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  • bar mitzvah

    n. Jewish coming-of-age ceremony/celebration for a 13-year-old boy; the boy who has come of age.

  • bat mitzvah

    n. In gender egalitarian communities, the ceremony of a 13- (or 12-) year-old girl's first calling up to the Torah, symbolizing her adulthood in Jewish life. can also refer to the girl herself. In Orthodox communities, refers to celebration of girl turning 12. "Celebration of a Jewish girl's coming of age; a girl who has reached that age." (Glinert)

  • challah

    n. "The braided egg bread that traditionally is eaten on almost every Jewish holiday and [the Sabbath]" (JPS).

  • chutzpah

    n. Guts (positive).

  • goy

    n. A nation, but not the Jewish nation.

  • Hanukkah

    n. The winter-time festival that commemorates the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabean revolt in the second century B.C.E. (lit. "dedication")

  • Hasid

    n. A disciple of a rabbi.

  • Hasidic

    adj. Of or relating to Hasidic Judaism or Hasidic Jews.

  • Kabbalah

    n. A Jewish mystical work, sometimes used as a catch-all term for Jewish mysticism. "The Jewish mystical tradition." (JPS)

  • klezmer

    n. "Eastern European style of instrumental music." (JPS)

  • kosher

    adj. "Acceptable according to Jewish [ritual] law" (JPS); "trustworthy, reliable" (Rosten); acceptable according to dietary laws.

  • l'chaim

    interj. Traditional toast. [lit. "to life" (Rosten)]

  • maven

    n. "An expert or connoisseur; a specialist." (JPS)

  • mazel tov

    interj. Congratulations [lit. "good fortune"].

  • mazume

    n. "A group of three or more adult males who join together to recite the after-meal blessings..." (Steinmetz)

  • menorah

    n. Candelabrum, especially for Chanukah.

  • meshuga

    adj. Crazy.

  • mezuzah

    n. A piece of parchment with the Shema written on it that is then placed in a case and mounted on doorways in keeping with the Biblical commandment mentioned in the Shema.

  • mitzvah

    n. Good deed.

  • seder

    n. A ceremony involving recitations, singing, food, and drink typically associated with Passover, but also with Tu B'shvat and Rosh Hashanah.