Kabbalah and Chassidut
and other Hebrew terms
found on this web-site
- Ba'al Shem
("Master of the Name"):
is a term used to refer to a spiritual healer, especially in Eastern
Europe before and during the period of the Ba'al
Shem Tov; implies that he healed through the power of the Divine
Name of God.
Shem Tov ("Master of the Good Name [of God]"):
- Ba'al Shem Tov was the
title given to Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer (1698-1760), the founder
of Chassidic movement.
- God's "good Name"
refers in particular to the Name Akvah
whose numerical value is equal to 17, tov ("good").
This Name is associated in Kabbalah with the Divine power to "unite
heaven and earth" (for it first appears in the opening verse of
Creation as the initial letters of et hashamayim v'et ha'aretz--
"the heavens and the earth"), the power to connect the
spiritual realm to its physical counterpart and thereby heal all
- In Divine service, this
corresponds to the fundamental ideal of Chassidism, the ability
to simultaneously "exist" on two planes of reality--the
spiritual and the physical.
- Ba'al Teshuvah
- One who returns to the ways of
Judaism and adherence to Jewish law after a period of estrangement.
Often used in contrast to a tzadik,
who has not undergone such a period. The ba'al teshuvah strives
continually to ascend, return and become subsumed within God's essence;
the tzadik strives primarily to serve God by doing good deeds and
thus drawing His light into the world. Ideally these two paths are meant
to be interincluded, i.e. that every Jew should embody both the service
of the ba'al teshuvah and that of the tzadik, as well. See
("external [material]"; pl. baraitot):
- A Baraita is a Tannaitic
tradition or teaching not included in the Mishnah;
just as there are 60 tractates of Mishnah, there are according to
tradition 80 tractates of Baraita. This is alluded to in the
verse from Song of Songs (6:8): "60 are the queens and 80 the
concubines." See Talmud.
"one [who is obligated to perform the] commandment"; fem. bat-mitzvah):
- The status of coming under full
obligation to perform all mitzvot.
A Jewish man attains this status at the age of thirteen, a woman at the
age of twelve.
- 1. as an adjective, refers to
anything clearly occurring as a result of Divine providence.
- 2. as a noun, one's predestined
- Feminine of Bar-Mitzvah.
- Beauty (tiferet):
- "Beauty" is the sixth
of the ten sefirot, and the
third of the emotive attributes within Creation.
explanation see: The Divine Emanations -- Tiferet.
- Behemot is the name of an
archetypal beast destined to wage battle against the Leviathan,
only to be consumed by the righteous at the end of days; an animal of
"dry land" (a symbol for the revealed realm), it symbolizes
the category of righteous souls who are revealed as such in this world
(and whose essential "occupation" in Torah
is in its revealed aspect--the halachah--revealed
("Intermediate one"; pl. beinonim):
- A Beinoni is someone
who still possesses an evil urge but controls it and does not sin. There
are many levels of beinonim, from the one who is in a continuous
conscious state of battle in order to overcome his evil inclination, to
the one so engrossed in his Divine service of Torah
and mitzvot that he is
virtually unaware of the evil inclination dormant in him. Also see tzadik,
- Beit is the 2nd letter
of the Hebrew alphabet.
- For further explanation see Alef-Beit
- Also see: The
Mystical Significance of the Hebrew Letters (including an image and
audio pronunciation of each letter).
(Olam Ha'Beriah--"The World of Creation"):
- Beriah is the second of
the four worlds of Creation.
- For further explanation see: The
World of Beriah.
- The third, final stage in the
development of the world of Atzilut.
Synonymous with the world of Tikun.
- For further explanation see: Olam
- Biah ("coming"):
- An idiom for marital relations.
- Bible: see Tanach.
- Binah ("Understanding"):
- Binah is the third of the
ten sefirot, and the second
conscious power of intellect in Creation.
For further explanation see: The Divine Emanations--Binah
Kohanim [also spelled Cohanim] ("The Priestly
- Birkat Kohanim consists
of the three verses of blessings (for which reason it is called the berachah
meshuleshet--"triple blessing"), found in Numbers 6:24-26,
which were recited by the kohanim during the Temple service
(where God's ineffable Name was enunciated), and later were incorporated
into the daily prayers.
- In relation to the account of
Creation, and the Ten Commandments given at Sinai, which are seen to
correspond to the two general principles of hishtalshelut (the
"evolutionary" creative process) and hitlabshut (the
actual "enclothement" and manifestation of Divine lifeforce
within mundane reality), Birkat Kohanim represents the third
principle of hashra'ah (the very essence of Divinity
"inspiring" and blessing all of reality).
- The text of Birkat Kohanim
is often regarded as the "pearl" of the Written Torah,
due to the beauty of the dual-progression inherent in its structure: its
three verses are composed of 3, 5 and 7 words respectively, containing
15, 20 and 25 letters respectively. (The progression of words begins
with 3, the number of blessings; the progression of letters begins with
15, the number of words.).
("separation," "choosing," or
- A birur is a type of tikun
in which one must work to separate good from evil in any given entity,
and then reject the evil and accept the good. This may be done actively
or in one's consciousness. Birur usally refers to the spiritual process
of clarifying and redeeming the "fallen sparks" of Divine
light which are "dormant" throughout nature.
- As a physical act, relevant to
the laws of Shabbat, there are
two forms of birur, extracting the food from the waste, or
removing the waste from the food. Also see yichud.
- 1. the feeling of confidence in
one's God-given power to take initiative and succeed in one's mission in
life. See emunah.
- 2. ("trust"): the
feeling that God will orchestrate events in accord with the greatest
revealed good. This passive bitachon is associated with the sefirah
- 3. Bitachon is the
spiritual state associated with the sefirah of netzach.
For further explanation see: The Powers of the Soul--Bitachon.
- Bitul ("self-nullification,"
"selflessness," or annihilation):
- 1. Any number of states of
selflessness or self-abnegation.<