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Ashkenazi Jews

The second wave of Jewish immigrants to the United States began in the nineteenth century among the Ashkenazi, Jews of eastern Europe who were fleeing persecution and pogrom

bar mitzvah

boy's ritual, at age 13, that moves him into full membership of the religious community and adulthood

bat mitzvah

extension of bar mitzvah ritual to females by the Conservative and Reform Jewish communities

circumcision

ritual called Bris or Brit milah required for every male at 8 days old, when the child is circumcised and named

covenant

a mutual agreement between two parties that is both an expression of mutual love and care and a legal agreement on the model of a marriage contract

Diaspora

Jews who were dispersed in the Roman Empire

dual Torah

the sacred oral and written teachings that established the covenant with Israel

Gemara

commentary on the Mishnah that linked oral and written Torah

gentile

a non-Jewish person

halakhah

the premodern Talmudic tradition; Jewish law

heredim

refers to eastern European Jews "of true piety"

Hasidism

a movement marked by piety, great devotion, and expression of great joy in response to God's presence, which is found everywhere in creation1

Holocaust

literally means "burnt sacrifice"; long-standing Christian anti-Judaism, the rise of secularism, and scientific-bureaucratic forms of social control all contributed to Hitler's attempt during World War II to rid the world of Jews

Israel

"wrestler with God"; Jacob renamed by God

Kabbalah

Jewish mysticism, emerged in the late medieval period; defining work is the Zohar, Book of Splendor

kosher

rules for dining

Marranos

in Spain in the late 1400s, 13,000 Jews, most of whom had been forcibly baptized as Christians, were condemned as Marranos—Jews masquerading as Christians while practicing their Judaism in secret

Mishnah

the writings that form the core of the Talmud, primarily written by students of Hillel

mitzvot

deeds of loving kindness

Rabbinic

the Judaism of the dual Torah under the leadership of the rabbis

Sephardic Jews

the first wave of Jewish immigrants to the United States, starting in 1654, were the Sephardic Jews, of Spanish or Portuguese extraction, seeking religious freedom

Shema

Judaism's creed that states, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one"

synagogue

house of study and prayer

Talmud

insights of the oral tradition written down, from second to fifth centuries, initiated by the Pharisees; emergence of Rabbinic Judaism

tanak

Jewish Bible that came into existence at end of first century; called the Old Testament by Christians

Tannaim

"those who study"

temple

center of Jewish life until its destruction in 70 ce

Tisha B'av

the day of mourning for commemorating the historical tragedies of Judaism, especially the fall of the first and second temples

Tzaddik

Hasidic term for a righteous man

Zionism

form of nationalism that returns Israel to Jews exclusively

Zohar

most important Kabbalistic work, also called Book of Splendor

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