PL

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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Ashkenazim

Ashkenazim pl. n. Hebrew (osh-keh-NAH-zeem) The name given to the group of Jews who were originally from Germany and France (and their descendants). The word Ashkenaz is the Hebrew name for Germany. The Ashkenazim migrated to Central and Eastern Europe during times of oppression. In pre-World War II Europe, Ashkenazim comprised 90 percent of world …

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aravah

aravah n. Hebrew (ah-rah-VAH) pl. n. aravot (ah-rah-VOTE) 1. Willow tree; the branches of the willow that are part of the lulav used on Sukkot. See arba minim. 2. The dry lowland area of the eastern Negev, often called the Aravah Valley. noun plural noun Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The …

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anusim

anusim pl. n. Hebrew (ah-noo-SEEM) Literally, “compelled ones.” The historical term for Jews who were forced to convert to another religion. The anusim often tried secretly to preserve their Jewish customs and teach them to their children. Perhaps the most famous anusim are the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who were compelled to convert to Christianity …

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amoraim

amoraim pl. n. Aramaic (ah-MOE-rah-eem) Literally, “explainers.” The ancient rabbis who are quoted in the Gemara, the legal and ethical commentaries on the Mishnah. Amoraim are contrasted with the tannaim, ancient rabbis who are quoted in the Mishnah. The Mishnah and Gemara compose the two sections of Jewish law known as the Talmud. plural noun …

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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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aggadah

aggadah n. Hebrew (ah-gah-DAH); pl. aggadot (ah-gah-DOTE) Literally, “narrative.” Aggadot are Jewish stories that are presented in the Talmud along with halakhah, the body of Jewish law. Unlike halakhah, these legends, historical stories, jokes, ethical tales, and sermons are not legally binding; their purpose is to explain and elaborate on Jewish laws and customs. noun …

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acharonim

acharonim pl. n. Hebrew (ack-row-NEEM) acharon sing. n. (ack-hah-RON) From the Hebrew word for “later.” A term for rabbis and scholars from the 16th century (after the rishonim) to the present. Isaac Luria is one of the well-known acharonim. plural noun noun Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The JPS dictionary of …

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”Do Not Believe Every Word like the Fool . . . !” Rhetorical Strategies in Shenoute, Canon 6

”Do Not Believe Every Word like the Fool . . . !” Rhetorical Strategies in Shenoute, Canon 6 ST. SHENOUTE (flORUIT ~A.D. 385–465) is the major Coptic writer of the late fourth and fifth centuries. The idea of producing texts in Coptic was not his invention, but he brought the language to a peak of …

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