Glossary of Christian & Religious Terms
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Anniversary according to the Jewish calendar of the death of an immediate family member commemorated by the lighting of yahrzeit candle for 24 hours and the saying of the kaddish (Judaism).


Hebrew, "I AM" (Exodus 3:14), the ineffable (unspeakable) name of God, comprised of the four Hebrew characters Yod, Heh, Waw, and Heh, which has come to be known among Bible scholars as the Tetragrammaton (four letters) with vowels added for better pronunciation. Variations include YHWH, YHVH, IHVH, JHVH, YAHVEH, YAHUAH, IAHUAH, YEHOWAH, and JEHOVAH. Any of these are arguable since Y, W, and V are not Hebrew consonants. Hebrew is a different dialect than English and difficult to translate, so the Hebrew characters are often transliterated as sounds similar to English characters. Most modern English Bibles have adopted the lower caps version of Lord (LORD) to represent the formal name of YHWH. It was believed that the Jews held the name of YHWH in such high regard that they didn't even say this name, which stems from the third Commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exodus 20:7). Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest pronounced the shem ha-meforash, or ineffable name. Yahwism is a term for worship of Yahweh. Yahwist is an unidentified writer or writers of certain Old Testament passages in which Yahweh is used for the name of God, instead of Elohim.

Yarmulke (Yamulka)

A skullcap worn by Jewish males.


Old English for "you" -- archaic term originally used only as a nominative plural, later as a nominative singular.


Old English for "yes" -- archaic term meaning moreover (not only that, but more); indeed, truly, or verily.


Hebrew, "a sitting" -- seminary for the training of Orthodox rabbis; school or college for Talmudic studies; Jewish school combining religious and secular studies.


Jewish-German -- language derived from medieval High German, spoken by East European Jews and their descendants in other countries, written in the Hebrew alphabet and borrowing vocabulary primarily from from Hebrew, Russian, Polish, and English.


Young Men's Christian Association, founded in London in 1844 by George Williams as an organization for providing recreational activities for young men working in poor labor conditions in England. The first American YMCA was founded in Boston in 1851 by Baptist sea captain T. V. Sullivan. The World Alliance for YMCA's is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.


Hinduism: a mystic and ascetic discipline by which one seeks to achieve liberation of the self and union with the supreme spirit or universal soul through intense concentration, deep meditation, and practices involving prescribed postures and controlled breathing. A yogi is one who practices yoga.

Yom Kippur

Day of Atonement, Jewish day of fast and rest observed on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar (Tishri), from Leviticus 16:29-34 and 23:26-32. "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites" (Leviticus 16:34).


Christmas time, from the Old English word yule, the name of a heathen festival at the winter solstice celebrated by the Teutonic tribes of northern Europe (Scandanavians, Germans, and Celts) and integrated into the annual feast of Christmas when they were converted to Christianity in the 10th and 11th centuries, one of the activities of which was to burn a yule log. (Santa's elves also evolved from Scandanavian paganism.)


Young Women's Christian Association, organized in London in 1855 and in New York City in 1858 (under the name of Ladies' Christian Association) as an evangelical Protestant movement to provide spiritual development, as well as recreational and educational opportunities, for women adversely affected by the industrial revolution. The World YWCA was formed in 1894.

        I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying tp pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galations 1:6-9)

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  Reference Sources: Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition, published by Prentice Hall Press, ©1986 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Collier's Encyclopedia, ©1968 Crowell-Collier Educational Corporation; Larson's New Book of Cults, ©1982 and 1989 by Bob Larson, printed by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Jewish Virtual Library (