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  • acharon acharon chaviv

    "The very last one is beloved."; "Last but not least."

  • ad me'ah v'esrim

    [may you/he/she live] "until a hundred and twenty" -- often used as a birthday wish for long life, or when mentioning a person who is getting on in years.

  • al regel achat

    lit. "on one foot"; off-the-cuff; "To answer a question or deal with a query very briefly and cursorily." (Glinert)

  • aleph-bet

    "A name for the Hebrew alphabet" (JPS)

  • amcha

    the every-man, everyday people; the folk (as opposed to the elite)

  • apikoros

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

  • arba kosot

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

  • arbes

    Boiled chickpeas

  • 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").

  • baitsim

    balls, testicles, lit. 'eggs'

  • balagan

    "a disorderly, confusing, and/or overwhelming situation" (Glinert)

  • bashert

    Predicate adj. "Predestined, fated" (JPS)

  • bekishe

    long black coat worn by Hasidic men

  • bekitzur

    "Briefly or concisely: succinctly" (Weiser)

  • 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."

  • bench gomel

    to say the blessing (called Gomel) said after someone survives a life-threatening situation; often recited pro forma after surviving childbirth or trans-oceanic travel

  • bencher

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

  • besamim

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

  • besorot tovot

    good tidings, good news

  • bikur cholim

    visiting the sick