Hatikvah For Secular Jews

These are part of the Web Site: ‘
Ha Tikvah For Secular Jews.
Six pages of notes: Words, Religious terms,
Greetings, Tanakh, Organisations & some Facts.

[For good general info –

Useful notes:

  • Like other languages Hebrew usually has a syllable, which is called 'the root' - the main idea. Then other letters are added to qualify it more clearly, mostly at the end. [This is called 'declensions']. These make the word to indicate singular or plural, past, present or future, or male or female.

  • So; many words in Hebrew, ending with ‘im’ usually indicate a (masculine) plural, '-ot' or -'oth' may be feminine. An example is the word for God, 'Elohim' [plural], which is not God's Name, but indicates a Divine being -like the word 'Mankind' - indicates all human beings. 'El-ohaynu', means 'our God'.

  • When Hebrew words are spoken, the emphasis is usually on the last syllable, e.g. 'Shalom'.

  • When Hebrew words are translated into English they often have different spellings, either of which are acceptable. E.G Sukkot/ Succot (= the ‘Feast of Tabernacle’ celebration.] When words vary when they are written in English, sometimes it depends on whether they come from Hebrew or Yiddish, (the European form of the Hebrew spoken there for many centuries). Sometimes it is just the way some people prefer, or are used to. 'Immanuel' or 'Emanuel' is an example.

  • When a name or word in Hebrew has a ‘v’ in it, it usually becomes a ’b’ in English. A letter 'Y' is 'J'. So ‘Yacov’ in Hebrew would be ‘Jacob’ in English. ‘Avraham’ becomes ‘Abraham’, etc. Words with 'a' as a vowel, may also be spelt with an 'e'. Malik/ Melech, (King.) Or 2 'a' s - Ya'akov

  • The smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet is a 'Yod' or 'Yud' and looks like a ‘comma’ […’ ] It can be a Y or a J or an I in English, as seen in names like Israel, Isaac, Joel, Ishmael, even Jerusalem & the Hebrew name for ‘Jesus’ is ‘Yeshua’ like Joshua. Jonah is Yonah, Y'hudi is Jew.

  • Tov’ means ‘good’ - & is added to the name of a celebration day, sometimes.

  • 'Ha' often means 'the', Ha Tikvah = The Hope. Ha Shem = 'The Name' is used to refer to God.

  • The word 'Chai' (pronounced like 'Kai') means 'Life' and is used in a 'Toast' or greeting. It is the joining of 2 of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the 8th letter -‘het’ and ‘yod’ the 10th letter, together making the number 18, so to underline the meaning as a greeting, gifts of $18 or 18NIS make a meaningful gift, say for a bridal couple, or other personal greeting. "May your life be good!"

  • *There are two 'streams' of Jewish 'people groups', (sadly a bit critical of each other). One is 'Sephardic' meaning Jews mainly from non-Western nations. Westerners - say from USA and other English speaking nations are called 'Ashkenazic'. But one day when real LOVE comes this too will change!

Assortment of Hebrew words often used.
[Sorry not in strict alphabetical order – so just keep browsing.]

Aliya – lit. meaning ‘To go up’,
now used to mean ‘return by Jews to Israel’ to live, (permanently). [Note. Like many nations, immigration to Israel is not possible for everyone. ‘Making ‘aliya’ is reserved for those who can reasonably prove they are of Jewish descent. Non-Jews are welcome as tourists for 3 mths at a time. There are some possibilities of working as volunteers, though you need to be self-supporting as well as paying return fares, without which you cannot enter Israel.]

Ahava –
love or like.

Ballagan – a very useful word for a ‘proper shambles’ – mix-up, confused situation.

Baruch – ‘blessed’ – “Baruch ha ba B’Shem ADONAI’ – [Blessed is he who comes in the Name of ADONAI’.] Or ‘Baruch ata ADONAI Elohaynu, Melech ha Olam…’ [Blessed art Thou O LORD our God, King of the universe…’ The blessing used often at a mealtime, and on all sacred occasions.

Beit – (Sometimes spelt ‘Beth’) means ‘House’ or even ‘Place’. E.G. Bethlehem = ‘Beit-lechem’ = House of Bread. ‘Beit Asaph’ = House of the Musician i.e. Asaph who wrote many Psalms - from 73 –83 in fact.

Chutzpah – is a useful word for having the ‘cheek’ or ‘the nerve’ to say or do something, in a friendly way – ‘for fun’ perhaps.

Diaspora –
is the name for the collective dispersion of Jewish people all over the world, since 66- 135CE when Jewish people were persecuted & killed & sold into slavery by the Romans. [Foretold by Zechariah in 13: 8 & 9 - not to happen again!] All Jews, even now who do not live in Israel are part of the 'Diaspora'.

Davvening –

Drash – a study or religious statement, sermon, teaching, Bible study, even.

BCE – means 'Before the Common Era' to Jews, whereas BC means 'Before Christ' generally. CE - means the 'Common Era' to Jews, but means the same as AD - 'Anno Domini', the year of our LORD in Latin.

Emet –
honesty or truth

El – is the root of many forms of the word 'God' - Elohim, as in Isra'el, Elohaynu (our God); etc.

Tikva –Hope’, Hatikvah – ‘The Hope’. Is the name of Israel’s National Anthem. [It is also part of the name of this web site, Hatikvah For Secular Jews’,

Knesset – the Israeli Parliament – the people or the building – in Jerusalem

Mensch – A good reliable person, really human, energetic, compassionate & moral

NIS – New Israeli Shekel = the basic currency of Israel. It has been linked to the US dollar.

Nudnik’ – Gullible, even rude or ignorant person. [Sometimes used to tease a friend.] Some use it to describe a nuisance, who bothers other people a lot.

Olam ‘the world’ – or the universe. As in the prayer, “Baruch ata ADONAI, Elohaynu, Melech ha Olam…” [“Blessed art Thou O LORD, our God, King of the Universe…”]

Olam ha ba – The world to come, (after this one.)

Acharit hyamim – the End of days.

Simcha – Joy, rejoicing.

Shuk – a market – market place – usually for buying food items.

Shali'ach – A Jewish representative of Israel/ or the U/O branches of Judaism in other countries.

Sameach Happy – [Used as a greeting.]

Shul – a Synagogue – meeting place.

Shabbat –
Saturday (more correctly is reckoned from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.) However other sacred days are called ‘a Shabbat’ – even if on another day than the 7th day of the week. 'Shabbos' means the 7th (sacred) day also. Each are used by different Jewish 'groups' of Jews. *

Tikkun Olam’ – ‘Repair/ or fix – the world – a goal for Jews, based on the ideas from the Tanakh…

Relationship Words.

Am Isra’el – People of Israel.

Ima & Abba Mother & father.

Saba & Svata/ Souta
Grandfather & grandmother.

Yeladim -

Followers / disciples /students.

Sabra –
Jew actually born in Israel, 69% now.

Religious Judaistic terms & names.

Halakha –
Jewish Orthodox laws & practices.

Haredim –
The Orthodox people as a group.

Cantor –
song leader in the synagogue services. Also Chazzan.

Challah –
Yeast raised bread for special occasions.

Kevod –
glory or ‘Shekinah – of ADONAI. But sometimes the outshining of a person’s real personality. "Kol ha kavod" is used like the word 'congratulations' for an accomplishment.

Kiddush Cup –
Part of family based ceremony of lighting candles, Sipping grape juice & prayer, on the eve of Shabbat. [Hb, 'Erev Shabbat'.]

Kehillah –
Jewish congregation/ gathering of people. ‘Fellowship Group’. [Name of a good web-site.]

Mishkan –
Tabernacle or Temple.

Matzah –
Flat no yeast bread eaten at Pasach (Passover)

Mitzvah –
[singular] – Mizvot [plural] – Command of God/ Doing a good deed as an act of obedience.

Sorreg –
the dividing wall –to separate groups of people in the Temple areas.

Yom –
day or festival occasion – ‘ Yom Sameach’ – have a happy day.

Yom Kippur –
Day of Atonement

Yom Ha Atzmaut –
Independence Day = State of Israel's modern 'birthday' [14th May 1948/ 5748.]

Kippa –
Small round ‘skull-cap’ worn by religious Jewish men; (& others on some occasions.)

Cohen –
a priest (in ancient times), Pl. – Cohanim – priests.
[It is possible that when a person has Cohen, Levi, etc, as their surname (or derivatives of these, such as Cowen, Levine, etc.,) it could indicate that their ancestors were of the priestly tribe of Aaron, called ‘Levi’. ONLY members of this tribe were allowed into the courts of the Temple, (when there was one) or rarely actually inside the actual Temple building. The High Priest was only allowed into the inside room (the Holy of Holies) by himself with blood from a killed sacrificial goat – only once a year on “Yom Kippur” – the ‘Day of Atonement’. Some Jewish Orthodox Rabbi’s kill a chicken on this day in modern times.]

Kaperot – Means a covering over sin, by a sacrifice - atonement act, (now by repentance only) during Yom Kippur. [Without a Temple building, the whole sacrificial system cannot exist.]

B’rit-millah –
Circumcision of baby boys on the 8th day. [Modern science has proved that the Vitamin K level in the blood is at it’s highest, for helping the blood to clot – on this day, only.]

Bar- mitzvah – The ceremony for a boy entering manhood at age 13, with Scripture readings, & celebrations. [Bat-mitzvah – is now more common for girls.]

Ehad –
One – but a couple or a closely linked group can be called ‘ehad’. It is the last word of the Jewish ‘creed’ – “ADONAI, Elohaynu, ADONAI, Ehad”. “The LORD, Our God, The LORD, is ONE.”

Pnai'El or Peni-el – ‘Face of God’ (Note it is in the plural form.) Used by Yacov, Genesis 32; 30.

Four core Jewish values:
1.  Kavod – Respect, integrity & being inclusive of others.
2.  Kavanah – Giving with intent to help/ bless others.
3.  Gemilat –(hassidim) – pursuing actions & commitments beyond the financial.
4.  Dor L’dor – passing on values, strengthening future generations, importance of elders & youth.

Greetings used.

Boka Tov/ Boker Tov –
Good Day!

Shalom – Peace
but often - ‘Hello / Hiya’ in modern use answering the phone or on the street, etc. – (Based on the meaning of ‘total well being to you’ – if we have true ‘well-being’ we will be at peace with ourselves and others.) It's actually in the name of 'Jerusalem', whose peace we should pray for.

Shabbat Shalom –
Greeting for Shabbat (Saturday) – or formerly other sacred set-apart days.

B’rakhah –
‘A blessing’ a person pronounces on another person.

Shana Tova –
Blessings for the celebration of ‘Rosh Hashanah’. Feast of Trumpets.

You can read about the Tanakh

Tanakh – All the 36 books of the Unique Holy Book, also called 'The Old Testament'.
[See also

Torah – Pentateuch, the first 5 foundational books - to the rest of the Tanakh.

Nevi’im – Prophetical books - 2nd section of books in the Tanakh.

Ketuvim – Writings – or Historical books - 3rd section of books.

Canon – means reed or cane (for measuring) - used for describing the total collection of separate books in the Tanakh, * that were judged to be and have proved to be the true Word of God. Torah was translated to Greek –285 BCE – Prophets – 200 BCE – Writings – 100 BCE.

Septuagint – The Greek version of the Tanakh. [It included Targums*, Peshitta plus others.]

Masoretic Text – revised version of the Tanakh in the 6th century CE/ AD to add vowel points and 'cantillation' marks, that previously were automatically known by the readers who spoke ancient Hebrew. Now this valuable, accurate text is used to refine modern translations of the Tanakh.

'Dead Sea Scrolls' – This is the name given to the collection of ancient Biblical writings on scrolls, (carefully wrapped in calico, and then placed in purpose-made clay containers with a lid sealed in place,) which had been placed in caves in the rocky cliffs of the Judean Desert. God ensured their preservation from about 200 years BCE, until 1948 CE/AD when they were finally found! Only the very dry air over the more than 2000 years and their 'hidden location' ensured their survival unto the time when modern scholars could examine them. The wonder of this is, that it was found out that the later written scrolls from around the Temple era were virtually the same in every way, proving that all copies used in worship or used in translations were as accurately correct as each other!

Gemmarah – A commentary part of the Talmud, of which there are several volumes.

*Targum – Aramaic Translation of the Tanakh

Tzeddaka – righteousness, often linked to Teshuva – repentance, (both are required by GOD). Council of Yavneh (or ‘Jamnia’ from Wikipedia) under Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai set up the school of Jewish Law (post 70CE) & was responsible for defining the canon of the Hebrew Tanakh. * He rejected the Septuagint – also Apocryphal books – also the idea of a Minion/ Minyon

Minyon/ Minion – A basic number of 10 men, (family heads) required for a Religious service.

A large list can be found at:

I.D.F. [Israeli Defence Force] meaning all the branches of army, navy & air force, with various specialised units. All young people, male & female are required by law to enter training in one branch when they turn 18 years old. Exceptions can be made for those studying religion or for medical or psychological reasons. After the 3 yrs for men & 2 for women they can be on call in case of emergency, up to 45 years for men.

Israel’s secret service organisation, greatly respected around the world & very effective.

to promote interests of mental health in Israel. One of many good Charities.

Shurat ha Din –
Israeli Law Centre.

Taglit/ Birthright –
System of bringing teenage Jews to Israel for a fact-finding trip, for 10 days.


Population 2008 – 7,282,000 total.  5.499,000 – Jewish, [69% sabras], 1. 5 miln Arabs, 322,000 others.
   Density – Tel Aviv – 7,000 per squ. Klm. South (Ngev) – 72, Average = 310

Total soldiers deaths since 1860 = 22,437.

Based on the world population of 6+bln, Jews are less than 1/4 of 1%
    USA has 5.2 miln, UK, 350,000 Jews.

Population at 1948 [1st war] –873,000 – inhabitants, [75% Jewish]
       6,000 Jews died in ’48 war if Independence = 1% of population 60,000

Victims of terror – 1920’s – 164, 1930’s –181, 1940’s – 756, 1950’s – 347
Total to May 2008, since 1948 = 1,635.

The Palestinian area is 1/6th size of former Palestine.
               Jordan is 77% of previous area, [allocated by Britain 1922]

Number of Abortions in Israel since counting began in 1979 (only 1/2 of the 60 years) is 500,000.
[It is not impossible that the number of Jewish lives of aborted babies of Jewish women in the entire world in the last 60 years, could be several million, which to some & to God is as tragic as deaths in the 'Holocaust'.]

Poll of religious affiliation of Jews in Israel - 22% Religious, 74%, Non-religious or non-religious-cultural, (Secular).  The remainder, 4- 6%, includes mainly Christian/ Messianic Jewish Believers, whose numbers have increased since the 1980's.

There are 1.5 million Arabs in Israel and they have their own political parties.

Israel is the 100th smallest country  [out of approximately 290] in the world, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population but has contributed to a vast number of inventions, and medical lifesaving concepts and much more.

Our over-all summary of the contribution of Jewish people to the world

The Holy Bible
including the Hebrew Tanakh is the most special, accurate, verified, history of the Hebrew people and most spiritual historical Book in the whole world. Its heritage is immeasurable!

Most of all;
The Jewish people have contributed for 2000 years throughout the entire world, to the single most Life-changing, Life-giving Concepts, of one Jewish Personality ~ 'Yeshua of Nazareth'. His life and teachings are prophetically in the Tanakh and historically and factually given in the Brit Chadashah. Millions of Bible-reading Believers, for 2000 years have felt they owe a great debt of gratitude to the Jewish race, for the knowledge and understanding of Him as God's direct Messenger to mankind. All of His teaching and principles are in the Tanakh.

In that Name
of Yeshua Meshiach, (Jesus Christ), millions of great deeds of hospitality, good education, health care, and great humanitarian deeds have been done all round the world, even when the human costs meant that messengers died young, or buried their own family members.

The true Faith of pure Christianity has its roots
in the Jewish Faith in the Tanakh.

NOTE: The Greek word 'Christos' and the Hebrew word
'Meshiach' and English- 'Messiah' ALL mean "an anointed One"
 as in Tehellim/ Psalm 2; 2, "ADONAI... and His Anointed One".

The Tanakh has also been translated
into several thousand of the world's languages at great cost, mainly by non-Jewish Bible Believers, and still is being painstakingly translated into 1,500 more languages. Only 2,212 language groups have Scriptures out of the 6,700 known spoken languages! If you can read the Tanakh in your own language you are very blessed! But do you read it?

The world's most precious possession for ALL mankind.
However, as Winston Churchill wrote: "we owe to the Jews a 'System of Ethics' which, even if it were separated from the Supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in fact, the fruits of all wisdom and learning put together."

The sponsors of this web site totally agree.

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