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Abarbanel -- Don Yitzhak Abarbanel (Portugal, Italy 1437-1508), author of a classic commentary on the Bible; served as economic advisor to Kings of Portugal and Spain, prior to the Inquisition

Achronim -- lit.: later ones, the great rabbinic commentators who lived from approx. 1500-1900 CE (contrast to Rishonim)

Adar -- month in the Jewish (lunar) calendar; in Jewish leap years, an additional Adar is added; these months coincide with February, March and April; Purim festivities (including the Fast of Ester) are celebrated in the middle of Adar (or Adar II in a leap year)

Admor -- acronym for Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu (our master, our teacher, our rabbi); used in reference to chassidic leaders

Adonoy -- lit.: “my Master.” One of the holy names of God.

aggadah -- stories and parables, typically found in the Talmud and Midrash

agunah -- lit.: chained; a woman who cannot remarry, because her husband has not given her a get (divorce), either because he stubbornly refuses or has disappeared

ahavat Hashem (ahavas) -- love of God; one of the Six Constant Mitzvot

ahavat hinam (ahavas) -- unconditional love of one Jew for another

ahavat Yisrael (ahavas) -- love of Jews; the Torah command to “love your neighbor as yourself”

ain bishul achar bishul -- “there is no [prohibition of] cooking after cooking”

ain tzovaya b'ochlin -- ”there is no [prohibition of] coloring regarding foods”

Al Ha'aitz -- Three-Faceted Blessing said after eating the “five fruits” (olives, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranate)

Al Ha'michya -- Three-Faceted Blessing said after eating mezonot foods

Al Ha'nisim -- additional paragraph inserted in daily prayers and Grace After Meals on Chanukah and Purim

Al Hagefen -- Three-Faceted Blessing said after drinking wine or grape juice

alav ha'shalom (m) -- lit.: peace be upon him (i.e. rest in peace); used when mentioning a deceased person

aleha shalom (f) -- lit.: peace be upon her (i.e. rest in peace); used when mentioning a deceased person

aleph-bet (aleph-beis) -- the Hebrew alphabet

aliyah -- lit.: “ascent”; to be called up to the Torah reading; to migrate to Israel

aliyot (aliyos) (sing.: aliyah) -- lit.: “ascent”; to be called up to the Torah reading, to migrate to Israel

amah (pl.: amot) -- a standard talmudic unit of length (“cubit”), approximately 48 centimeters, or 19.2 inches

amen -- said in response to hearing a blessing

Amidah -- the 19-blessing silent prayer said three times daily; also called Shemoneh Esrei

Amora'im -- Sages of the Talmud period (200 CE - 500 CE)

amot (sing.: amah) -- a standard talmudic unit of length (“cubit”), approximately 48 centimeters, or 19.2 inches

anav -- a humble person

anavah -- trait of humility

anivah -- a slip-knot

anivut -- humility

Anshei Knesset HaGedola (Knesses) -- it.: People of the Great Assembly; a body of 120 Jewish leaders during the Second Temple era

AriZal -- Rabbi Yitzhak Luria (Tzfat 1534-1572), the Father of Modern Kabbalah; died at age 38

aron kodesh -- holy ark in the synagogue, which houses the Torah scrolls

Aruch HaShulchan -- popular book of Jewish law, authored by Rabbi Yechiel Michal HaLevi Epstein (1829-1908)

Aseret HaDibrot (Aseres HaDibros) -- the Ten Commandments

Aseret Yimei Teshuva (Aseres) -- the Ten Days of Repentance, from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur

Ashkenazi -- a Jew of European descent (contrast to Sefardi)

assur -- something prohibited

atzitz nakuv -- a plant growing in a perforated pot

atzlut (atzlus) -- laziness

Av -- month in the Jewish (lunar) calendar, coinciding with July and August; Tisha B’Av, the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, is a fast day marking the destruction of the First and Second Temples; the fifteenth of Av, known as Tu B’Av, marks numerous joyous occasions in Jewish history

Av Beit Din (Beis) -- head of the Sanhedrin (Jewish supreme court)

av melacha -- lit.: 'parent labor'; one of the 39 primary categories of forbidden Shabbat activity

aveira -- sin, transgression of God's will

avel -- a mourner

avoda zara -- idol worship

avodah -- lit.: work, service; refers to a person's service of God; also to the service performed by the kohanim in the Holy Temple Avot (Avos) -- the patriarchs of the Jewish people: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; also a reference to the Talmudic tractate of ethics, Pirkei Avot

Avot (Avos) -- the patriarchs of the Jewish people: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; also a reference to the Talmudic tractate of ethics, Pirkei Avot

Avot Melachot (Avos Melachos) -- lit.: 'parent labors'; the 39 primary categories of forbidden Shabbat activity

Avudraham -- Rabbi Dovid Avudraham (Spain 1260-1350), author of a popular commentary on the Siddur

ayin hara -- lit.: the evil eye; the propensity to attract negative karma when flaunting one's success or material wealth

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