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  • abba

    n. Father, dad, daddy.

  • aliyah

    n. "Calling to the reading of the Torah." (Glinert)

  • Am Yisrael

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

  • Arava

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

  • Av

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

  • 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).

  • beit knesset

    n. Jewish place of worship; "synagogue" (JPS).

  • besamim

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

  • burekas

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

  • chalutzim

    n. Pioneers in the building of the State of Israel.

  • chanukiah

    n. Nine-branched menorah / candelabrum used on Chanukah.

  • chiloni

    adj. (Of Jewish people or institutions) secular, not religious.

  • davka

    adv. 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

    n. Mother.

  • Eretz Yisroel

    n. Israel.

  • golus

    n. 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

    n. 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

    n. Literally "the hope." "The Israeli national anthem." (Glinert)

  • hummus

    n. A puree of ground chickpeas and sesame seeds.

  • kippah

    n. "Small, round headcovering." (JPS)