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  • 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).

  • 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).

  • aseret y'mei teshuvah

    n. "Ten Days of Penitence" (Glinert), the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

  • 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).

  • assur

    adj. Forbidden.

  • Av

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

  • aveil

    n. "Someone who is in mourning" (Glinert).

  • aveilus

    n. Mourning (Glinert).

  • averah

    n. Religious transgression (Glinert: "An aveirah is an infringement on the Torah, the opposite of a mitzvah.").

  • 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).

  • Avraham Avinu

    n. "Our father Abraham" (Glinert)

  • ayin hara

    n. The evil eye.

  • b'ezras hashem

    interj. and adv. With God's help.

  • b'sha'ah tovah

    interj. Literally "at a good hour." All in good time. Good luck. Response to a pregnancy announcement--meaning may all go well.

  • b'shem omro

    adv. "Giving credit for an idea" (Glinert).

  • 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).