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Glossary:
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La'am
For the People; Labor party faction that joined Likud.
Labor Party
Israeli political party formed by the union of three parties: Mapai, Achdut Ha'avoda, and Rafi. It is aligned with a fourth party, Mapam, in the Labor Alignment. Until the 1977 electrons, the Labor party (under different names) had held power since independence and had dominated Jewish public and political life in mandatory Palestine.
Ladino
The international language of Sephardic Jews, based primarily on Spanish, with words taken from Hebrew, Arabic and other languages, and written in the Hebrew alphabet.
Lag ba-Omer
Thirty-third day of the Omer period, falling on the 18th of Iyyar.
Lagerfuhrer
Kommandant (commander) of a concentration camp.
Lagersystem
The system of camps that supported the death camps.
Lamed Hey Convoy
On the night of January 15, 1948, 35 (Heb. Lamed Hey) Haganah members made their way on foot from Har Tuv (near Beit Shemesh) to supply Gush Etzion. They were spotted by Arab shepherds from Tzurif who summoned a group of armed locals to block their way. The battle lasted all the next day and the Arab attackers mutilated the bodies of the Jews.
Land Day
Land Day marks the anniversary of the 1976 fatal shooting of six Arabs during protests against government land expropriations and is traditionally observed by a general strike, processions, public rallies and tree-planting ceremonies.
Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael)
The territory of the ancient Israelite kingdom on both sides of the Jordan river, where the national and religious identity of the Jewish people was formed. After almost 2000 years of exile of Jews from the land of Israel, the State of Israel was formed in a part of the Western area of the land of Israel.
Land of Israel Movement (LIM)
An ideological movement established in the summer of 1967 to promote the annexation of the occupied territories to Israel, and to fight all efforts for a territorial compromise.
Landless Arab Inquiry (1931)
Headed by Lewis French in 1931, the Landless Arab Inquiry concluded that fewer than 900 claims of Arab landlessness were valid, and as such the Zionist settlement activities in Palestine had little or no impact upon Arab landlessness. The inquiry further concluded that many Arab families, particularly leading ones, were selling land to Jews.
Lashon Hara
(Heb. evil tongue). Defaming or badmouthing.
Lavon Affair (July 1954)
Israeli military operation carried out in July 1954 in which Israeli agents in Egypt detonated bombs against American and British targets. The operation was carried out in the hopes that a perceived Egyptian attack would entice the two powers to continue to occupy the Suez Canal and protect Israeli interests. The Israeli agents who carried out the attacks were later captured, six were sent to prison, two were tried in absentia, and two were hanged. News of the affair caused an uproar in Israel and allegations were made that Defense Minister Pinchas Lavon had approved the mission. Though Lavon maintained his innocence and was later exonerated of all charges, he was forced to resign and was replaced by David Ben Gurion.
Law of Return
Passed by the Knesset on July 5, 1950, the Law of Return bestows unlimited right of Jews everywhere to immigrate to Israel.
L'Chaim
(Heb. to life). Used as a toast.
League of Arab States
Organization established on March 22, 1945, by the Arab states in the Middle East. Today 21 countries and the Palestinian Authority are part of the League.
Lean
To read (usually to read Torah).
Lebanon War (Operation Peace for Galilee)
June 1982 conflict in which the Israel Defense Forces conducted a military operation in Lebanon to drive out the PLO, which had been shelling northern Israeli towns. The majority of Israel's forces withdrew in 1985. Israel still holds an eight-mile-wide security zone in southern Lebanon in order to protect Israeli towns from the continuing terrorist attacks launched from Lebanon.
Lebensborn
(The Fountain of Life).“An SS society founded in 1936.... Its main functions were to adopt suitable children for childless SS families, to succor racially sound pregnant women and their offspring, and in general to promote the racial policy of the SS..” (H Krausnick, M Broszat. Anatomy of the SS State. London: Paladin, 1973).
Lebensraum
(Ger. living space). A basic principle of Nazi foreign policy. Hitler believed that eastern Europe had to be conquered to create a vast German empire for more physical space, a greater population, and new territory to supply food and raw materials.
Lehi
(abbr. for Heb. Lohamei Herut Israel, Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, also L.H.Y.). Anti-British armed underground organization in Palestine, founded in 1940 by dissidents from I.Z.L.
Leibstandarte - SS Adolf Hitler
One of the most famous and esteemed units of the SS, being the personal bodyguard of der Führer.  Formed in 1933, it was commanded by SS-Gruppenführer Josef (Sepp) Dietrich, initially with a complement of 120 men.
Leibowitz, Nehamah (1902-1997)
Scholar of the Bible and its rabbinic interpretation; Israel.
Leibowitz, Yeshayahu (1903-1994)
Orthodox scholar known for radio lectures on weekly Torah readings and on Maimonides.
Levarite Marriage
From Latin, levir for Heb., yabam, brother-in-law; a biblical system of marriage in which the levir marries his brother's widow (Deuteronomy 25.5-10).
Levite
Descendents of Levi, the Levites tasks are to assist the Kohanim in matters relating to the Temple.
Levi Yitzhak (ben Meir) of Berdichev (c. 1740-1819)
Author of K'dushat Levi, collected sermons based on the parashah; Hasidic master; Poland.
Levinthal, Israel H. (1888-1982)
Conservative Jewish rabbinic leader and thinker; United States.
Leviticus
The English term for the Book of Vayikra, the third book in the Torah.
Lex talionis
(Lat. law of retaliation). The biblical provision of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
L'havdil
(Heb. the difference). Used to contrast, as a form of modesty, something great to something far less significant.
L'hitraot
(Hebrew). Good-bye, see you later.
Liberal
(from Latin, “free [thinker]”). A general term used in religion discussions to indicate a person or view that breaks significantly from the conservative traditional position(s). See also modernist.
Lida
A town 60 miles south of Vilna. Between the World Wars it was part of Poland. In September 1939 it was annexed to the Soviet Union. On June 30, 1941, it was occupied by the Germans. A ghetto was created there. Refugees from Vilna and other towns were settled there. In the period July through November 1941, when mass murder was taking place in Vilna, Lida was relatively calm and many Jews tried to flee there.
Lidice
Czech mining village (pop. 700). In reprisal for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazis “liquidated” the village in 1942. They shot the men, deported the women and children to concentration camps, razed the village to the ground, and struck its name from the maps. After World War II, a new village was built near the site of the old Lidice, which is now a national park and memorial. (see Heydrich, Reinhard).
Likud
Israeli political alignment, including the nationalist populist Herut party and the centrist Liberal party, plus several smaller parties.
Linz III
A sub-camp of Mauthausen created in May 1944. It held a maximum of 5,615 prisoners.
Litani Operation (March 1978)
Military operation by Israel in March 1978 in retaliation against a PLO attack on a bus near Haifa. Israel attempted to push PLO positions away from the Lebanese-Israeli border.
Literalist
A general term used in religion discussions to indicate a person or view that attempts to interpret the scriptures and other recognized classical religious authorities in a straightforward, literal manner. See also fundamentalism, allegory.
Lithuanian Jews
Due to the tangled history of the Vilna region the Polish Jews who came from Lithuania were accorded better treatment than the other Jewish prisoners-of-war held by the Germans.
Liturgy
(adj. liturgical). Rites of public worship, usually institutionalized in relation to temple, synagogue, church, kaba, or mosque locations and traditions, but also in other formalized observances (see, e.g., calendar). See also hymn, Passover, prayer, Shema, Sukkot, siddur.
L'ma'an Har Nof
“For Har Nof.” A list of Anglo-Saxon haredim, known locally as “the Boston list,” which contested the local election in Har Nof, Jerusalem in 1987.
Lo dati (pl. lo datiim)
Those who are not religious. Also, hiloni (q.v.).
Loan Guarantees
Program in which the U.S. agreed to cosign $10 billion in loans for Israel over five years so that Israel could obtain better financing from private banks. The loan guarantees would only cost American taxpayers if Israel defaulted on its loans—something that Israel has never done. The loan guarantees were secured to help Israel absorb over half a million refugees fleeing from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia and other troubled areas.
Lod Massacre
Three Japanese Red Army members, acting on behalf of the PFLP, attacked passengers in Lod International Airport. The attack marked the first Palestinian attempt to enlist non-Middle East terrorist support.
Lodz
City in western Poland (renamed Litzmannstadt by the Nazis), where the first major ghetto was created in April 1940. By September 1941, the population of the ghetto was 144,000 in an area of 1.6 square miles (statistically, 5.8 people per room). In October 1941, 20,000 Jews from Germany, Austria and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were sent to the Lodz Ghetto. Those deported from Lodz during 1942 and June-July 1944 were sent to the Chelmno extermination camp. In August-September 1944, the ghetto was liquidated and the remaining 60,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz.
London Agreement or Document (April 11, 1987)
On April 11, 1987, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Jordanian King Hussein secretly met in London and agreed on an outline of an international conference. Subsequently called the London Document, Prime Minister Shimon Peres opposed the plan and stymied the process.
London Conference (April 1, 2005)
Tony Blair hosts a Conference on April 1, 2005 on the Middle East that is attended by the US, UN, and Palestinian representatives but boycotted by Israel.
L'shanah Tovah Tikateivu
“May you be written (in the Book of Life) for a good year.”
Lulav
The branches of the date tree; one of the Four Species (Arba'ah Minim) listed in the Torah.
Luchot
(Heb. tablets) Refers to the tablets on which God inscribed teh Ten Commandments.
Lubaczow Ghetto
Located in the town of Lubaczow near Przemysl, Poland. The ghetto was established in October 1942 and liquidated in January 1943. Seven thousand Jews were kept in apartments located in the center of town. Five to six families lived in each apartment. Twenty-five hundred were shipped to the extermination camp at Belzec. The rest were shot and buried in Lubaczow.
Lublin
City in eastern Poland that was the center of Jewish learning in Poland. In 1939, the Jewish population was 40,000, 33 percent of the city total. In the spring of 1941 the ghetto was created. On March 17, 1942, deportations began to Belzec, and then to Majdanek, walking distance from the center of town. Only a few Jews live there today.
Luchot
Literally "tables" or "tablets" referring to the Ten Commandments.
Ludwigsdorf
One of about 60 sub-camps of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp located in Lower Silesia.
Luftlager
Abbreviation for German word Luftwaffelager — a prisoner of war camp for Allied airmen.
Luftwaffe
The German air force.
Lulab(v)
The palm branch used with other plants in the Jewish Sukkot (Tabernacles) celebration.
Luzzatto, Samuel David (1800-1865)
Also known as “ShaDaL;” scholar and Bible commentator; Italy.

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