Glossary beginning with G

G'rushah
Divorcee
Galut
Lit., exile. Since the destruction of the Temple, Jews have been in a state of galut, exiled from their land. This has been understood as a spiritual as well as physical state. Traditionally, Jews have longed for the coming of the messiah to end the long exile. Others feel that it has ended with the advent of the State of Israel, while still others see the State of Israel as a step on the way to redemption. In modern times, some Jews have viewed the creativity of the galut as a positive force and have argued for the creative tension of Israel and the galut.
Gemara
Often used synonymously with Talmud although in fact the Talmud contains both the Gemara and the Mishna. The Gemara is the compendium of rabbinic thought collected and redacted in Babylon between 200 and 500 CE. Study of the Gemara is defined as the essential activity of a learned Jew.
Gematria
The equation of Hebrew letters to numbers and the derivation of meaning from these equations. For instance, Jacob, in Genesis 28, dreams of a ladder on which angels ascend and descend from heaven to earth. A ladder, in Hebrew sulam, has the numerical value of 130 – samech 60, lamed 30, mem 40 – which is equivalent to Sinai – samech 60, yud 10, nun 50, yud 10. This means, according to gematria, that the ladder in Jacob’s dream was in fact Sinai or that this revelation was a precursor to God’s revelation to Moses at Sinai.
Gemilut Chasadim
Ger Tzedek
A person who converts to Judaism.
Geshem
Rain.
Get
A writ of divorce. Traditionally, only a man can grant his wife a get. Liberal Jews have attempted to create different rituals making divorce more egalitarian.
Giyor [masc.]/Giyoret [fem.]
Convert to Judaism.
Gomel
Gragger
Destruction. Graggers are sounded on Purim during the reading of the Megilla (scroll) every time the evil Haman's name is mentioned, thus fulfilling the commandment to wipe out his memory.