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  • abba

    n. Father, dad, daddy.

  • aliyah

    "calling to the reading of the Torah" (Glinert)

  • Am Yisrael

    "Literally, The People of Israel." (JPS)

  • Arava

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

  • Av

    "The fifth month in the Jewish calendar, it usually corresponds to July or August" (JPS).

  • b'vakasha

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

  • beit knesset

    Jewish place of worship; "synagogue" (JPS)

  • besamim

    "Literally, 'spices.' It almost always refers to the spices in the spice box used for the Havdalah ceremony" (JPS).

  • burekas

    A Turkish pastry filled with potatoes, other vegetables, and sometimes cheese.

  • chalutzim

    Pioneers in the building of the State of Israel.

  • chanukiah

    Nine-branched menorah / candelabrum used on Chanukah

  • 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.)

  • eema

    mother

  • Eretz Yisroel

    Israel

  • golus

    literally "exile" (JPS); outside of the Land of Israel; away from a vibrant Jewish community; the time period since the destruction of the Second Temple at Jerusalem (Glinert)

  • hamsa

    a hand-shaped amulet (often a wall-hanging or jewelry) conferring good luck or protection, popular in Israel and originally from the Middle East / North Africa

  • hatikvah

    literally "the hope." "The Israeli national anthem." (Glinert)

  • hummus

    A puree of ground chickpeas and sesame seeds.

  • kippah

    "small, round headcovering" (JPS)