Aleinu n. Hebrew (ah-LAY-noo) Literally, “it is upon us.” A prayer in praise of God, Aleinu acknowledges the unique relationship between God and the Jewish people. It is sung toward the end of synagogue services while the congregation stands. Originally from the High Holy Day liturgy, the Aleinu is now part of all services. It’s customary for worshipers to bow slightly during the part of the prayer that reads, “We bend the knee and bow before the Holy One, blessed be He, who stretched out the heavens and established the earth.”

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Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The JPS dictionary of Jewish words. Over 1000 entries for Jewish holidays and life-cycle events, culture, history, the Bible and other sacred texts, and worship. Each entry has a pronunciation guide and is cross-referenced to related terms.; “A JPS desk reference”–cover. (4). Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society.

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