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  • Aramaic

    Judeo-Aramaic, a northern Semitic language related to Hebrew.

  • bat mitzvah

    in gender egalitarian communities, the ceremony of a 13- (or 12-) year-old girl's first calling up to the Torah, symbolizing her adulthood in Jewish life. can also refer to the girl herself. In Orthodox communities, refers to celebration of girl turning 12. "Celebration of a Jewish girl's coming of age; a girl who has reached that age." (Glinert)

  • chad gadya

    The name of a song sung at the end of the Passover seder.

  • chevra kedisha

    burial society - volunteers who sit with the dead and prepare their bodies for burial

  • davka

    even; despite expectations to the contrary -- often with a slightly amused or ironic feeling of "wouldn't you know it?" or "of all things" ("of all people" ... etc.)

  • duchen

    A ritual where the kohanim recite the Priestly Blessing (Num. 6:24-26), blessing the rest of the congregation.

  • gemara

    "A compilation of 300 years of rabbis' legal and ethical commentaries on the Mishnah...together, the Gemara and the Mishnah comprise the Talmud." (JPS)

  • get

    a writ or deed of divorce

  • halevai

    If only

  • havurah

    A group of friends, frequently a social or religious group, either within a synagogue or apart from one.

  • kaddish

    Prayer of mourning; prayer separating parts of the service; lit. "sanctification"

  • kallah

    Jewish communal gathering, conference

  • ketubah

    "The Jewish marriage contract, traditionally written in Aramaic." (JPS)

  • Psukei d'Zimrah

    the first part of morning services, after the morning blessings mostly comprised of Psalms [lit. "verses of praise"]

  • saba

    grandfather

  • savta

    grandmother

  • sidra

    weekly Torah portion

  • Tanya

    the foundational text of Chabad Lubavitch written by the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi

  • tenai

    "A condition of circumstance upon which a certain effect is predicated: Stipulation" (Weiser).

  • ushpizin

    transcendent "guests" welcomed into the sukkah during Sukkot, one per day