Is the studying of Aleph Bet (the hebrew alphabet) considered talmud torah? By studying Aleph Bet, I mean learning how to read and pronounce the letters/words (not the kabbalistic meaning behind the letters).
- Can one learn/teach aleph bet before birchas hatorah?
- Can one learn/teach aleph bet in the bathroom, or another place where talmud torah is forbidden?
- Is learning aleph bet a mitzvah of Talmud Torah?
I have heard many unsubstantiated stories (mainly Chassidic) insinuating that they are. I am looking for sources either way.