Glossary

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From the Greek word meaning "sacrifice by fire", the Holocaust refers to the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II, including the genocide of six million Jews.

Literally, “welcoming guests;” the religious obligation to offer hospitality to those in need and to welcome guests into our homes and communities. Tradition teaches that the Biblical patriarch Abraham’s tent was always open to passersby, and he is often portrayed as demonstrating this value.

Selection from the Prophets read or chanted after the weekly Torah portion; plural: haftarot

"Telling or narrative;" Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover seder; plural: Haggadot.

Literally, “telling.” This is the Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover seder. Plural: Haggadot. 

"encircle, round off, circle around, orbit;" procession of worshippers carrying Torah scrolls that circles the sanctuary; plural hakafot.

Literally, “walking, “way,” or “path;” refers specifically to a body of Jewish law governing all aspects of life; includes the 613 mitzvot (commandments) and ongoing interpretation over many centuries.

an adjective meaning “milk” or ”dairy.”  It refers to any food products that contain dairy.

The king’s vizier (adviser), a main character in the Purim story. Haman wants everyone in the kingdom to bow down to him, but Mordechai (a Jew) refuses. This leads Haman to decide to kill all the Jews, and he convinces the king to allow the plan. Only the intervention of Esther prevents Haman from carrying out his plan, and in the end, Haman is instead hung on the gallows he had erected for Mordechai.

Triangle-shaped pastries commonly filled with apricot jam or poppyseed spread (or other fillings) and eaten on Purim; the shape represents Haman's hat or ears

"Dedication;" the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Macabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Nine-branched candelabra used during Hanukkah – eight branches for each night of the holiday, plus another branch (often taller, central, or more prominently displayed) for the shamash (helper) candle, which is used to light the others.