is called the "Ketiv" (pronounced "keh-TEEV"). "Ketiv" basically means "to be written" (ie. what should be copied to preserve accuracy), and "Qere" basically means "to be read" (ie. what to use instead when reading the text aloud). Qere ukhetiv therefore refers to these variants. The Masorah indicates when to omit reading a word that is written and substitute it with what is read.

In short, Ketiv refers to the actual text of Scripture, and Qere refers to a scribal margin note. There are hundreds of Ketiv/Qere pairs in the Masoretic text. These pairs come in several "flavors". Some are synonymous in meaning, but sound differently. Some sound the same, but have different meanings. Some are different both in meaning and sound. Some are very similar in both meaning and sound.


(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.


(kree-AH) n. The mourning custom of tearing a garment (or cutting a black ribbon worn on one's clothes) as a sign of grief. Hebrew for "rending" (2 Sam. 13:31).

Whom among us has not experienced loss? What do we do with our grief of heart? The ancient Jewish custom of keriah (קְרִיעָה), the tearing of our clothes to express grief, is to be performed while standing up. The sages say this is to teach that even in our time of consternation and protest over loss -- in our repulsion from what God sometimes brings our way -- we are to be upright, we are to meet all sorrow while standing upright. We must accept life on God's terms and continue to trust God in our times of darkness. Even in moments of inner heartache we keep faith in God's promises for good. May God "grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" (Job 1:21).

Keriat HaTorah

(ke-ree-AT hat-TOH-rah) n. Torah Reading. Public reading of Torah at the synagogue. Also spelled kriat ha-Torah.

Keriat Shema

(ke-ree-AT she-MAH) n. Keriat Shema. The recitation of the Shema (Deut 6:4-9; 11:31-21; and Num. 15:37-41). The Shema is the central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur) and is often the first section of Scripture that a Jewish child learns. During its recitation in the synagogue, Orthodox Jews pronounce each word very carefully and cover their eyes with their right hand. Many Jews recite the Shema at least twice daily: once in the morning and once in the evening. The Shema is also sometimes said as part of bedtime prayers (i.e., keriat Shema al hamitah: קְרִיאַת שְׁמַע עַל הַמִּטָּה, "the bedtime Shema").

Keruv / Keruvim (Cherubim)

(ke-ROOV, ke-roo-VEEM) n. Cherub/ Cherubim. Heavenly creatures (angels) who guarded the way to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24).


(KE-sef) n. Money; silver; mammom. Kesafim is tithing.


(ke-shah-FEEM) n. Witchcraft; superstitious practices; sorcery; demonology.

Ketav Hakkodesh

(ke-TAHV hak-koh-DAYSH) n. Ketav Hakodesh. Holy Writings; Scriptures.

Ketav Meruba

(ke-tahv me-roo-BA') n. Hebrew square script (as opposed to Script style, called Ketav rahut or ketav yad). Ketav Meruba is also called ketav ashuri, since the Assyrian script style was adopted by Ezra the scribe sometime during the Babylonian exile. Ketav means "writing."

Ketav Rahuv

(ke-tav rah-HOOT) n. Hebrew Cursive writing. Also called Ketav Yad.


(KE-ter) n. Crown.

Keter Torah

(KE-ter TOH-rah) n. Crown of Torah; artistic silver crowns used to adorn the Sefer Torah in the synagogue.


(ke-toob-BAH) n. Kettubot, pl. Marriage contract. Literally, a "written thing." Traditional Jewish marriage contract, which spells out the contractual responsibilities of the groom to the bride, often written in beautiful Hebrew calligraphy. Originally the Ketubbah was given to the wife at the time of marriage, which stipulated the husband's financial obligations to her both during the marriage and in case of the dissolution of the marriage (get).

Ketonet ha-passim

(ke-toh-NEH ha-pas-SEEM) n. The special "coat of many colors" (ornamental tunic) by which Jacob singled out Joseph as a favored son. Jacob and Joseph shared a lot in common: both had infertile mothers who had difficulty in childbirth; both mothers bore two sons; and both were hated by their brothers. In addition, the Torah states that Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, since he was the son of his old age, and was the firstborn son (bechor) of his beloved wife Rachel. Jacob made him an ornamented tunic to indicate his special status in the family.  Note that the definite article is often omitted when discussing this special tunic, i.e., ketonet passim.


(ke-too-VEEM) n. Ketuvim. Writings; 3rd major part of Tanakh. The word Ketuvim is the plural form of Ketav, or writing. The Ketuvim, or Hebrew literary books, are subdivided into three major parts: Wisdom Literature, Megillot (scrolls), and Histories (which, somewhat strangely, includes Daniel, a prophetic book). The Ketuvim is divided as follows:

  • Tehilim (Psalms)
  • Mishlei (Proverbs)
  • Iyov (Job)
  • The Five Megillot (Scrolls) - Shir-HaShirim (Song of Songs); Rut (Ruth); Eikhah (Lamentations); Kohelet (Ecclesiastes); and Ester (Esther).
  • Dani'el (Daniel)
  • Ezra (Ezra)
  • Nechemyah (Nehemiah)
  • Divrei-HaYamim Aleph/Bet (1st/2nd Chronicles)

Ketuvim Acharonim

(ke-too-VEEM ah-kha-roh-NEEM) n. Apocrypha. Books such as Ecclesiasticus by Ben Sira, discovered in a Genizah. Also called Sefarim Chitsonim (outside books), that is, books excluded from the Tanakh.

Kibbud Horim u'Morim

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


(keeb-BOOTS) n. Kibbutz. Gathering; collection; group; collective; a collective farm; a community in Israel based on communal property, in which members have no private property but share the work and the profits of some collective enterprise.


(keev-roht ha-ta-a-vah) n. "Graves of lust." Also spelled Kivrot-hattaavah.  The place where the LORD sent swarms of quail to the Israelites in the wilderness for meat and punished them with a plague for their lusts. For more information, see parashat Beha'alotekha.

Kibbud Av ve'Em

(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).

Kibbud Horim u'Morim

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


(keed-DOOSH) n. A prayer (or blessing) recited, usually over wine, on the evenings and mornings of Sabbaths and holidays. "Sanctification," and specifically the blessing over wine recited on Shabbat and holidays. Kiddush is the ritual performed on the Sabbath and festival days, consisting of a liturgical text recited over a full cup of wine which is then drunk.

Kiddush HaShem

(keed-DOOSH hash-SHEM) n. Sanctifying the Name of God; martyrdom. The opposite of this is Chillul Hashem (חִלוּל הַשֵּׁם), profaning the Name of God. Qualifications for valid martyrdom are expressed in the phrase yehager ve'al ya'avor (יֵהָרֵג וְאַל יַעֲבוֹר), "be killed rather than transgress," i.e., there are (defined) instances when we must be willing to sacrifice our own lives rather than to violate a Torah commandment, such as being forced to murder someone upon pain of death. In other words, it is better (and lawful) to undergo kiddush Hashem rather than to commit certain sins, usually defined as sins that desecrate the Divine Name (chillul HaShem) such as murder, rape, incest, and being forced to renounce faith in the One true God (i.e., being forced to worship an idol).


(keed-doo-SHEEN) n. Marriage ceremony.

Ki im-asot Mishpat

(kee eem-a-soht meesh-PAHT) Only to do justice; a quote from Micah 6:8: "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" A catchphrase for acting justly in one's life and pursuing social and personal justice.


(keel-AH-yeem) n. A forbidden mixture, such as mixing two kinds of crops in the same field, or allowing cattle to interbred (Lev. 19:19). Even clothing was required to be pure and free from admixture. Shaatnez (the mixing of wool and other fibers) is sometimes considered to be a metaphor against mingling the holy and the profane. Wool blankets, sweaters, pants, women's apparel, linen suits, blouses, etc., may not be composed of shaatnez.

Kingdom of God

(mal-KHOOT ha-e-loh-HEEM) n. The kingdom of God (John 3:5).

Kingdom of Heaven

(mal-KHOOT hash-shah-MAI-yeem) n. The Kingdom of heaven (Matt: 4:17).

King David's Mother

(nee-TZE-vet) n. Nitzevet: the name of the mother of King David, according to Jewish tradition. David was born into the respected family of Yishai (Jesse) of which the Talmud says not a little of its dignity and integrity (i.e., Shabbat 55a)... Apparenty some of the sages said that his wife was named "Nitzevet," a descendant of the royal house of Judah. David's mother was not named explicitly in the Bible, though 1 Sam. 22:3-4 indicates David had a good relationship with her, and both Psalm 86:16 and Psalm 116:16 further indicate that David esteemed her as a godly woman.

King of the Jews

(ME-lekh hai-YE-hoo-DEEM) n. King of the Jews; Title for Yeshua the Messiah
(Matt. 27:37).

King of king of kings

(ME-lekh mal-KHAY ham-me-lah-KHEEM) n. King of the king of kings. A Title for God. See the Names of God.

Kings (book of)

(me-lah-KHEEM) n. Kings. The book of Kings, part of the Nevi'im in the Tanakh. English Bibles divide Kings into 1st and 2nd Kings (Melakhim Aleph and Bet, respectively).


(kee-NOHT) n.
(sing. kinah: קִינָה; pl., kinot: קִינוֹת). Dirges; elegies; poignant poems traditionally recited on Tishah B'Av to mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the numerous other tragedies in Jewish history (including the Shoah). Kinnot are usually recited on the night of Tishah B'Av after reciting the Book of Lamentations. Some are spelled using acrostics, and many begin with the word Zion.


(keep-PAH) n. Kippah. Skullcap; The Talmud states, "Cover your head so that the awe of heaven will be upon you." A shullcap is worn as a sign of respect in the synagogue (and sometimes by orthodox outside of the synagogue). A Kippah is also called a yarmulke (Yiddish), which may derive from the phrase, yireh Melech - "awe of the King."  Note that there is no Torah commandment to wear a kippah, and therefore there is no blessing prescribed when putting one on your head.


(keep-POOR) n. Atonement; Forgiveness. Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.

Kisei Hakavod

(kee-say hak-kah-VOHD) n. The Throne of God (the throne of glory).


(kee-SHOOF) n. Sorcery; witchcraft, soothsaying (all pagan/occult).  Sorcerers were outlawed in Israel and subject to the death penalty. Sorcerers gained their supposed power from the powers of tumah (impurity). However, no weapon or spell cast against a true child of Adonai can be harmed by this, since ein 'od milvado - there is no power other than that of the Living God, who is Almighty and blessed forever. 


(kees-lev) n. Kislev. 3rd month of the Hebrew civil calendar. See Hebrew calendar.


(keet-nee-YOHT) n. (קִטְנִיּוֹת‎‎) Literally "legumes," though during Passover, kitniyot refers to an (additional) category of foods that may not be eaten during the holiday by Jews who adhere to traditional Ashkenazi laws and customs. Instead of restricting the Passover diet to abstain from any form of chametz or leavened products, Ashkenazi tradition also abstains from rice, corn, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, peas, and lentils, since these foods may "expand" when water is added, and such expansion resembles the effect of leaven.  Note that Sephardic Jews do not adhere to the additional dietary restrictions, and both Conservative and Reform Judaism have recently made rulings that permit the consumption of kitniyot during Passover. Orthodox Jews in Europe and the United States still abstain from rice, buckwheat/kasha, soybeans, millet, beans, lentils, peas, sesame seeds and mustard during the eight days of Passover, however.


(kit-tel) n. A ceremonial white robe often worn on the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (in some traditions a bridegroom wears a kittel on his wedding day).  A kittel is used as a burial shroud, suggesting equality for all in death and the inevitability of coming judgment from God. The white color is based on the hope that"our sins shall be made as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18).

Kitvei Hakodesh

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

Kiyyor Nechoshet

(kiy-YOHR ne-CHOH-shet) n. Bronze basin, bronze laver, used as a wash basin in preparation for the Kohen's service at the mishkan (Tabernacle) and later at the Bet Hamikdash (Temple). The Kiyyor was located between the Mizbe'ach (altar of sacrifice) and the Ohel Moed (the Tent of the Tabernacle containing the Holy Place and Holy of Holies). Every priest had to wash his hands and feet before performing the day's Temple service.  The basin was a holy vessel. Any water or other liquid that was left overnight in a holy vessel was unfit for use the following day.

Klal Yisrael

(klal yees-rah-AYL) n. The Kahal or Kehillah of Israel, a phrase used to refer to the corporate Jewish community.


(DAH-'at) n. Knowledge; cp. binah and chochmah. Also refers to the 4th blessing of Shemoneh Esreh. Da'at is also sometimes transliterated as Daat. Da'at comes from yode'a, to know, and madu'a is the Hebrew interrogative for Why?

Avot 3:21

Without knowledge, there is no understanding;
Without understanding, there is no knowledge. (Avot 3:21)

Because there is no truth, nor mercy,
nor knowledge of God in the land (Hosea 4:1)

Kodesh HaKadoshim

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

Kof (Qof)

(kof) n . Qof. 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet having a "k" sound (as in king) or a "q" sound (as in queen). Originally represented by a pictograph of the sun on the horizon. Gematria = 100. Often transliterated using a "k" rather than a "q."

Kofer baTorah

(koh-fayr ba-TOH-rah). Heretic.  Denier of Torah.


(ko-HE-let) n. Ecclesiastes, one of the five scrolls (part of the Ketuvim). Solomon's study of the futility and meaninglessness inherent in natural reasoning "under the sun." Read during Sukkot (Tabernacles). Kohelet means "one who assembles."


(KO-hayn) n. Kohen. Cohen. Priest. A priest and his descendants, traditionally considered to be direct descendant from Aaron, but first used in the Tanakh in reference to Malki-Tzedek (מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק), the high priest of El Elyon (God Most High) and the King of Salem (Gen. 14:18).

Kohen Gadol

(ko-hayn gah-DOHL) n. High Priest. Kohen Gadol. The Kohen Gadol wore the "robe of the ephod," the "breastplate of judgment" (with the Urim and Thummim), and the "mitre," or upper turban, with a gold plate in front engraved with "Holiness to the Lord," fastened to it. To the high priest alone it was permitted to enter the Kodesh Hakodashim (Holy of Holies), which he did only once a year, on Yom Kippur.


(kolh) n. Voice; sound (esp. from vocal cords).


(koh-LEL) n. Kollel (כּוֹלֵל). Community. A "gathering" or "collection" of (usually Orthodox) Jewish scholars. A group devoted to the advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature that offers shiurim (lectures) and various classes for its members. Community kollels are thought to mitigate the influences of secular culture and to prevent assimilation.

Kol Demamah Dakkah

(kohl de-mah-mah dak-KAH) phr. "the sound of a whisper." A "still, small voice."  The sound of thin silence. The Voice of the LORD spoken to Eliyahu ha-Navi (Elijah). Adonai shows that He is more than just a natural force (as was Baal) by speaking kol demamah dakkah. 1 Kings 19:12

Kol HaKavod

(kohl hak-kah-VOHD) phr. "All the glory!" Used idiomatically to express praise or congratulations for an achievement. Congratulations! Mazal Tov!

Kol Nidrei

(kohl need-ray) n. Kol Nidrei, Kol Nidre, Disavowal of any oaths made under coercion; recited on eve of Yom Kippur. The prayer asks for release from all vows made henceforth as a historical protective device for Jews forced to make vows to other religions in order to save their lives.


(kohl-yah-khol) adj. Omnipotent. "Able to do all."

Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Lazeh

(kohl yees-rah-AYL 'a-rah-VEEM zeh la-ZEH) [sometimes ba-zeh instead of la-zeh] n. The dictum that "all Jews are responsible to each other." The idea of arevut, of being responsible for each other, leads to the concept of all Jews being like one person.  The song, Kol Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh, explains what arevut means to the Jewish people.

Kol Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh (3x)
Kol Yisrael achim
Am echad lev echad
Am echad shteym echad
Am echad ke-ish echad
Shmah Yisrael, am echad

All Jews are responsible for each other
All Jews are "brothers"
One people with one heart
One people, each pair is one
One people, as if they are one person
Hear Israel! One people


(kohr-BAHN) n. Sacrifice; Offering; Gift. (Matt 5:23). The Hebrew word comes from the root korav meaning to "come close," specifically, to come close to God. The offering was meant to bring someone who was far near once again. Korbanot is the plural.

There are five types of korbanot discussed in the Torah. Here are additional details regarding each type of sacrifice:

  1. Olah ("ascending offering"): This was a nedavah (freewill) sacrifice that was consumed entirely by the fire on the altar. The sacrificial victim must be an animal or a bird that is without defect. As the animal is slaughtered, the kohen catches its blood in a pan and sprinkles it (zerikat hadam) on the altar. The animal is then cut up, salted, and entirely burned. Normally, semichah (leaning of the hands on the head of the animal) and viduy (confession of sin) accompanies this sacrifice (though in the case of a bird olah, semichah is not performed). This parashah adds that Olah sacrifices must only be offered during daylight hours and must burn through the night. The kohanim, therefore, needed to be present at the mishkan around the clock, tending to the sacrifices and ensuring that the fire for the mizbeach (altar) would never go out.
  2. Minchah ("meal offering"): This was a nedavah (freewill) offering of flour (prepared with fine flour, olive oil and frankincense), usually brought by a person of modest means. Part of the meal offering is burned on the altar, and the remaining part is eaten by the kohanim (the word "mincha" means gift). Note that any flour offering must be baked quickly to prevent the dough from rising (i.e., unleavened bread). Like the animal sacrifices, minchah offerings must also be salted.

    The Kohen Gadol (High Priest) was required to offer minchah offerings. First, he was required to offer minchat chinuk, a special offering that was given in the morning and afternoon on the first day of his avodah (service) as High Priest. Second, he was required to offer daily minchah as long as he served as High Priest.
  3. Shelamim ("peace offering"): This was a nedavah (freewill) offering (eaten by the one bringing it) given as a way of expressing thanks to God on joyous occasions. Semichah is performed, though instead of viduy, praise to the LORD is offered. The offerer must "wave" the offering before the LORD (tenufah) and part of the meat given to the kohanim (priests).

    Shalmei Todah ("thank offerings") were to be given whenever a Jew had reason to recite Birkat HaGomel for deliverance from some danger. This offering included no less than 40 loaves of bread (10 with chametz, 30 without) that had to be consumed within 24 hours. The requirement for so much food was so that family and friends would come together and celebrate the goodness of the LORD for His acts of mercy and deliverance.
  4. Chatat ("sin offering"): This was a chovah (required) offering to make atonement for certain sins committed unintentionally by an individual (by the High Priest, the entire community, the king, or the ordinary Jew). Note that there is no explicit sacrifice for deliberate, intentional, and willful sins against the LORD, but instead punishment by an early death. Note that the blood for the sin offering was used in the mishkan, though the flesh and hide were to be burned outside the camp.
  5. Asham ("guilt offering"): This was a chovah (required) offering as part of the penitence required for certain improper acts (e.g., retaining another's property by swearing falsely). (In each case, the wrongdoer was required to restore the property plus an additional 20% to its rightful owner before he could offer this sacrifice and receive forgiveness.)  Note that the blood for the guilt offering was used in the mishkan, though the flesh and hide were to be burned outside the camp.

    The Chatat and Asham offerings were to be made at the same place (i.e., the north side of the mizbeach) as the Olah offering, suggesting that this was to spare any embarrassment for the Jew who came to confess sin (viduy) and be reconciled to God. If someone saw his friend offering korban, he would then not know if it were for Olah or for Chatat or Asham.

Korban Chai

(kor-bahn KHYE) n. "Living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1). The lifestyle of one who has taken up the Cross of Yeshua in consecration to the LORD.

Korban Pesach

(kor-bahn PAY-sakh) n. "Paschal Lamb." The "Passover sacrifice" that was to be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread (i.e., matzah) and maror (bitter herbs). The sacrificial lamb (seh) was to be a male, one year old, and without blemish (tamim). The maror is a reminder of the bitter slavery in Egypt. Anything left over from the meat is to be burnt in the morning. On the night of Nisan 14 the sacrifice was eaten (see John 6:53). The Passover meal was to be consumed "in haste" since the Israelites must be ready to begin their exodus the following day.

The blood of the lamb sprinkled on the doorposts (mezuzot) of the Israelites was to be a sign (ot) to the Angel of Death when passing through the land to slay the firstborn of the Egyptians that night, that he should pass by the houses of the Israelites.


(ka-SHER) adj. Kosher; Good; Approved; Ritually correct; Conforming to Jewish dietary laws.

Kotel Maaravi

(KOH-tel ma-'a-rah-VEE) n. West Wall; Kotel. "Wailing Wall"; Remnant of the western wall of the Temple in Jerusalem. Part of the wall enclosing Herod's Temple is still standing in the old section of Jerusalem. This part of the wall has been regarded as sacred ever since the Talmudic period and has served as a place of pilgrimage for Jews from all parts of the world.


(kohts) n. The serif or stroke on top of a Hebrew letter. This may refer to the "tittle" Yeshua spoke of in Matt. 5:8 and Luke 16:17.

Kotzo shel Yod

(koh-tsoh shel YOHD) n. phr. "The Qotz of a Yod." The tiniest thing; minutia; the serif mark atop a Yod, the smallest Hebrew letter. See Kotz, above.


(yah-sher KOH-akh) phr. "May your strength be firm," said when congratulating someone who has had the merit of performing a mitzvah or other worthy task. "May You Have Strength!" It (loosely) means, "good job!" and is sometimes abbreviated as "Shkoach." Sometimes the phrase is spelled Yishar Koach.


(koo-TEEM) n. pl. Samaritans; Peoples transplanted into Israel after the fall of the kingdom of Israel to Assyria in 722 BC. and who developed their own version of Judaism that the returning exiles found abhorrent.  Mount Gerizim is a key holy site for the Samaritans (see John 4:20-21). Also: a general term used to refer to those who oppose Jewish teachings.

The Samaritans, called shomroni: שׁוֹמְרוֹנִי (from the Hebrew term שַמֶרִים, "Keepers of the Torah") claimed to be direct descendants of the patriarch Joseph, or rather, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (the first tribes to be taken captive and put into exile). The Talmud refers to them as Kutim (כותים), an imported group brought in to become vassals by the hands of the Assyrians. The Samaritans developed their own version of Judaism that the returning exiles from Judah found abhorrent. It is likely that the Samaritans were the ones who opposed the rebuilding of the Temple during the time of Zerubbabel. Ezra the Scribe later adopted the "square script" of the Torah to distinguish it from the earlier script used by the Samaritans in their Torah. 

According to Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim (גְּרִזִים) was the original holy place of the Jews from the time that Joshua conquered Canaan. Mount Gerizim was the called the "Mount of the Blessing," as opposed to Mount Ebal (עֵיבָל), the "Mount of the Curse" (Deut. 11:29; 27:12; Josh. 8:33). The Samaritans also claimed that Gerizim was the location of the Akedah of Isaac (as opposed to Moriah). Archaeological excavations at Mount Gerizim indicate that a Samaritan temple was built there in the first half of the 5th century BC.

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