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  • ba'al tekiah

    n. "The title for the person who blows the shofar on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur" (JPS).

  • bencher

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

  • day school

    n. Jewish grade school, where students learn both Jewish and secular subjects. "The general name given to private Jewish schools" in the United States and Canada (JPS).

  • kallah

    n. Jewish communal gathering, conference.

  • kavanah

    n. "Attention to the meaning, spirit, and purpose of words." (Weiser)

  • leshana tova tikateivu

    (sentence) "(May you) be inscribed for a good year (in the Book of Life)!" A formal greeting exchanged by Ashkenazim on Rosh Hashanah.

  • pikuach nefesh

    The principle that the law of saving a person's life takes precedence over all other laws, with the exception of the laws prohibiting idolatry, incestuous relations, and the murder of an innocent person.

  • Rosh Chodesh

    start of a new month in the Hebrew calendar

  • ruach

    spirit, "spiritedness, morale" (JPS)

  • sheket

    "Quiet!"

  • shidduch

    a date in the process of finding one's spouse

  • Shoah

    Eastern European Holocaust (of World War II)

  • tachlis

    practical details of a matter, "brass tacks" (as in, "Let's get down to brass tacks.")

  • tikkun olam

    kabbalistic concept of mystically repairing the fabric of the world through the performance of mitzvot

  • Tu Bishvat

    prop. n. Jewish Arbor Day, the New Year for Trees.