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  • abba

    father, dad, daddy

  • aliyah

    "calling to the reading of the Torah" (Glinert)

  • avodah

    "Service and worship of God" (Eisenberg)

  • b'vakasha

    JPS: "Literally, 'please'. It can be used in various ways, including "please go ahead" and at the end of a sentence as 'you're welcome'."

  • beit knesset

    Jewish place of worship; "synagogue" (JPS)

  • besamim

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

  • Chabad

    an outreach-oriented branch of Hasidic Judaism that follows the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Chabad has thousands of branches around the world, including at many college campuses.

  • chalutzim

    Pioneers in the building of the State of Israel.

  • chanukiah

    Nine-branched menorah / candelabrum used on Chanukah

  • chutzpah

    guts (positive)

  • davka

    even; despite expectations to the contrary -- often with a slightly amused or ironic feeling of "wouldn't you know it?" or "of all things" ("of all people" ... etc.)

  • eema

    mother

  • emunah

    "faith"; sometimes contrasted with practical striving in the material world

  • Eretz Yisroel

    Israel

  • falafel

    the deep-fried chick pea ball itself

  • goy

    a nation, but not the Jewish nation

  • halevai

    If only

  • Haredi

    Adjective or noun referring to an individual, institution, or practice associated with strictly Orthodox (non-Modern) Jews.

  • hatikvah

    literally "the hope." "The Israeli national anthem." (Glinert)

  • havurah

    A group of friends, frequently a social or religious group, either within a synagogue or apart from one.