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Glossary:
"Z"


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Zaddik
(pl. zaddikim, Heb., “righteous one”). A general term for a righteous person in Jewish tradition. More specifically, the spiritual leader of the modern Hasidim, popularly known as rebbe.
Zealots
The group of anti-Roman rebels of the 1st century C.E. Their movement started in 6 C.E., but became really active during the period of Jewish Revolt. Their most basic belief was that all means were justified to attain political and religious liberty.
Zegota
A small, unique organization clandestinely established in Nazi-occupied Poland for the purpose of rescuing Jews. The director of Zegota was Zofia Kossack, a devout Catholic and a prewar novelist whose writings were not without anti-Semitic overtones. Indeed, in a leaflet she published in September 1942 titled "Protest," Kossack wrote that the Jews were the enemies of the Polish people but that Poles could not stand by and watch the Jews murdered by the Germans. It is estimated that 2,500 Jewish children were saved as a result of Zegota's efforts. The children were smuggled out of the ghettos and transferred to Catholic orphanages and convents where they pretended to be Christians. Zegota, which had a branch in Krakow (headed by Stanislaw Dobrowolski), also smuggled food into the Plaszow labor camp and, later, into Oskar Schindler's factory in Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia.
Ze’irei Zion
Moderate Zionist socialist labor movement established in 1903, active mainly in Russia.
Zealot
(from Greek, to be enthusiastic). A general term for one who exhibits great enthusiasm and dedication to a cause. Specifically, a member of an early Jewish group or perspective that advocated Jewish independence (see theocracy) from Rome.
Zedakah
See tzedakah.
Zentralstelle für Jüdische Auswanderung
"Central Office for Jewish Emigration"—Set up in Vienna on August 26, 1938, under Adolf Eichmann.
Zigeuner
Roma and Sinti (Gypsies)
Zigeunerlager - Roma and Sinti (Gypsy) Camps
Municipal camps for the confinement of German Roma and Sinti, established post-1935.  Roma and Sinti who were stateless, or held other nationalities, had already mostly been expelled from German soil: "These gypsy camps were in essence SS-Sonderlager: special internment camps combining elements of protective custody, concentration camps and embryonic ghettoes. Usually located on the outskirts of cities, these Zigeunerlager were guarded by the SS, the gendarmerie, or the uniformed city police.  After 1935 these camps became reserve depots for forced labor, genealogical registration, and compulsory sterilization. Between 1933 and 1939, Zigeunerlager were created in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and other German cities.  These camps evolved from municipal internment camps into assembly centres for systematic deportation to concentration camps after 1939." [Source: "Holocaust: The Gypsies."  Sybil Milton. In S Totten, W S Parsons, I W Charny (eds.) Century of Genocide. Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Reviews. New York: Garland, 1997]
Zion, Zionism
(Mount) Zion is an ancient Hebrew designation for Jerusalem, but already in biblical times it began to symbolize the national homeland (see e.g., Psalm 137.1-6). In this latter sense it served as a focus for Jewish national-religious hopes of renewal over the centuries. Ancient hopes and attachments to Zion gave rise to Zionist longings and movements since antiquity, culminating in the modern national liberation movement of that name. The Zionist cause helped the Jews return to Palestine in this century and found the state of Israel in 1948. The goal of Zionism is the political and spiritual renewal of the Jewish people in its ancestral homeland. See also Herzl.
Zion Mule Corps
Vladimir Jabotinsky proposed that a Jewish legion be formed to join the British in liberating Palestine from the Turks during World War I, but the British resisted the idea of Jewish volunteers fighting on the Palestinian front. Instead, they suggested the Jews serve as a detachment for mule transport at another location along the Turkish front. Joseph Trumpeldor subsequently formed the 650-strong Zion Mule Corps, of whom 562 were sent to the Galipoli front.
Zizit (tzitzit)
(Heb., “fringes”). See tallit.
Zmirot
Sabbath songs.
Zog Nit Keyn Mol
Zog nit keyn mol, az du geyst dem letsten veg ("Never say that you are on the final road"), the so-called Partisan Song, written by Hirsh Glick. In April 1943 when news of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising reached the Vilna ghetto, Hirsh Glick wrote this defiant anthem. It has become the universal Hymn of the Holocaust Survivors.
Zohar
“Book of Splendor”; the chief literary work of the kabalists. The author of the main part of the Zohar was Moses de Leon (12th century) in Spain, but it is pseudepigraphically ascribed to the Palestinian tanna Simeon bar Yohai (2nd century CE), sometimes called RaShBaY (Rabbi Shimeon bar Yohai).
Zornberg, Avivah Gottlieb
(b. 1944) Bible lecturer, teacher and author; Israel.
Zoroastrianism
The ancient pre-Islamic Persian religion.
Zot Haaretz (This Is the Land)
The journal of the Land of Israel Movement.
Zyklon B
The commercial name for hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas used in the Euthanasia Program and at Auschwitz. The poison was produced by the firm DEGESCH, which was controlled by I. G. Farben. Zyklon B was delivered to the camps in the form of pellets in air-tight containers. When the pellets were exposed to the air they turned into a deadly gas that would asphyxiate victims within minutes.

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