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  • aleichem sholom

    Peace be upon you. Response to "sholom aleichem"

  • almemar

    the platform on which the Torah is read in synagogue; the bima

  • am haaretz

    Bumpkin, ignoramus, uneducated person

  • apikoros

    heretic, non-believer, especially one with great knowledge of Judaism

  • arbes

    Boiled chickpeas

  • Ashkenazic

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

  • askan

    A person who is influential in working for the community

  • aufruf

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

  • avade

    Of course. / Obviously!

  • averah

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

  • b'laz

    Abbreviation for "B'loshn am zar", "in a foreign language"; usually used by the commentator Rashi when using a Middle French expression

  • bagel

    "A leavened, firm, doughnut shaped roll" (JPS)

  • balaboosta

    1) Female head of household 2) Impressively competent homemaker

  • balabos

    Male head of a household

  • bashert

    Predicate adj. "Predestined, fated" (JPS)

  • becher

    2-handle cup for ritual washing of the hands before eating

  • bekishe

    long black coat worn by Hasidic men

  • bench

    JPS: "To recite a blessing. It usually refers to Birkat ha-Mazon, the Grace after Meals... The word can also refer to the reciting of any blessing; for example, the expression bentsch licht means to light Shabbat [or Chanukah] candles."

  • biberhit

    A man's black hat with beaver fur, worn on weekdays.

  • blech

    an electric hot plate or "sheet of metal that can be placed over the burners on a stove to retain heat, so that precooked food...can be kept warm during the Sabbath." (JPS)