a Jewish holiday in commemoration of the revelation of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai

Shekhinah: a visible manifestation of the divine presence as described in Jewish theology

SS: German; abbreviation for Schutzstaffel (literally, protection squads.) A paramilitary formation of the Nazi Party initially created to serve as bodyguard to Hitler and other Nazi leaders. It later took charge of domestic and foreign intelligence, the German police and the central security apparatus, the concentration camps and the systematic mass murder of Jews and other victims.

synagogue: in Judaism, a house of worship and learning

Talmud: collections of rabbinic commentary on biblical texts that form, with the Torah, the foundation for the religious laws of Judaism

Temple: the central place of worship for the Israelites. The first Temple was built in Jerusalem by King Solomon and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. (See Babylonian captivity) Seventy years later, after the Jews returned to Jerusalem, the Second Temple was built on the same site. This Second Temple was significantly enlarged and expanded during the First Century B.C.E.; the Romans destroyed it in 70 C.E.

tommy gun: submachine gun

Transylvania: a historical region of western Romania bounded by the Transylvanian Alps and the Carpathian Mountains. Part of Hungary from 1867 to 1918, it became part of Romania after World War I. The province was divided between Romania and Hungary in 1940, with northern Transylvania going to Hungary. Northern Transylvania was restored to Romania after World War II.

truncheons: a short stick or club carried by police

Meet Elie Wiesel, the author of Night and a Holocaust survivor who grew up in Translyvania.


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