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  • aleph-bet

    n. "A name for the Hebrew alphabet" (JPS)

  • alte kaker

    n. Elderly person, old-timer; "A crotchety, fussy, ineffectual old man" (Rosten).

  • arba kosot

    n. "The four glasses of wine drunk on Passover" (Glinert).

  • Ashkenazic

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

  • aufruf

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

  • Av

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

  • babka

    n. "A loaf type coffee cake" (JPS).

  • bagel

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

  • balaboosta

    n. Female head of household.

  • balabos

    n. Male head of a household.

  • bashert

    predicate adj. "Predestined, fated" (JPS).

  • bench

    v. 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."

  • bencher

    n. Prayer booklet or card with the text of the blessings after meals, and often times including other meal-time blessings and songs.

  • berya

    n. "Complimentary term for a talented, competent, energetic woman, especially one who gets a lot done - and does it well - around the house." (JPS Dictionary of Words)

  • besamim

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

  • bialy

    n. A flat breakfast roll, shaped like a round wading pool, sometimes sprinkled with onion. (Rosten)

  • bikur cholim

    v. Visiting the sick.

  • bisl

    n. "A little bit of something, a tiny piece" (JPS).

  • blech

    n. 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)