For example, עמק הבכא in Psalams 84:6 is often translated as "Valley of weeping", even though we should expect the word weeping to be בכי, and not at all with an Alef.

Do we have more instances of this substitution occurring?

  • 1
    Do you want א replacing ה/י or the reverse or both? Your title is ambiguous.
    – magicker72
    Aug 29, 2021 at 15:33
  • 1
    many commentators don't see it as "weeping" but as related to the word בכאים , a type of tree. So the example might not be a model of what you are looking for. sefaria.org/II_Samuel.5.23?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en
    – rosends
    Aug 29, 2021 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


As a general rule, all the letters of אהו"י are interchangeable (Ibn Ezra). One example I found with a quick search is Zecharya 11:13 where a yud replaces an aleph.

UPDATE: I went and found a few more examples:

Here are two cases where the same word is spelled with an aleph in Divrei Hayamim and a heh in Melachim, according to the Radak: 1 and 2.

Here is an example of Rashi saying a heh replaces an aleph, according to Mizrachi. The Gur Aryeh says the same thing. And here is another example with Rashi saying clearly that in many words, heh is replaced with aleph:

רפה שבריה כי מטה. לשון רפואה אע"פ שכתוב בה"א הרבה תיבות משמשות כן:
heal its breaches for it has faltered Heb. רפה, an expression of healing. Although it is spelled with a “hey,” many words are used in this manner.

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