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20

From the archaeological evidence it is clear that the Hebrew srcipt being used during the First Temple Period was what's known as the Ivri script (a handy conversion chart can be found here) which is very similar to Phoenician, as opposed to our script nowadays which is called Ashuri script. In terms of what script was used at Mount Sinai, there is a 3 way ...


15

עתניאל בן קנז ועכסה בת כלב — see Judges 1:13 EDIT: I found some more: יואש מלך יהודה ויהועדן - See Kings II 14:2 אחז מלך יהודה ואבי בת-זכריה - See Kings II 18:2 חזקיהו מלך יהודה וחפצי-בה - See Kings II 21:1 מנשה מלך יהודה ומשלמת בת חרוץ - See Kings II 21:19


13

See here that the letter (chart on the right) that the letter tzaddi - צ - has one of the lowest frequencies in the Hebrew alphabet. Only tet is lower. That is from anywhere in the word. A better frequency chart would be for the start of words. In terms of vav, while it is frequent even in the beginning of words, this is only as a connective letter, meaning ...


12

י and ה by themselves do form a Divine name, used in several places in the Bible (e.g., Ex. 17:16). All of the laws about not erasing a name of G-d apply to it as well (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 276:10). As for י and ו, we do find those used as a representation of G-d's name in personal names like יוחנן (Yochanan/Johanan, "G-d is kind") and יוכבד ...


12

The following information is recorded on the Mechon Mamre website: בתנ"כים שלנו יש גם סימני הפרשייות {פ} {ס} {ר} {ש} שהם מסמנים פרשה פתוחה, פרשה סתומה, סוף שורה בשירות מסויימות, ושורה ריקה (או שורות ריקות בסוף ספר).‏ My translation: In our Tanakhs there are also [the following] disjunctive symbols: פ,‎ ס,‎ ר,‎ ש, which stand for ...


11

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 104b) says that it is because peh means "mouth" and ayin means eye, and it therefore symbolizes the sin of the spies, "who said with their mouths [false reports about the Land of Israel] that they did not see with their eyes." Maharsha there adds that the regular order was retained in the first chapter of Eicha, because otherwise we ...


11

Not only are these letters kosher, but they are part of the ancient way of writing the text. Maimonides (Sefer Torah 7:8) urges the scribes to ensure to be careful in preserving the irregular aspects of the text, among which he lists: אותייות הגדולות, ובאותייות הקטנות, ובאותייות הנקודות, ובאותייות שצורתן משונות כגון הפיין הלפופות, והאותייות העקומות כמו ...


10

An academic reason would be that indeed Hebrew (and other related languages) don't need vowels for disambiguation as much as, say, English. Most Hebrew words are built out of triliteral consonantal roots, so that words with the same consonants are (usually) related, differing only in how they're inflected for different parts of speech, number, tense and so ...


10

No, it doesn't change the meaning. The letter bes that starts that word appears with a dot in it usually, but without one after a word (in the same phrase) that ends in an open syllable. (Usually.) The pronunciation changes between these two forms, but not the meaning. It's not unique to this word, either, but true of all words that start with a bes, gimel, ...


10

I highly doubt there is any significance to such a pronunciation (although I stand to be corrected) but since you ask, here is a technical explanation (based on here and here): There are two types of sounds - ones where you use your voice, like b, d, g, f and z, and ones where you don't like p, t, k, v, and s. The ones that you use your voice for are called ...


9

Rabbeinu Bachye on "lo sechanem" (Vaeschanan, 7:2) gives multiple ways of reading the prohibition based on fiddling with the vowels. He gives this flexibility for multiple versions as the reason for the Torah not including vowels. See R. Bachye also Behaalos'cha 11:15.


7

Chanoch and Ariel K are correct in their answer, but one can answer at greater length and detail. The letters beged kefet, בגד כפת are distinguished from other Hebrew letters in taking a dagesh kal, a 'weak' dagesh, at the start of words or after a shva nach. The function of this dagesh kal is to distinguish between the plosive and fricative versions of the ...


7

I used the Bar-Ilan Program to search for verses beginning with Samech and ending in Aleph. No hits. Substituting a Sin for the Samech, we retrieved 8 hits, among them: תהלים פרק פו פסוק ד שמח נפש עבדך כי אליך אדני נפשי אשא Substituting a Heh for the Aleph, we got 12 hits, among them: במדבר פרק יד פסוק יט סלח נא לעון העם הזה כגדל חסדך וכאשר נשאתה לעם ...


7

The name אברם numerically equals 243. Originally Avram was master of 243 of his 248 body parts: all except his two eyes, two ears, and male organ. [These are usually exposed to improper stimuli, even against a person's will.] However, with the Hei (numerical value of 5) added to his name, Hashem granted him control even over these [so that he no longer could ...


7

The National Jewish Outreach Program offers free Hebrew classes in several cities designed to get people started. These are weekly classes for 5 or 6 weeks designed to teach you how to pronounce the words in front of you (so you can stop relying on transliteration) and some very basic vocabulary. I don't know where in Pennyslvania you live; they at least ...


6

Nikudot support has been problematic for a long time, on many applications. I do not know whether Windows magically gets it right, but I know Linux has had difficulties (and many applications still do have difficulties). Several years ago, I sent a survey of nikudot support to the authors of many important Linux applications (word processors specifically), ...


6

There's a debate in the Talmud (which is in turn subject to more debate by commentaries how to understand it), the two opinions appear to be as follows: The original Torah was given in the script we now know. However that script was only used for "sacred matters." Common Hebrew documents were written in the proto-script. Around 2500 years ago, Ezra ...


6

In the Hebrew dialect of Habbani Jews (type of Temanim), we maintain a double pronunciation of resh, as well as a few other sounds I'm not aware of other dialects having. The main pronunciation of resh is a regular rolled r, like exists in Arabic and Spanish. The soft resh is much like an English r, but more emphatic, as if you were about to roll it but ...


6

Sounds like you're looking for the Gemara on Shabbos 104a. The Rabbis told R. Joshua b. Levi: Children have come to the Beth Hamidrash and said things the like of which was not said even in the days of Joshua the son of Nun. [Thus:] alef Beth [means] ‘learn wisdom [alef Binah];Gimmel Daleth, show kindness to the Poor [Gemol Dallim]. Why is the ...


6

The Talmud (Shabbat 104a) spells it out as תיו. So anything from Taw to Tau to Tav is probably in the right ballpark. The unvoicing of the 'v' to make 'f' in common parlance is a common feature of speech (see also this parallel question).


5

Radak (ad loc.) says the answer to your question (and why resh appears twice) is "not known, really" (though he first quotes ibn Ezra (though not by name) who suggests that the missing bes and vav are held by "בך" (verse 2) and "ולמדני" (verse 5) respectively).


5

From here, quoting the Beit Yosef to Orach Chaim 32: The Verse says, "And all the nations of the land will see that the name of God is called upon you and they will fear you" (Devarim 28:10). The Talmud says that this refers to the the Tefillin Shel Rosh (Tefillin of the Head). G-d Name, The Tetragramaton, is the numerical value of 300, using the Gematria ...


5

It is possible to prolong a plosive (stop). You will hear some who are very careful with reading the prayers or the Tora pronounce a dagesh chazak (dagesh forte) as a geminate consonant; this is a longer consonant, and can be done even with a stop. (If you ever hear someone speaking Arabic or Italian (tutto), you can hear geminate stops also. Many other ...


5

As Menachem mentioned in the comments, there is a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe (here) where he says that the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe was instructed by his father to say two pesukim, one for each of his names. I don't have sources, but as far as actual practice goes, all the people I know with two names (of which I am not one), say both pesukim. I ...


5

"A sin is just a samech with three branches." -- A contemporary American ראש ישיבה The idea here is that in modern usage they are both actually interchangeable with samech. For an illustration of this interchangeability see the 15th line of the alphabetical acrostic א-ל אדון, in which a sin appears where we would expect a samech, or the common ...


5

The Elya Rabba (Orach Chaim 185) notes that in Birchas Hamazon all the letters of the Aleph Beis appear with the exception of the "Ende Fei." The Elya Rabbah explains that according to the esoteric teachings of kabala the "Ende Fei" is associated with demons and harmful spirits. Chazal purposely omitted the "Ende Fei" to underscore that the intense holiness ...


5

The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes that while he did not receive an explicit instruction, the custom among many old printers (many of whom were big Torah scholars) to write the simple and not the final letter(look in most gemaras on Daf Chof, for example). Practically, most letters that were written in the Chofs (the 60's) were written with a smiple chof. I've ...


5

R. Yosef Chiyun (linked in @jake's comment here) says that these three letters spell out בוק, meaning "emptiness" (as in הבוק תבוק (Is. 24:3), "thoroughly emptied"). So the omission of these letters implies that "one who says [this chapter of Tehillim] will not see בוק." Pri Eitz Chayim (Shaar Nefilas Apayim 2) explains that בוק also suggests "a flame" (as ...


5

As I noted above, it is quite common to find grammatical inconsistencies in Psalms and other poetic Biblical sections. Switching back and forth between the second and third person forms in reference to God is probably the most common example. So much so that I would be more surprised if a (God-related) psalm didn't include this phenomenon than if it did. As ...


4

Chinuch.org has what you are looking for @ http://chinuch.org/item_details.php?mid=8033&id=68&s=1 or http://chinuch.org/home_topic_search.php?id=68&s=1



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