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cancellation of loans -- Torah law that all outstanding loans should become void in the Shmita year, the last of each 7-year cycle

candle lighting -- candles lit before the start of Shabbat and festivals

Chabad -- the Lubavitch chassidic sect, acronym for: chochmah (“wisdom”), binah (“understanding”), da'at (“knowledge”)

chacham -- Torah sage

chachamim -- Torah sages

chadash -- lit.: new; refers to grain that has not yet passed the 16th of Nissan and is thus prohibited for consumption; after the 16th of Nissan, grains are called “yashan” (lit: old) and are permitted

Chafetz Chaim -- the classic book of laws of proper speech, authored by Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen (Poland 1838-1933)

Chag -- holiday

chag sameach -- greeting of “happy holiday”

challah -- refers to the braided loaves used on Shabbat; also refers to the part of a dough that is removed and given to a Kohen; today it is burned

chametz -- leavened grain products which are forbidden for use on Passover

chametz sale -- the legal sale of all leavened foods (via a rabbi) to a non-Jew prior to Passover, to avoid the prohibitions of owning such foods during this festival; customarily, the non-Jew resells these items back to their owners after Passover

Chanukah -- eight-day festival, marking the miracles during the second Holy Temple: the Maccabees overpowering the Greeks, and finding one day’s worth of pure oil which then burned for eight days

Chanukah candles -- lit all eight nights of Chanukah, starting with one on the first night and adding one each subsequent night

charedi -- lit.: trembling; refers to orthodox Jews who are more strict in their observance

chassid -- lit.: pious person; refers to someone who follows the customs and teachings of a particular chassidic rebbe

chassidic -- Jewish stream that emphasizes prayer and connection to God

Chatam Sofer (Chasam) -- classic book of rabbinic responsa, authored by Rabbi Moshe Sofer (1762-1839)

chatan (choson) -- groom

chatuna (chasuna) -- a wedding

chaviv -- lit.: preferred; a specifically desired food

chayav -- one who is obligated

Chayei Adam -- classic book of Jewish law, authored by Rabbi Avraham Danzig (1748-1820)

Chazal -- abbreviation for Chacham’einu zichronam li’vracha – our sages, may their memory be for a blessing; common way to refer to the sages of the Talmudic era

chazan -- cantor

chazarah -- 'returning' food to a heat source

Chazon Ish -- Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz (Lithuania and Bnei Brak, 1878-1953), author of classic books of Torah commentary and law

cheder -- lit.: room; a Torah-based elementary school for boys

cherem -- excommunication

chesed -- acts of kindness

chesed shel emet (emes) -- “true kindness” – i.e. that which carries no expectation of payback

cheshbon ha'nefesh -- lit.: accounting of the soul; self-examination of one's actions, to determine the spiritual profit and loss; also the title of a book published in the Ukraine in 1812

Cheshvan -- month in the Jewish (lunar) calendar, coinciding with October and November; sometimes called Mar (bitter) Chesvan, because no holidays occur during this month

chet -- transgression of Jewish law

chevra -- friends, society

Chevra Kadisha -- lit.: holy society; the group that prepares a body for burial

Chida -- Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai (Israel, 1724-1807), a great Sefardic sage who wrote some 70 works of Jewish commentary and law

chillul Hashem -- desecration of God's Name, by acting contrary to the Torah in public; regarded as one of the most severe transgressions, as it reduces respect for God in the world

chiyuv -- obligation

chochmah -- wisdom

chok (pl.: chukim) -- Torah law that has no discernible rationale (e.g. the red heifer)

Chol HaMoed -- the intermediate days of the festivals of Pesach and Sukkot, where work activities are curtailed

cholent -- a stew of potatoes, meat and beans, that sits on the fire all night and is traditionally eaten for Shabbat lunch

choresh -- plowing

Choshen Mishpat -- section of Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) dealing with laws of finance, damages, and courts

Chovot HaLevavot (Chovos HaLevavos) -- “Duties of the Heart”; classic book of Jewish philosophy, authored by Rabbi Bachya ibn Pakuda (11th century Spain)

chukim (sing.: chok) -- Torah laws that have no discernible rationale (e.g. the red heifer)

Chumash (sing.) -- Five Books of Moses

Chumashim (pl.) -- Five Books of Moses

chumra -- stringency in Jewish law

chuppah -- marriage canopy

churban -- destruction; usually in reference to the destruction of the Holy Temple

Chutz La'Aretz -- lit.: outside the Land (of Israel); the diaspora

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