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Glossary:
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An-Naqba
(Arab. the catastrophe). The Arab world commemorates Nakba Day each year on the anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel.
Nabateans
A semitic people who inhabited the Negev and ancient Edom in Transjordan from the third century BCE to the seventh century CE. The Nabateans were nomads at first, then became travelers and led caravans along the Spice Route. The Nabateans founded six cities in the Negev. They left no written records, but are mentioned in Greek and Latin sources.
Nabi or Navi
(pl. nebiim). A “prophet” in ancient Israel; also in Islam. Muhammad is the Muslim nabi par excellence (see also rasul). “Nevi'im” (or Nebiim) became a designation for a section of the Jewish scriptures; see TaNaK.
Nabi Musa Rioting
Rioting in 1920 in the Jewish Quarter in which a number of Jews and Muslims were killed and wounded.
Naches
Pride and joy; pleasure that parents receive from their children.
Nachshon Operation
Initiated on April 6, 1948, and lasting until April 15, this operation succeeded in opening the road to Jerusalem long enough to push through three large convoys stuffed with food and weapons. One of the largest operations of the War of Independence, 1,500 soldiers fielded by the Haganah attacked five different locations. The name “Operation Nachshon” was derived from the biblical personage Nachshon Ben Aminadav who was the first to jump into the Red Sea when the Jews fled Egypt.
Nacht und Nebel
(Ger.) “Night and Fog,” the code name given to the decree of December 12, 1941, by the German High Command of the Armed Forces which directed that persons in occupied territories guilty of activities against Germany's armed forces were to be deported to Germany for trial by special courts and held in concentration camps.
Nahal
(Hebrew for river, riverbed) A regular unit of the Israel Defense Forces training cadres for agricultural settlements.
Narr
A fool.
Narrishkeit
Foolishness.
Nasi
(Heb., “prince, leader”). See Judah the Prince.
National Religious Party (NRP)
Israel's most influential Zionist religious party, and a coalition partner in almost all the nation's governments; known earlier as Mizrahi.
National Water Carrier
Israel's central freshwater artery,completed in 1964, brings water from the north and central regions, through a network of giant pipes, aqueducts, open canals, reservoirs, tunnels, dams and pumping stations, to the semi-arid south.
Nationality Law
On April 1, 1952, the Knesset passed a law that grants Israeli citizenship automatically to any Jew who immigrates to Israel under the 1950 Law of Return.
Navi
Hebrew for Prophet
Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers' Party or NASDAP)
Founded in Germany on January 5, 1919, it was characterized by a centralist and authoritarian structure. Its platform was based on militaristic, racial, anti-Semitic and nationalistic policies. The Nazi Party membership and political power grew dramatically in the 1930s, partly based on political propaganda, mass rallies and demonstrations.
Nebiim
See nabi.
Nebuchadnezzar
Babylonian emperor who captured Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E., ending the First Temple period.
Ne'ilah
(Lit. closing). The closing service of Yom Kippur.
Nefesh
Hebrew for soul.
Negev
The southern, mostly arid region of Israel.
Nekuda (Point)
The monthly magazine of the settlers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza; published by the Yesha council and largely influenced by Gush Emunim.
Neo-Platonism
A line of development from the philosophy of Plato that emphasized the mystical dimensions of its dualistic view of reality, so that union with the ultimate One was a major goal. Influenced the development of mysticism in each of the three religious traditions.
Ner Tamid
Eternal light.
Nes
Miracle; also slang for instant coffee.
Neshoma
Soul or breath.
Nesi
President.
Netivot Shalom
“Paths of Peace.” Taken from the verse in Proverbs, “Your way is the way of pleasantness, and all Your paths are those of peace.” More mass-movement oriented and more religious than Oz v'Shalom, and to its right politically. Founded in 1982, merged with Oz v'Shalom (q.v.) in 1985.
Neturei Karta
The haredi group that is most extreme in its hostility to the State of Israel.
Neviah
a Prophetess
New Testament
The collection of Christian canonical writings that together with “the Old Testament” (see also Apocrypha) constitute the Christian Bible.
Niddah
Laws of purity - mainly female cleanliness laws.
Niemoller, Martin
Former W.W.I Submarine Commander & war hero turned Evangelical Priest. Active member in the Confessing Church. Pastor Niemoller spent the duration of the war in various concentration camps as "personal prisoner of the Fuhrer".
Night And Fog Decree
Secret order issued by Hitler on December 7, 1941, to seize “persons endangering German security” who were to vanish without a trace into night and fog.
Night of the Long Knives
Hitler purge of the SA, which took place on June 30, 1934. During the "Night of the Long Knives" Hitler had many of the SA leadership murdered as well as others whom he viewed as a threat to his power.
Nigun
(pl. nigunim). Wordless prayer melody, usually repeated many times over to create a spiritual mood.
Nihum Avelim
(Lit. comforting mourners). One of the purposes of Jewish practices relating to death and mourning.
NILI
(Heb., Netzach Yisrael Lo Yishaker: Israel Will Survive Forever). Jewish underground spy ring based in the Israeli town of Zichron Ya'acov. During the First World War NILI functioned with the British Army and helped to liberate Palestine from the Turks.
Nine Point Israel Peace Plan
Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban’s plan before the Untied Nations on October 8, 1967 that called for:
  1. Cease-fire
  2. Long-lasting peace
  3. Secured and recognized borders
  4. Security provisions to prevent another war
  5. International waterway freedom of navigation
  6. Refugee solution
  7. Israeli recognition of Christian and Islamic rights to their holy places
  8. Acknowledgement of sovereignty
  9. Regional cooperation
Nissim (ben Reuben Gerondi)
(c. 1310-c. 1375) Also known as “the RaN;” talmudic commentator; Spain.
Nissuin
Wedding ceremony.
Noachide Covenant
(Heb. Sheva mitzvot b'nai Noach) The covenant God made with Noah and his sons, that is, with all the people that survived the flood (Gen. 9:8-17). In rabbinic literature it is interpreted as seven commandments that God gave the whole of humanity. The most widely accepted version of the commandments includes the following: to abstain from 1) idolatry (also from polytheism = worshipping multiple gods); 2) murder; 3) sexual immorality, especially adultery and incest; 4) blasphemy; 5) robbery; 6) brutality against animals; and 7) to establish courts of justice (the only positive commandment). Non-Jews who keep these laws will, according to rabbinic teaching, have part in the world to come. These laws obviously played a role in the considerations of the council in Jerusalem (Acts 15), where the Jewish apostles decided, not to expect gentile followers of Jesus (Christians) to keep the full extent of the Torah.
Nowa Wilejka
A small town to the east of Vilna which was incorporated into the city of Vilna (Vilnius) in 1947. It was the site of a small labor camp, the last camp in the Vilna district to be liquidated in July 1943 because of suspected partisan activity. The workers were taken to Ponary and killed.
NSDAP
(Ger. National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei)The National Socialist German Workers Party, the party led by Adolf Hitler.
Numinous
The awareness of the presence of God. This meaning of the term was developed by the theologian Rudolf Otto in The Idea of the Holy (1923).
Nuremberg Laws
Two anti-Jewish statutes enacted September 1935 during the Nazi party's national convention in Nuremberg. The first, the Reich Citizenship Law, deprived German Jews of their citizenship and all pertinent, related rights. The second, the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor, outlawed marriages of Jews and non-Jews, forbade Jews from employing German females of childbearing age, and prohibited Jews from displaying the German flag. Many additional regulations were attached to the two main statutes, which provided the basis for removing Jews from all spheres of German political, social, and economic life. The Nuremberg Laws carefully established definitions of Jewishness based on bloodlines. Thus, many Germans of mixed ancestry, called "Mischlinge," faced anti-Semitic discrimination if they had a Jewish grandparent.
Nuremberg Trial
Trial of 24 major Nazi figures in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945 and 1946 before the International Military Tribunal.

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