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Ma'aleh Adumim
Northeastern neighborhood of Jerusalem established in 1975 and located in the West Bank. Although approved by the Knesset, the neighborhood has received much criticism as it is also the largest settlement in the West Bank.
Ma'alot Massacre
On May 13, 1974 three members of the PLO infiltrated the northern Israeli town of Ma'alot where they took 85 teachers and school children hostage. The PLO terrorists demanded the release of 20 prisoners held in Israeli jails. Israel conceded to their demands, but later held a rescue operation in which 21 children, all three terrorists, and 1 Israeli soldier were killed.
(Heb. believer)
Ma'arakh Ha-avodah
The Labor alignment.
Transition camp; temporary settlement for newcomers in Israel during the period of mass immigration following 1948.
Educational center for religious Zionism.
(from Heb., “evening”). Jewish synagogue evening prayer or service. See also liturgy.
Perspective or View; popular television news show.
(Heb. flood) Referring also to the Great Flood.
See Hasmoneans, hasidim, Hanukkah.
Maccabee Operation
Israeli military operation carried out on May 1, 1948 to secure safe passage along the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road.
Maccabi World Union
International Jewish sports organization, founded in eastern Europe, at a time when Jews were barred from other sports organizations, with the mission to further physical fitness among Jewish youth as a prerequisite for building a national homeland.
MacDonald White Paper (alt. "The White Paper")
Passed by the British on May 17, 1939 during the beginning of the Holocaust and in response to the realization that the British had made contradictory commitments to the Jews and Arabs of the Palestine Mandate; the MacDonald White Paper placed severe restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchases in Palestine and called for the establishment of a single binational state. The Zionists saw the White Paper as an abandonment of previous British commitments and famously vowed to "Fight the war (WWII) as if there were no White Paper, and fight the White Paper as if there were no war".
Stringent; one who observes a chumrah (stringency).
Jewish prayer Book used during the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and on Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.
The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the second holiest Jewish site, the traditional burial place of the nation's biblical forefathers.
Machteret (Underground)
The Jewish underground of Gush Emunim, uncovered in 1984.
The High Holy Day prayer book (as distinct from the Siddur, the Shabbat and daily prayer book).
Madagascar Plan
Nazi plan to evacuate 4,000,000 Jews to Madagascar over a period of four years. It was taken up in the summer of 1940, but shelved February 10, 1942, after the Nazis decided to carry out the “Final Solution.”
Madrid Peace Conference
Conference sponsored and organized in 1991 by the U.S. and Russia in the aftermath of the Gulf War, in which Israel and its Arab neighbors commenced bilateral and multilateral negotiations on a wide variety of matters, ranging from peace to economic issues to water. This was the first time that Arab countries other than Egypt met Israel before the world. Today's ongoing peace process between Israel and the PLO, Jordan, and Syria has origins in the Madrid Peace Conference.
Acronym for Mifleget Dati Leumi (National Religious Party).
The aliyah consisting of the last few lines of the Torah reading, or the person assigned that aliyah. The person assigned the maftir aliyah also chants the Haftorah.
(Heb., “a speaker”). A kabbalistic notion of how the holy spirit is mediated to the mystic; later meant a preacher among the eighteenth-century Hasidim.
Masha'al Affair
Failed assassination attempt against Khalid Masha'al, Hamas political bureau chief in Amman, Jordan on September 25, 1997. Two Israeli agents were caught with fake Canadian passports. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to supply the antidote for the lethal poison in exchange for the release of the captured agents. The incident strained Israeli relations with both Jordan and Canada.
Magen David
(Heb., “shield of David”). The distinctive six-pointed Jewish star, used especially since the 17th century.
Magen David Adom
Red Shield of David; Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross.
Megillat Esther
Story of Purim written on a scroll of parchment that was incorporated into the Tanakh.
Mahleket Kiddush Hashem
“Sanctification of the Name of God Department.” Reference to religious supporters of “Peace Now” who appear at demonstrations; often from Oz/Netivot.
Maimonides, or Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204)
A major medieval rabbi, physician, scientist, and philosopher, known by the acronym RaMBaM (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon). Born in Spain, Maimonides fled from persecution to Morocco and finally settled in Egypt. His Major works include a legal commentary on the Mishnah, a law code called Mishnah Torah, and the preeminent work of medieval Jewish rational philosophy, The Guide of the Perplexed.
Majdanek (also Maidanek)
Mass murder camp in eastern Poland. At first a labor camp for Poles and a POW camp for Russians, it was turned into a gassing center for Jews. Majdanek was liberated by the Red Army in July 1944, but not before 250,000 men, women, and children had lost their lives there.
Acronym for Mifleget HaKommunistit HaIsraelit; Israel Community Party
(Heb. messenger) Usually used in the sense of a messenger from God, such as an angel.
Malbim, Meir Loeb ben Yehiel Michael
(1809-1879) Rabbi, preacher, and Bible commentator; Eastern Europe.
Malchut Yisrael (The Kingdom of Israel)
An ultranationalist ideology that draws its inspiration from the biblical David kingdom, and calls for the establishment of the jewish state in all the territories promised by God to Abraham.
Hebrew acronym for “Institutes for Jewish-Zionist Education.” Teaches Jewish identity to adults.
(Heb. queen)
A person born from a prohibited union (i.e., from an incestuous or adulterous union).
Mandate, Palestine
Responsibility for the administration of Palestine conferred on Britain by the League of Nations in 1922.
The Sefer Torah is covered with a fabric "tunic" called the mantle to protect it; it is often decorated or inscribed.
Israel's major labor party, Mapai (Mifleget Poalei Eretz Israel — Land of Israel Worker’s Party), was established in 1930 as a Zionist-socialist party and served as the dominant political party in the pre-state and early post-state years. The left-of-center Mapai led every coalition and owned the Premiership from 1948 until the party merged into the Labor alignment in 1968.
A pioneering. left-wing labor-Zionist Israel party, founded in 1948, when Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir merged with Ahdut ha-Avodah-Po'alei Zion.
Mara D'atra
(“master of the place”). The local rabbi, whose decision carries the force of law in that locality.
A 2nd century Christian (and his followers) who was considered the first heretic by his opponents because of certain dualistic and gnostic ideas and his call for a severing of Christianity from its Jewish and First Testament roots.
A German prisoner of war camp for sailors.
Members of the largest Uniate church in the Arab world. The Uniate churches at various periods accepted the Vatican's authority but retained a measure of autonomy. The Maronites who migrated to northern Lebanon from inland Syria drew closer to Latin Europe and to Catholicism after the Crusades. By the eighteenth century the Maronites' growing numbers, early modernization, and effective church organization and leadership made them the leading community in Mount Lebanon. The same century saw the community's southward expansion and the emergence of a proto-national consciousness in its ranks.
An old Spanish term meaning "swine," used to execrate medieval Spanish Jews who converted to Christianity but secretly kept their Judaism.
(Greek, “witness”). A general term for persons who endure persecution, usually leading to death, for the sake of their religious "witness" (profession, position).
Jewish fortress of ancient Palestine situated on a butte west of the Dead Sea; the last stronghold of the Zealots who committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans.
“Masada Complex”
The conviction that it is preferable to fight to the end rather than to surrender and acquiesce to the loss of independent statehood.
(Aramaic; volume) There are sixty three volumes of the Talmud.
Masha'al Affair
Failed assassination attempt against Khalid Masha'al, Hamas political bureau chief in Amman, Jordan. Two Israeli agents were caught with fake Canadian passports. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to supply the antidote for the lethal poison in exchange for the release of the captured agents.
Ritual supervisors of kashrut who watch/supervise on the premises for dietary supervision of ingredients, food preparation, serving, dishes and cutlery, etc..
See messiah.
(Heb., "the enlightened ones"). Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Jews who engaged in secular rationalistic studies and facilitated the acculturation of Jews to Western society; members of the haskalah.
Masorati (pl. masoratim)
Traditional Jews, as opposed to “secular” or “religious” Jews in contemporary Israeli parlance.
Masoretes, Masoretic text
Derived from masorah, meaning "tradition"; the Masoretes were the rabbis in ninth-century Palestine who sought to preserve the traditional text of the Bible (hence called the Masoretic text), which is still used in contemporary synagogues. The Masoretes were scholars who encouraged Bible study and attempted to achieve uniformity by establishing rules for correcting the text in matters of spelling, grammar and pronunciation. Masoretic (adj.) means that something is in accordance with the masorah.
Jews in Israel who are traditionally observant but not Orthodox.
Jewish unleavened bread used at Passover.
A camp for men, opened in August 1938, near Linz in northern Austria, Mauthausen was classified by the SS as a camp of utmost severity. Conditions there were brutal, even by concentration camp standards. Nearly 125,000 prisoners of various nationalities were either worked or tortured to death at the camp before liberating American troops arrived in May 1945.
(Heb. water)
Mazel Tov
Congratulations and good luck.
Division; a barrier separating men from women in the synagogue.
(Heb., “scroll”). Usually refers to the biblical scroll of Esther read on the festival of Purim.
Megillat Ha'atzmaut
Scroll on which the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel is inscribed, proclaimed in Tel Aviv on the 5th of Iyar 5708 (May 15, 1948).
Separation of men from women in an Orthodox synagogue.
Mei ha-Shiloah
Torah commentary by “the Izbicer Rav,” the Hasidic master Mordecai Yosef Leiner (1802-1851); Poland.
Mein Kampf
This autobiographical book (My Struggle) by Hitler was written while he was imprisoned in the Landsberg fortress after the "Beer-Hall Putsch" in 1923. In this book, Hitler propounds his ideas, beliefs, and plans for the future of Germany. Everything, including his foreign policy, is permeated by his "racial ideology." The Germans, belonging to the "superior" Aryan race, have a right to "living space" (Lebensraum) in the East, which is inhabited by the "inferior" Slavs. Throughout, he accuses Jews of being the source of all evil, equating them with Bolshevism and, at the same time, with international capitalism. Unfortunately, those people who read the book (except for his admirers) did not take it seriously but considered it the ravings of a maniac. (see Hitler, Adolf).
Customs duty.
Sources of Fountains; Israel's semiprivate water engineering company.
(Heb., “work”).
A teacher, especially of elementary Hebrew.
Menachem Mendel of Kotsk
(1787-1859) Hasidic master; Poland.
Mendelssohn, Moses (1729-86)
Important German Jewish thinker whose ideas helped lay the base for reform Judaism (see haskalah).
Mengele, Josef (1911-1978?)
SS physician at Auschwitz, notorious for pseudo-medical experiments, especially on twins and Gypsies. He “selected” new arrivals by simply pointing to the right or the left, thus separating those considered able to work from those who were not. Those too weak or too old to work were sent straight to the gas chambers, after all their possessions, including their clothes, were taken for resale in Germany. After the war, he spent some time in a British internment hospital but disappeared, went underground, escaped to Argentina, and later to Paraguay, where he became a citizen in 1959. He was hunted by Interpol, Israeli agents, and Simon Wiesenthal. In 1986, his body was found in Embu, Brazil.
Jewish candelabrum with special religious significance; a nine-branched menorah is used at Hanukkah, while the seven- branched was used in the ancient Temple.
A special person with worth and dignity. One who can be respected.
“Human Horror.” When the Miedzyrzec transit ghetto was liquidated, the German police gave it this nickname.
Left of center Israeli party, whose leaders include Shulamit Aloni and Yossi Sarid, that has called for the dismantling of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The party was part of the Labor-led coalition government and is now in the opposition.
(Heb., “chariot”). The "chariot vision" was an integral element of mysticism signifying a vision of divinity.
Merkaz Harav (The Rabbi's Center)
A Jerusalem Zionist yeshiva founded by Rabbi Avraham Itzhak Hacohen Kook, subsequently led by his son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook; the school and the source of inspiration of all the founders of Gush Emunim.
Merkaz Ruhani
Spiritual Center; the Mizrahi movement.
("anointed one"). Ancient priests and kings (and sometimes prophets) of Israel were anointed with oil. In early Judaism, the term came to mean a royal descendant of the dynasty of David who would restore the united kingdom of Israel and Judah and usher in an age of peace, justice and plenty; the redeemer figure. The concept developed in many directions over the centuries. The messianic age was believed by some Jews to be a time of perfection of human institutions; others believed it to be a time of radical new beginnings, a new heaven and earth, after divine judgment and destruction. The title came to be applied to Jesus/Joshua of Nazareth by his followers, who were soon called "Christians" in Greek and Latin usage. Jesus is also “Messiah” in Islam (e.g., Quran 3.45).
Messirut Hanefesh (Ultimate devotion)
A major Gus Emunim virtue which implies one's readiness to make immense personal sacrifices.
Metzada (Masada)
Masada (from the Greek name) - a mountain fortress overlooking the shores of the Dead Sea where Jewish insurgents held out for three years against the Romans after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. and then took their own lives. Metzada has remained a symbol of Jewish heroism.
Literally “Land Between the Rivers;” modern-day Iraq; the land of early Sumerian civilization as well as the later Babylonian.
Mezinke Tanz
Dance by the bride and groom in honor of the occasion of the parents marrying off the last child in the family.
(pl. mezuzot; "doorpost"). A parchment scroll with selected Torah verses (Deuteronomy 6.4-9; 11.13-21) placed in a container and affixed to the exterior doorposts (at the right side of the entrance) of observant Jewish homes (see Deuteronomy 6.1-4), and sometimes also to interior doorposts of rooms. The word shaddai (almighty) usually is inscribed on the back of the container.
Mi Shebeirach
"The One who blessed"; prayer recited for those who have an aliyah and read the Torah.
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Economic Summits
Held to complement the political aspects of the peace process and to facilitate Israel’s relationship with the Middle East, these economic summits were held four times but eventually lacked momentum due to the failing peace process.
Middle East Peace Conference Proposal
Israel proposed to the Untied Nations General Assembly a plan on December 6, 1976 calling for a peace conference to resume negotiations toward the implementation of Resolutions 242 and 338. The proposal called for the participation of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Syria as well as the United States and the Soviet Union. Israel withdrew its proposal at the insistence of the PLO’s participation by members of the Non-aligned Movement
(pl. midrashim). From darash, "to inquire," whence it comes to mean “exposition” (of scripture). Refers to the “commentary” literature developed in classical Judaism that attempts to interpret Jewish scriptures in a thorough manner. Literary Midrash may focus either on halaka, directing the Jew to specific patterns of religious practice, or on (h)aggada, dealing with theological ideas, ethical teachings, popular philosophy, imaginative exposition, legend, allegory, animal fables—that is, whatever is not halaka.
Midrash Ha-Gadol.
A 13th-century anonymous Midrash on the Torah; Yemen.
Midrash Lekah Tov
An 11th-century Midrash on the Torah and on the Five Megillot (Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther) by Tobias ben Eliezer; Balkans.
Midrash Psalms
A collection of midrashim on the Psalms, containing material spanning many centuries.
Midrash Rabbah
A 10-part set of 5th and 6th-century collections of homiletical and narrative material, covering the Torah and the Five Megillot (Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Esther).
Midrash Tadsheh
Midrashic collection, composed perhaps in the 10th-century.
Midrash T'murah
A 12th-century midrashic collection.
Bomb shelter.
Mikvah, Miqvah, Mikveh, Mikva, Mikve
A Jewish communal bath for washing away spiritual impurity by immersion.
Mikveh Yisrael
Hope of Israel; agricultural school established in Jaffa in 1870.
Mila 18
The underground bunker from which the battle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was launched, and in which Mordecai Anielewicz was killed. A monument stands today on top of a pile of rubble.
(Yiddish: dairy). Used to describe kosher foods that contain dairy products and therefore cannot be eaten with meat. See also Kashrut.
Milhemet ain brayra
A war without choice.
Milhemet Hahatasha
War of Attrition. In 1968 Egypt declared a war of attrition against Israel, which came to an end with the renewal of the cease-fire in August, 1970.
Milhemet Yom Ha-Deen
The War of the Day of Judgment; the October 1973 War.
Military Government
Israel established a military government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the Six Day War in 1967. The governor was responsible for security and civic administration.
From the Latin for "1000" (see also chiliastic). Having to do with the expected millennium, or thousand-year reign of Christ prophesied in the New Testament book of Revelation (“the Apocalypse”), a time in which the world would be brought to perfection. Millenarian movements often grow up around predictions that this perfect time is about to begin. See eschatology.
Military reserves.
(pl. minim). A heretic, sectarian, or schismatic, according to classical Judaism. The term was applied both to Christians, especially Christian Jews, and to people of "gnostic" tendencies, among others.
(from Heb. for afternoon sacrifice). Afternoon prayers in Jewish synagogue.
Minhag Ha-Makom
Local custom.
A quorum of ten Jews (for Orthodox Jews, ten males) above age thirteen necessary for public services and certain other religious ceremonies to be considered valid.
A general term for special events that seem inexplicable by normal (rational) means. Miracle reports are frequent in Jewish and Christian scriptures and early traditions, while in Islam, the only “miracle” associated with Muhammad is said to be the reception and transmission of the Quran.
Biblical Hebrew term for “sanctuary.” Modern Hebrew term for “official building,” as in mishkan Hanasi (president's mansion) and mishkan HaKnesset” (Knesset building).
Mishloah manot
Gifts of food exchanged during Purim.
(Heb., “teaching”). The digest of the recommended Jewish oral halakha as it existed at the end of the 2nd century and was collated, edited and revised by Rabbi Judah the Prince. The code is divided into six major units and sixty-three minor ones. The work is the authoritative legal tradition of the early sages and is the basis of the legal discussions of the Talmud. See also pilpul.
Mishnei Torah
Maimonides' codification of Jewish law.
(pl. mishpatim). Law from the Torah that can be rationalized.
Those who oppose the hasidim.
Misnaged (pl. misnagdim)
LIterally, “opponent,” originally defined those opposed to hasidism. Currently refers to religious, generally haredi Ashkenazi Jews who are not hasidim.
Misrad HaKlitah
Ministry of Absorption.
Mitchell Report
The report published on May 20, 2001, by a fact-finding committee to investigate the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The report made recommendations to both sides to bring peace.
(pl. mitnagaim, “opposer(s)”). Traditionalist and rationalistic Jewish opponents of eighteenth-century Jewish Hasidism.
Head covering worn by the Kohen Ha Gadol (the High Priest) in the Temple in ancient Israel.
(pl. mitzvot, "commandment, obligation"). A ritual or ethical duty or act of obedience to God's will. See also commandments.
Mitzvah Tanz
A chasidic custom in which the relatives dance with the bride.
Mixed Armistice Commissions

Commissions created to maintain and coordinate the armistice Agreements Israel established with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria in 1949, after Israel’s victorious War of Independence.

Religious Zionist movement founded in 1902 to encourage Zionism among Orthodox Jews and promote religious and cultural ideas among its constituents. Its motto was: “The Land of Israel for the people of Israel according to the Torah of Israel.”
Mizug Galuyot
The integration of different Jewish communities into Israeli society.
Midrash quoting the early Sages on the Book of Exodus, compiled c. 400 C.E. There is a M'khilta of Rabbi Ishmael and one of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai.
M'norat Ha-Maor
A 14th-century ethical treatise by Isaac Aboab; Spain.
A general term used in discussions of religion to indicate the perspective that focuses on modern applicability of religious principles. See also liberal, conservative.
Moetzet Yesha (Yesha Council)
The association of the local councils of the jewish settlers in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
The person who performs a circumcision at a Brit.
Birthplace and homeland; also a right-wing political party.
Molotov Cocktail
A homemade grenade consisting of a flammable liquid encased in a bottle. First used by Finnish soldiers to resist the Soviet invasion in 1940 and were named in honor of the Soviet foreign minister.
The belief in one God.
“Heritage.” A political party similar to Tehiya (q.v.), except that it is strictly religious.
One of the heroes of the story of Purim.
Morrison-Grady Plan
A new plan in 1946 after the failure to implement the plan of the Anglo-American Committee that created semiautonomous Arab and Jewish cantons. The plan turned the mandate into a trusteeship and divided Jewish and Arab districts. The plan collapsed after President Truman decided to stick to his earlier demand for the immediate admission of 100,000 Jewish refugees from Europe to Palestine.
The great biblical personality (c. thirteenth century B.C.E.) who is credited with leading the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage and teaching them the divine laws at Sinai. He is also described as first of the Jewish prophets. Throughout Jewish history he is the exalted man of faith and leadership without peer.
Moses Operation
The code name for the airlift of 7,800 black Jews from Ethiopia to Israel, rescuing them from famine and oppression. The operation began on November 18, 1984, ended six weeks later on January 5, 1985.
Cooperative agricultural settlement in Israel. See moshav ovedim.
Moshav Ovedim
("workers' moshav"). Agricultural village in Israel whose inhabitants possess individual homes and holdings but cooperate in the purchase of equipment, the sale of produce, mutual aid, etc.
Moshav Shittufi
(“collective moshav”). Agricultural village in Israel whose members possess individual homesteads but where the agriculture and economy are conducted as a collective unit.
Earliest type of Jewish village in modern Israel in which farming is conducted on individual farms, mostly on privately owned land.
Moslem Conquest
Arab (Moslem) tribes conquered the land of Israel in 636 CE, soon after establishment of Islam. Jewish settlement in Jerusalem resumed; later the Jewish community diminished under burden of new taxes and limitations.
(Heb. Hamossad Le’mode’in U’le’tafkidim Meyuchadim) The Israeli government's intelligence agency. Like the CIA, it uses agents to collect intelligence, conduct covert operations and counterterrorism. Its primary focus is on terrorist organizations and the Arab nations.
The blessing recited before eating bread.
Mt. Herzl
(Heb., Har Herzl). Israel's National Military Cemetery, site of the graves of Theodore Herzl, David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin and other famous Jews as well as Israeli soldiers.
Mubarak Plan (1985)
In 1985, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt called for direct negotiations between Israel and Jordan and the Palestinians. The talks never occurred because of Israeli opposition to the participation of the PLO.
Mubarak Plan (1989)
In 1989, Mubarak came up with a new plan to get Israel and the PLO to negotiate peace. The new plan focused on the Palestinian elections and required Israel to accept the outcome and freeze settlement activities and entering the West Bank and Gaza Strip on election day. Arafat accepted the plan and Israel rejected it.
Multilateral Talks
Started at the 1991 Madrid Conference. It consisted of five working groups to deal with the major issues in the Middle East including: water, security, refugees, environment and economic development. These talks were held until 1996.
Munich Agreement
Agreement made at Munich between Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, and Daladier on Sept. 10, 1938, providing for the cession of the Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany.
An additional prayer service for Sabbaths and holidays.
Muslim Brothers (Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun)
An organization started in 1929 by Hassan Al-Banna to overthrow the secular government in Egypt and return to a fundamentalist Islamic government. The organization grew and spread to other Arab countries and is responsible for other Islamic organizations that have emerged since then.
Muslim-Christian Association (MCA)
Started in Jaffa in November 1918 as an attempt to express a Palestinian national identity and to oppose Zionism. Soon became a country-wide network with headquarters in Jerusalem.
(Ger.) Nazi camp slang word for prisoner on the brink of death.
Arab-speaking, old established Jewish communities and residents in the Middle East.
Mother's cross—Promoted Aryan mothers to produce more children. For every 4 kids, a mother received a bronze cross, every 6 she received a silver, and for 8 kids, she got a gold.
Mystery Religions
Designation used for a group of ancient Greco-Roman religions characterized by an emphasis on a central "mystery" (often concerning fertility and immortality). In many ways, both early Judaism and early Christianity include characteristics of such "mysteries."
Mystic, Mysticism
(adj. mystical; from Greek for “initiant” into religious “mysteries”). A vaguely used term to indicate certain types of behavior or perspective that goes beyond the rational in the quest of what is considered to be the ultimate in religious experience (often described as union or direct communion with deity). See also kabalah, gnostic.

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