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  • abba

    father, dad, daddy

  • achron

    "Latter-day religious authorities... scholars of the Renaissance and later times" (Glinert).

  • Adar

    The sixth month of the Jewish calendar year.

  • adloyada

    A Purim carnival.

  • admor

    A Hassidic spiritual leader.

  • Adonai

    "Literally, 'my Lord', another word for God." (JPS)

  • aggadah

    Parts of the Talmud and Midrash that do not deal with law, including stories, fables, and sayings. "Talmudic stories or philosophical material" (Glinert).

  • akum

    A Talmudic term for a heathen.

  • aliyah

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

  • Amalek

    The biblical name of the nomadic people descended from Esau who became the enemies of the people of Israel.

  • Amidah

    The Shemoneh Esrei prayer, which is said while standing [Amida, lit. "standing".]

  • amora

    A Talmudic sage whose teachings comprise the Gemara. "Amoraim are contrasted with the tannaim, ancient rabbis who are quoted in the Mishnah" (JPS).

  • amud

    page (in a prayerbook)

  • ani maamin

    The thirteen articles of Jewish faith written by Maimonides, each beginning with the phrase "ani maamin" ("I believe"). "The twelfth of which says, I believe believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah. Even though he may tarry I will wait for him on any day that he may come'" (JPS).

  • apikoros

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

  • Aramaic

    Judeo-Aramaic, a northern Semitic language related to Hebrew.

  • arbes

    Boiled chickpeas

  • ark

    "the cabinet at the front of an Ashkenazic synagogue that houses the Torah scroll." (JPS)

  • 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").

  • Av

    "The fifth month in the Jewish calendar, it usually corresponds to July or August" (JPS).