l'chaim -- lit.: to life; often said when giving a toast over alcohol

l'chatchilah -- lit.: from the beginning; what the halacha prescribes in the ideal situation, before you've acted (contrast to bidieved)

l'sheim Shamayim -- lit.: for the sake of Heaven; undertaking to perform a good deed without any ulterior motives, others than to do the will of God; sometimes shortened to: lishma

Lag B'Omer -- the 33rd day of the Omer, marking the yahrtzeit (death) of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

lashon hara -- lit.: evil tongue; prohibited gossip, whether true or false

Lecha Dodi -- famous song/poem written by Rabbi Solomon HaLevi Alkabetz (16th century); part of the Shabbat evening service

levatala -- in vain

levaya -- funeral

Levite -- descendant of Levi, the third son of Jacob

Leviticus -- third of the Five Books of Moses

Levush -- Rabbi Mordechai Yaffeh (Prague, Poland 1535-1612), prolific writer on Jewish philosophy and law, who also headed the famous “Council of the Three Lands”

leyn -- to read from the Torah (Yiddish)

losh -- lit.: “kneading”; the forbidden Shabbat activity of mixing two substances to produce something thick and consistent

lulav -- a date palm branch; used on Sukkot as part of the Four Species

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