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Birkat HaMazon

Blessing after meals. A series of blessings recited after meals, including blessings that express gratitude for sustenance, the land, Jerusalem, and the positive relationship between God and the Jewish people. There are liturgical variations/additions to Birkat HaMazon for Shabbat, festivals, and weddings.


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Food products that are made with neither meat nor milk products and therefore, according to customary kashrut practices, can be eaten with either. Produce, grains, fish, and eggs are considered pareve. The word also is used colloquially to mean “neutral” or “without strong opinions.”



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kashrut, kashruth

Literally, “(ritually) fit" or “proper;” refers to foods that are permitted to be eaten according to kashrut, the system of Jewish dietary laws and practices. Colloquially, we say that a food is kosher (or not) and a person “keeps kosher” (or doesn’t); can also describe ritual objects that are ritually fit for use (i.e., Torah scrolls, tallit, etc.).


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matza, matzo, matzoh

Unleavened bread eaten during the seder that symbolizes the hurried departure of the Israelites from Egypt. Eating matzah is obligatory only at the seder. During the rest of Pesach, one may abstain from matzah as long as all chametz is avoided; plural: matzot



"Bitter;" the bitter herb or vegetable (i.e., horseradish) eaten during the seder to symbolize the bitter plight of the enslaved Israelites.



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