My first guess was that it was a way of avoiding writing out a Divine name, but the texts where I've seen this, the same page may indeed include a full Divine name, so there must be another reason. I've seen it in siddurim (prayerbooks) and Scripture. I did find one speculative article but I don't feel it answers my question: https://myinspiration.com/aleph-lamed
The letters aleph-lamed are sometimes blended into a single figure in certain texts. What is the origin/purpose of this?
2To save a bit of room on the line for printing.– N.T.Feb 6, 2022 at 13:21
Interesting to note that Arabic has a similar phenomenon, where the alef and lamed can be written as a joint letter– Moshe SteinbergFeb 12, 2022 at 19:38