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23

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 ...


16

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


15

There are the following others: אביהיל and אבישור (I Chron. 2:29) מעכה and מכיר (ibid. 7:16) שלחו אותם and שחרים (ibid. 8:8, according to Radak, Metzudos and Malbim) יהושבעת and יהוידע (II Chron. 22:11)


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


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 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 ...


10

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.


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 ...


10

Rabbi Moshe Isserlis writes (YD 275:6) about various scribal traditions including large/small letters that אם שינה לא פסל - if [the scribe] deviated, he did not invalidate [the scroll]. Obviously if they can be fixed, one should do so to conform with the tradition.


8

In Aramaic, the suffix "ey h" means "his." In this context, the antecedent is God.


8

From what I understand, your second question is based on the assumption that every column begins what a Vav. While this seems to be common practice, it is frowned upon by the Poskim who seem to claim that it has no basis in halacha. See for example the Keseth HaSofer at the end of Ch. 4 - and the footnote there. He claims that the ווי העמודים - as it's ...


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

"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 ...


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

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 ...


7

Indeed, the Beit Yosef (OC 36) cites the Gemara you reference and claims that the ש should have a pointed base. The Peri Megadim (EA end of 32) is unsure if this is a necessary component of the letter. The Keset HaSofer (5:2:ש) implies it would be Kosher Bedieved, but one should be very careful to avoid a flat base. The Mishna Berura (Mishnat Sofrim ש) is ...


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

From some basic Googling found: Abram = exiled father Abraham = father of multitudes Seems the meaning of the words also changed. So that would explain why "Hai."


6

Two yuds is not a Name of Hashem. It is just an abbreviation or "placeholder."


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).


6

If the Nun's were not inverted but were left as regular letters, it is kosher bdieved. Source: Sefer Keses Hasofer (Mahadura Tinyana), Chakira 17 (s.v. v'hinei hageonum) citing Noda Beyhudah and others (Sefer Keses Hasofer is the classic source for Hilchos Stam by Rav Shlomo Ganzfried, the author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and is probably the standard ...


6

Bavli, Shabas 104, is such a source. Plus, there are a number of chapters of Tanach written as alphabetical acrostics (albeit with omissions or a slightly different order in some cases): specifically, Pslams 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145; Proverbs 31; and most of Lamentations.


5

Try Sefer Katan Ve'Gadol, by Rabbi Zvi Ron. It brings together all the different midrashim about every big or small letter in Tanach.



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