Words with Meaning….

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Hebrew Vocabulary List for Beginners in the Hebrew Roots Movement

Understanding key Hebrew terms is essential for those new to the Hebrew Roots movement. This vocabulary list provides foundational words and phrases commonly used in worship, family life, and festivals. Knowing these terms can deepen your connection to the faith and enhance your spiritual journey.

Common Words and Phrases

Shalom (שָׁלוֹם)Peace, hello, goodbyeA common greeting and farewell.
Yeshua (יֵשׁוּעַ)JesusRefers to Jesus in the Hebrew Roots movement.
Yehovah (יְהֹוָה)God, the LordThe name of God used in the Hebrew Roots movement.
Ruach HaKodesh (רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ)The Holy SpiritRefers to the Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Roots movement.
Torah (תּוֹרָה)Teaching, instruction, lawRefers to the first five books of the Bible.
Mitzvah (מִצְוָה)CommandmentRefers to commandments given in the Torah.
Shabbat (שַׁבָּת)Sabbath, SaturdayThe day of rest and worship from Friday evening to Saturday evening.
B’rit Hadashah (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה)New Covenant, New TestamentRefers to the New Testament.
Kippur (כִּפּוּר)AtonementUsed in contexts like Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Moedim (מוֹעֲדִים)Appointed times, festivalsRefers to the biblical festivals and holy days.
Shema (שְׁמַע)HearRefers to the Shema prayer, a central declaration of faith.

Family and Community

Mishpacha (מִשְׁפָּחָה)FamilyRefers to both biological family and faith community.
Ach (אָח) / Achot (אָחוֹת)Brother / SisterUsed to refer to fellow believers in a familial sense.
Chaver (חָבֵר) / Chaverah (חֲבֵרָה)FriendCommon term for a close friend or companion.

Worship and Practices

Tefillah (תְּפִלָּה)PrayerRefers to the act of praying.
Mezuzah (מְזוּזָה)DoorpostA small case containing scripture, affixed to the doorposts of a house.
Tallit (טַלִּית)Prayer shawlWorn during prayer services.
Tzitzit (צִיצִת)FringesThe fringes worn on the corners of garments as a reminder of the commandments.
Havdalah (הַבְדָּלָה)SeparationThe ceremony marking the end of Shabbat.

Spring Festivals

Pesach (פֶּסַח)PassoverThe festival commemorating the Exodus from Egypt.
Matzot (מַצּוֹת)Unleavened BreadA festival following Passover, lasting seven days, where no leaven is eaten.
Bikkurim (בִּכּוּרִים)First FruitsA celebration of the first fruits of the harvest, occurring during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Shavuot (שָׁבוּעוֹת)Weeks, PentecostThe festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Fall Festivals

Rosh Hashanah (רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה)Head of the Year, New YearThe Jewish New Year, also known as Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets).
Yom Kippur (יוֹם כִּפּוּר)Day of AtonementThe holiest day of the year dedicated to atonement and repentance.
Sukkot (סֻכּוֹת)Tabernacles, BoothsThe festival commemorating the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness.
Hanukkah (חֲנֻכָּה)DedicationThe festival of lights, commemorating the rededication of the Temple.

Expressions of Faith

Emunah (אֱמוּנָה)FaithRefers to faith or trust in God.
Teshuvah (תְּשׁוּבָה)RepentanceThe act of returning to God and seeking forgiveness.
Chesed (חֶסֶד)Loving-kindnessRefers to acts of kindness and mercy.
Tzedakah (צְדָקָה)Righteousness, charityRefers to charitable giving and acts of justice.


This vocabulary list is designed to help those new to the Hebrew Roots movement familiarize themselves with essential Hebrew terms. From common phrases and family terms to worship practices and festivals, these words form the foundation of understanding and participating in the faith. By learning these terms, you can deepen your connection to the Hebrew Roots movement and enhance your spiritual journey.

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