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  • Anim Zmirot

    n. "A hymn composed of an alphabetic acrostic of 31 lines, generally sung in front of the open ark at the conclusion of the Musaf service on Shabbat." (JPS)

  • antisemitism

    n. Hatred against Jews.

  • Aramaic

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

  • Arava

    n. "The dry lowland area of the eastern Negev, often called the Aravah Valley" (JPS)

  • aravot

    pl. n. "The branches of the willow that are part of the lulav used on Sukkot" (JPS).

  • arba kosot

    n. "The four glasses of wine drunk on Passover" (Glinert).

  • arba minim

    n. "The four plant species used on Sukkot [lulav, etrog, hadas, and arava]" (Glinert).

  • ark

    n. "The cabinet at the front of an Ashkenazic synagogue that houses the Torah scroll." (JPS)

  • aron kodesh

    n. "Literally, "holy ark"." (JPS)

  • Asara B'Tevet

    n. "A minor fast day that falls on the 10th of Tevet. It commemorates the start of the siege of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia in 586 B.C.E., which is considered the beginning of the destruction of the First Temple" (JPS).

  • Ashkenazi

    n. (In plural) "[t]he name given to the group of Jews who were originally from Germany and France [and their descendants]...The Ashkenazim migrated to Central and Eastern Europe during times of oppression" (JPS).

  • Ashkenazic

    adj. Adjectival form for 'Ashkenazim', "The name given to the group of Jews who were originally from Germany and France, and their descendants" (JPS).

  • atzilut

    n. "The world of divine emanations" (Eisenberg & Scolnic).

  • aufruf

    n. Celebration when, traditionally, the groom, and as of recently in egalitarian communities, the engaged couple is called to the Torah at the Shabbat before their wedding; that aliyah itself (aufruf means literally "to call up").

  • Av

    n. The eleventh month of the Jewish calendar (or fifth if counting from Nisan).

  • aveilus

    n. Mourning (Glinert).

  • Avinu Malkeinu

    n. "A High Holy Day prayer in which God is asked to 'be gracious to us and answer us, even though we have not done all the good that we might have'" (JPS).

  • avodah

    n. "Service and worship of God" (Eisenberg).

  • b'vakasha

    adv. "Literally, 'please'. It can be used in various ways, including "please go ahead" and at the end of a sentence as 'you're welcome'" (JPS).