amphora (am-FOE-ruh): a large, two-handled storage jar having an oval body, usually tapering to a point at the base.

bamah (bah-MAH): a platform in a synagogue used to support an ark containing Torah scrolls or as a pulpit.

beth midrash (bate meed-RASH): house of study for adults; usually associated with a synagogue.

genizah (geh-NEE-zuh): a storage room for worn, discarded religious books and artifacts. It is forbidden to destroy these objects or throw them away, because they may contain the name of God.

mane (mah-NEH): an ancient unit of monetary weight.

mikveh (meek-VEH): pool for ritual immersion. Not meant for hygienic cleansing, but for purification according to Jewish law.

shofarot (show-fah-ROTE), (singular, shofar): animals’ horns blown as wind instruments. In Biblical times, the shofar was sounded in battle and to announce certain religious occasions. It is blown today in most synagogues during the month preceding Rosh Ha-Shanah (the New Year), on Rosh Ha-Shanah and on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

spatha (SPAH-ta): a type of Roman sword.

tabula ansata (TAH-boo-luh an-SAH-tuh): a rectangular frame—usually inscribed—with two triangles resembling ears attached to both sides. The Latin means “tablet with handles.”

tesserae (TES-uh-ree), (singular, tessera): the small pieces of stone, glass, marble or ceramic used to create mosaics.