Glossary

Aliya/Aliyot – (1) The weekly Torah portion (see Parashah below) is divided into sections called aliyot (singular: aliya). (2) The honor of reciting the blessing before and after a person reads from the Torah scroll. The word aliya literally means to ascend.

Haftarah – A passage from the prophets that is read at Shabbat and festival morning services, following the Torah reading.

Havdalah – The ceremony recited at the end of Shabbat and holidays. Its blessings emphasize the difference between the sacred and the ordinary. The word Havdalah literally means separation.

Honors – Various parts of the Jewish service which can be performed by family and friends of the Bat or Bar Mitzvah child, such as opening and closing the ark, lifting and dressing the Torah, and more.

Minha – The afternoon prayer service in a synagogue. On Shabbat, the minha service includes reading 3 aliyot from the Torah. Depending on timing, the minha service can conclude with havdalah.

Minyan – (1) A quorum of 10 Jewish adults necessary for certain services and religious ceremonies. (2) The weekday morning service in which Torah is read on Mondays and Thursdays.

Parashah – The passage from the Torah that is chanted each week.

Rosh Hodesh – The first day of a new Hebrew month. This is noted with special Torah reading at the morning service.

Trope – The symbols above and below the Hebrew letters that indicate the tune for the ritual chanting of readings from the Torah and prophets. Trope symbols are not written in the Torah scroll.