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Questions tagged [aleph-bet-letters]

Questions about the Hebrew letters, or aleph-bet.

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Where is the midrash of “300 days of Tefillin?”

According to various Rishonim and Acharonim who are listed in R' Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger's "Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz Volume 5," there is a Midrash that states that the Shin on Tefillin boxes alludes ...
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1answer
61 views

Within Judaism is there a tradition of interpreting individual letters such as with YHVH

Two recent questions on Christianity Stack have got me thinking about the way some people interpret the divine name. One answer gave this interpretation: Yod - י Hand Hey - ה Open Window, to reveal ...
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47 views

Significance of Torah Midpoint

What is the significance of the middle of the Torah in letters being the vav in גָּחוֹן (Vayika 11:42)? (source: Kiddushin 30a) What is special about the vav in גָּחוֹן that the Almighty chose to ...
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1answer
64 views

Why is the מ in מוֹקְדָ֨ה small?

In Parshat צו, Chapter 6, verse 2 the מ in מוֹקְדָ֨ה is small according to Minchas Shai. Why is the מ in מוֹקְדָ֨ה small?
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2answers
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Tagin on letter Tet

Shalom! I recently read that in Genesis 1:4, the word Tov is used for the first time and when written in Hebrew, the Tet is crowned with 4 tagin instead of the usual 3. I have been searching for ...
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49 views

Minhag Hebrew Pronunciation each letter

Is the pronunciation of the Hebrew letters a minhag or is the pronunciation of each individual letter each an individual minhag itself? For example would the pronunciation of the letter dalet be one ...
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1answer
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Elevated Ayin (ע) in Iyov 38:13 and 38:15

I noticed this in Iyov 38:13,15: יג לֶאֱחֹז, בְּכַנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ; וְיִנָּעֲרוּ רְשָׁעִים מִמֶּנָּה.‏ טו וְיִמָּנַע מֵרְשָׁעִים אוֹרָם; וּזְרוֹעַ רָמָה, תִּשָּׁבֵר.‏ I know about ...
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What was the first siddur to contain an aleph-bet chart?

Many siddurim (prayerbooks) published today contain a chart of the Hebrew alphabet towards the beginning (see e.g. page 11 of this pdf). What was the first siddur published to contain an alphabet ...
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1answer
66 views

Small Dalet in Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:17

In Mishlei (Proverbs) 28:17, the letter dalet is small in the word "adam". Why is this?
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What is the history and origin of the Etz Chayim symbol and the 10 Sefiroth?

This question is related to the question 'what is the origin of the Hebrew language?' since Hebrew is a key part of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. However, the question of Hebrew language origins seems ...
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1answer
67 views

Not verbally spelling Hashem's names

Where do we find that it's forbidden to spell out Hashem's names? For example, people will say Yud-Kay - replacing the Hay with a Kay. Or Yud-Kay-Vov-Kay for the Tetragrammaton. We know it's ...
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Asking about final letters [closed]

Is there a specific reason that when letters such as mem & nun are written at the end of a sentence they are written differently?
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1answer
140 views

Did the Masoretes add the yud symbols?

My unfamiliarity with the history of the Hebrew language has created some confusion for me. I believe that that it was the Masorete editors who had added some of the vowel points and vowel markings ...
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2answers
87 views

Online Hebrew Letter Maker

I'm looking for an online tool which will allow me to produce a Hebrew word in the K'tav Ashuri, Torah font.
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1answer
425 views

Is the letter Aleph (א) also a word that means “to teach, inculcate”?

This Aish article about the meaning of the word "Adam" states the following: The letter aleph is also a word which means to teach or inculcate. It similarly indicates leadership, as implied by ...
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1answer
122 views

What is the origin of the Rashi script?

I believe the script which is called "Rashi script" was invented to avoid using the normal Hebrew alphabet for things which weren't strictly Torah. Is this true? If so - why are only TWO letters ...
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1answer
173 views

Why do older Anglo Ashkenaz texts transliterate ת as “th” and how was it pronounced?

Many older (19th and 20th century) Anglo Ashkenaz seforim translate ת (without a dagesh) as "th" - resulting in transliterations like "Sukkoth", "haftaroth", "mishnayoth" - when the general Ashkenazi ...
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3answers
144 views

Confusing Tes with Pei

The Gemara (Shabbos 103a) gives a list of letters that should be written very carefully to avoid being mixed up with other letters: "וכתבתם שתהא כתיבה תמה שלא יכתוב אלפין עיינין עיינין אלפין ביתין ...
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1answer
151 views

Source of the lost letter shin?

I read here that in Kabbalistic tradition the four pronged shin (such as that on the tefillin) was once part of the Hebrew Alphabet but was lost, but I was not able to find a source for this tradition....
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Why does the letter Hei stands for Shechinah

Why is it the letter ה which represents or is connected with the Shechinah? What is the explanation behind this idea?
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Source for Adam being made with the letter Hey

I know of this gemarah teaching (see also Midrash Rabah 12:2) about Bereshit 2:4 which teaches that the phrase: 'Eileh toldot hashamayim v'ha'aretz b'hibaram' could be read as 'b'Hey baram', that ...
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2answers
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Why does ולירושלים start with a Vav?

This extra Vav seems to be the adopted Nusach of choice for all Ashkenazim (Edot Mizrach and Aram Sova do not; their beracha begins differently). I can only imagine there are earlier girsaot without ...
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Why is Uzzah's name spelled differently

In 2 Shmuel chapter 6 Uzzah's name is spelled alternatively with an ending aleph (v. 3,6) or heh (v 7,8). What is the explanation for this change? Note that in the recounting in 1 Divrei HaYamim 13 ...
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1answer
103 views

Why is the Yod smaller in Pinchas' name in Bamidbar 25:11?

Pinchas is mentioned several times in the Tanach but in the pasuk Bamidbar 25:11 this is the only time the 'yod' in his name is diminished in size. I don't know if every manuscript has this anomaly. ...
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2answers
218 views

I am looking for a resource that finds words with a certain root in Tanakh

I am a beginner in Hebrew and so please forgive me if my question shows profound ignorance. I would like to pull up or list verses in the Tanakh based on them having a particular vocabulary word in ...
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1answer
75 views

Where does the Talmud reference the pronounciation of guttural letters?

Where does the Talmud reference the pronounciation of guttural letters? I remember coming across a quote once from the Talmud which stated that the Jews of Galilee used to neglect their ayn (or some ...
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1answer
190 views

articulation of resh with dagesh

It is well known that ר not lend itself to gemination. It never has virtual gemination. As for the full gemination indicated by the dagesh, ר allows it, but only very rarely, and never after the ...
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1answer
109 views

Does Psalm 37's 1st verse in the Dead Sea Scroll named 11QPsd start with Aleph?

My question is whether Psalm 37's 1st verse in the Dead Sea Scroll known as 11QPsd starts with the letter "Aleph," because it is supposed to be an alphabetical acrostic poem. The reason why I'm asking ...
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1answer
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In Vaykira 6:2, why does the word for hearth have 3 enlarged letters?

In the parashat Tsav, Vayikra 6:2, "This is the law of the burnt offering, it is the burnt offering on the hearth...". In some Torah scrolls at the end of the word for hearth, it has three enlarged ...
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1answer
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May one place letters under one another as long as there is a space between them?

Soferim 2:2 rules that one must put a line-width space between lines, a letter-width space between words, and a hair-width space between letters. Certain letters leave much space beneath them, and ...
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2answers
708 views

Interchangeable usage of Hebrew letters (such as Beis and Vav, etc.)

I don't know if there is another post about this issue, but forgive me if there is. Here is my question. I recently read somewhere that there are letters that can be interchanged for various reasons....
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3answers
131 views

Why a (enda)mem sofit לםרבה in Yishaya 9:6

I noticed during the reading of the haftorah of parshas Yisro that the word למרבה is spelled לםרבה,this is certainly a strange phenomenon since a mem sofit everywhere else is always at the end of the ...
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156 views

Looking for Pasuk for my son's name

My son's name is Kolunimus. I can't find a pasuk that starts with Kuf and end with Samech. Please help.
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6answers
316 views

Why is the Aleph diminished in size in Vayikra 1:1?

Vayikra 1:1 "And He called to Moshe and spoke..." In some Torah scrolls the Aleph in the first word is diminished in size. What is the significance of this anomaly? (The very next word — to Moshe — ...
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2answers
156 views

Why is the HEY enlarged in Deut. 32:6?

"To" Ha Shem.... In some Torah scrolls the HEY is enlarged for the word "To" which proceeds Ha Shem, What is the significance? I have not seen this in other verses of Torah where the word proceeding ...
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3answers
381 views

Why is there an enlarged Nun in Exodus 34:7?

... keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin. In some Torah scrolls, the Nun in the word נצר "keeping" is written larger than normal. What is the significance of ...
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Why does An'im Zemiros have two רs?

The song beginning אנעים זמירות (also named Shir HaKavod), which is popularly sung in shuls on Shabbos and/or Yom Tov and/or Yamim Noraim, basically follows a letter-scheme, with one verse for each ...
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33 views

Why no double vav in the acrostic?

In Musaf of Yom Kippur, we say a prayer (page 574 in the Artscroll Machzor) which begins “umerov avoneinu ein lanu:” and then it goes through a double acrostic of things we no longer have, beginning ...
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268 views

How is there Torah about Hebrew letters if the letters are not original?

Occasionally I hear Torah that relates to the iconography of Hebrew letters, like the significance around the fact that the yud is a small point, and how the hey has two openings, allowing repentants ...
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1answer
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Midrash Genesis Rabbah 1.11 — clarification to the answer the children recieved about the two forms for mem, nun, zade, peh, & kaf?

I'm currently reading Midrash Rabbah (Bereshis), and I'm intrigued by the story in 1:11, where the children attend the House of the Assembly on a stormy day and ask why there are two forms to the ...
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2answers
141 views

Understanding text variations

This past week I found a rather interesting difference in the Stone/Hertz chumash Hebrew texts. The reference is Numbers 25:12. The word shalom is translated with a broken Vav in Hertz. Stone uses ...
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1answer
101 views

Source Midrash - why the first letter of the Tenach is a Bet

What's the source of the Midrash that talks about the reason why the letter Bet was chosen as the first letter of the Tenach and not the Alef? The reason being given in this Midrash is that it is ...
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1answer
94 views

Where can one find a complete guide to Hebrew numerals?

I am looking for an instruction resource on Hebrew numerals that is comprehensive, insofar as it: lists all (or nearly all) of the euphemistic exceptions in frequent use (such as "chai" for 18, רחץ ...
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1answer
181 views

How does one pronounce the sefardi Ayin?

I was taught how to read in an ashekenazi yeshivah where no difference was made between the aleph and ayin. I keep trying to make my ayin gutteral but it never sounds exactly how the sephardim ...
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1answer
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Chilufei Otiyot and the 22 Alef-Bets

In Sefer Yetzirah we are told of the 231 Gates, in various other sources we learn that there are many different Alef-Bets (Some saying as many as 231). Of these I know the standard, AtBash, AlBam, ...
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3answers
363 views

What sources try to rectify the difference in the actual vs 600K letters in the Torah?

The New Zohar Shir Hashirim 658 זוהר חדש, שיר השירים, תרנ"ח is [seemingly] the first reference to the number of 600K (ס' רבוא) letters of the Torah corresponding to all the Jews (at least in the ...
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What is the dot in this vav?

What is this dot in the word יִוָּדַ֤ע in Mikeitz 41 31. וְלֹֽא־יִוָּדַ֤ע הַשָּׂבָע֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ מִפְּנֵ֛י הָרָעָ֥ב הַה֖וּא אַחֲרֵי־כֵ֑ן כִּֽי־כָבֵ֥ד ה֖וּא מְאֹֽד׃ How does it effect the reading of ...
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1answer
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posuk for the name “Pearl” to say in shemone esre [duplicate]

I am searching for a possuk beginning with a pei and ending with a lamed, to say in Shemona Esre, for name Pearl. I have found one in tehillim perek 7, but would love a different one if at all ...
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2answers
447 views

Why is hebrew, the holy language, so messy?

Something that has always bothered me and I've never really understood is why Hebrew is so messy. If it is the language of G-d, the language in which the world was created and the language in which ...
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Source for the Beit Yosef's צ

In most forms of k'tav stam (Sephardi, Ari, Jeckisch, et c.) the righthand yud of the letter צ is reversed (see fig. 1). On the other hand, the Beit Yosef's צ uses a regular י shape in the righthand ...