Israel

Asher

Asher The eighth son of Jacob and the second son of Zilpah, who was Jacob’s concubine and Leah’s handmaid. Asher is also the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, whose members were said to be descended from him. The tribe occupied the northwestern part of Canaan. Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish …

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Antiochus IV, King

Antiochus IV, King (an-TIE-ah-cuss) A Syrian king who ruled Judea and ancient Israel from 175 to 163 b.c.e In his efforts to wipe out Judaism, Antiochus demanded intense Hellenization and forbade many Jewish practices, including circumcision and Sabbath observance. He desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem with animal sacrifices and statues of Greek gods. The Maccabees’ …

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am Yisra’el

am Yisra’el n. Hebrew (AHM yis-rah-ALE) Literally, “people Israel.” A general expression for the worldwide Jewish community. A popular Hebrew song, “Am Yisra’el Chai” (The People Israel Live) uses this phrase. noun Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The JPS dictionary of Jewish words. Over 1000 entries for Jewish holidays and life-cycle …

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Amidah

Amidah n. Hebrew (ah-MEE-dah) Literally, “standing.” A silent or whispered prayer said while standing. The Amidah, considered the centerpiece of the synagogue service, is a plea to God to fulfill spiritual and physical needs, as well as those of the Land of Israel. It is said three times a day in synagogue, and in an …

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American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (the Joint)

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (the Joint) n. English Created in 1914 by the merger of several war relief organizations, the Joint’s original purpose was to raise funds for war victims and refugees. Today, the Joint sponsors programs of relief, rescue, and reconstruction in the State of Israel and around the world. Many of its …

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American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) n. English A registered political action committee since the 1940s, AIPAC lobbies the United States government on behalf of the State of Israel. AIPAC’s goal is to protect Israel’s interests on issues such as foreign aid, sales of military items, treaties, and such. noun Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & …

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aliyah

aliyah n. Hebrew (ah-LEE-yah); pl. aliyot (ah-lee-YOTE) Literally, “to go up.” 1. The honor of being called up to the bimah to recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading. The term is often also used for any of the other rituals associated with reading the Torah, including hagbah and gelilah. During a synagogue …

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Ahavat Olam

Ahavat Olam n. Hebrew (ah-hah-VAHT oh-LAHM) Literally, “Eternal Love.” 1. The initial words of the prayer that precedes the Shema in the evening service. It expresses God’s eternal love for the people of Israel. 2. ahavat olam Generally expressed as “love of the world.” A term to describe the motivation behind giving tzedakah or doing …

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ANGER

ANGER Human anger.—Except by the stoical mind which finds no place for strong emotion in a moral scheme, anger has been recognized as a quality which, under certain conditions and within certain limits, may not only be permissible but commendable. Its ready abuse has, however, led to its being commonly placed among the evils of …

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