One of the unadvertised perks of Pardes is that after studying holy texts in their original in the Beit Midrash for a whole year, no matter how advanced your Hebrew level, you come away with a black-belt in using dictionaries. Yet I have noticed that for all the dictionaries we have for Jewish religious language, there is, incongruously, not a dictionary of “Pardesian,” that unique jargon you learn upon entering the Orchard. Until now. As a gift to any incoming students who may be reading this and as a memento to those who are leaving, I present this necessarily abridged first edition of The Practical Dictionary of the Pardes Lexicon, heretofore to be known as “The Kwait.” You’re welcome.
Avoda Zara – Idol worship, literally “foreign service.” This is an all-encompassing term used to describe worship of foreign deities and/or the self, and commonly used around the Pardes Beit Midrash to describe any “Jewish” subject that does not involve learning Gemara and/or Halakha. There is a Makhloket about the Tanakh.