Holidays

azoy

azoy int. Yiddish (ah-ZOI) A definitive declaration that means “thus,” “like so,” or “that’s how it is.” When azoy is used as a question, it conveys doubt, such as “Really?” or “Is that so?” int. interjection Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The JPS dictionary of Jewish words. Over 1000 entries for …

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avodah

avodah n. Hebrew (ah-voh-DAH) Literally, “Divine service.” In the Pirke Avot, it is written that the world stands on three pillars: Torah; gemilut hasadim, acts of kindness toward our fellow man; and avodah, service and worship of God. 2. Avodah A unique part of the Musaf service on Yom Kippur, the Avodah prayers describe the …

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Avinu Malkeinu

Avinu Malkeinu n. Hebrew (ah-VEE-noo mal-KAY-noo) Literally, “our Father, our King.” A High Holy Day prayer in which God is asked to “be gracious to us and answer us, even though we have not done all the good that we might have.” The words Avinu Malkeinu are repeated at the beginning of each line of …

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aveilut

aveilut n. Hebrew (ah-vay-LOOT) The year of mourning, which Jewish law mandates only for the death of a parent; it is considered an extension of the mitzvah to “honor your mother and your father.” Traditionally, children of the deceased attend services daily to recite the Kaddish. During this time, mourners are not supposed to visit …

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Av

Av n. Hebrew (AV) The fifth month in the Jewish calendar, it usually corresponds to July or August. noun 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 …

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aufruf

aufruf n. Yiddish (AUF-ruff) Literally, “calling up.” A congregation’s public acknowledgment and blessing of a marriage. In many congregations, both the bride and groom are called up to the bimah either to read from the Torah or to recite the blessings before and after the reading. In Orthodox congregations, only the groom is called up …

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atzilut

atzilut n. Hebrew (ah-tse-LOOT) The world of Divine emanations. According to Kabbalistic theory, atzilut is the first and highest of the four worlds of existence, which emerge from the Ein Sof’s infinite light and culminate in the physical universe. On this level, the light of the Ein Sof radiates and is still united with its …

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atzei chayim

atzei chayim pl. n. Hebrew (ah-TSAY khigh-YEEM) Literally, “trees of life.” The poles to which a Torah scroll is attached. The ends of the poles, which are generally made of wood or ivory, protrude to serve as handles for lifting and carrying the Torah and rolling it to the next section of text. plural noun …

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atarah

atarah n. Hebrew (ah-tah-RAH) The decorative neckband sewn to the top of a tallit. It indicates the way a tallit should be draped over the shoulders. The atarah may be elaborately embroidered and may include the Hebrew blessing that is recited when putting on a tallit. When a man is buried in his tallit, the …

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Ashrei

Ashrei n. Hebrew (OSH-ray) Literally, “happy are they.” A responsive prayer recited during daily and Shabbat services. It includes language from three psalms; its theme is God’s concern for humankind. The prayer is an acrostic; each line begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet except for the letter nun. noun Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, …

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