Questions tagged [aleph-bet-letters]

Questions about the Hebrew letters, or aleph-bet.

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8
votes
2answers
137 views

Why are there 7 inverted letter nuns in Tehillim 107?

In the Masoretic text of Tehillim 107 there are 7 pesukim which contain an inverted letter nun (similar to those in Sefer Bamidbar). In my standard edition Mikraot Gedolot none of the commentaries ...
0
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0answers
54 views

Is there math in Torah?

I have watched a nice movie back in the day that deals with numbers. In one of the scenes. A Jewish man comes to The Mathematician and tells about how the Hebrew uses the same "letters" as letters ...
2
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2answers
130 views

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 ...
11
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6answers
1k views

Different Size Letters in the Torah

I've often wondered if someone has compiled anything about the "special letters" in the Torah: All the letters that are either big or small. Together, do they read as something special? One or more ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Hebrew Letters and corresponding body parts

When I was a little child, I remember being taught that each of the Hebrew letters had a corresponding body part. I am sure I learned what they were at the time, but I've long forgotten most of them. ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Is the dot of Shin and Sin explained as a part of Nikkud?

Following the question about שכר ושכר, Shin and Sin letters have a little dot that does not have a name and is used exclusively to differentiate between them (diacritic). I read books about the ...
22
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2answers
3k views

Why does the Hebrew alphabet not have letters representing vowels?

The Hebrew alphabet is actually an abjad rather than a "true" Western-style alphabet, in that every letter represents a consonant, and vowels, if they're indicated at all, require diacritics. This ...
21
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4answers
3k views

Relationship between Samekh and Sin

What is the relationship between the letters samekh and sin? Did they ever have distinct sounds? Why do they exist as separate letters?
2
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1answer
79 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?
4
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1answer
130 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
2
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1answer
68 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?
2
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0answers
49 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 ...
7
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6answers
323 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 — ...
9
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2answers
8k views

How many words are there in Tanach?

How many letters are in the Torah? How many words are in the Torah? How many verses are in the Torah? How many chapters are in the Torah? How many letters, words, verses, and chapters are in every ...
-1
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2answers
3k views

Talmud Statistics

How many letters are in the Talmud?* How many words are in the Talmud? How many dafim are in the Talmud? How many tractates are in the Talmud? How many letters, words, and dafim are in every ...
7
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2answers
590 views

Who were the original users of Ktav Ashuri?

According to one opinion found in the Talmud Sanhedrin 22a ktav ashuri was brought up from the first exile, assumedly adopted from Babylonian sources. Who exactly was using this alphabet? Do we have ...
7
votes
2answers
99 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

How to pronounce the name שימי

There's an amora (or at least one) in the Bavli named שימי. I think I've always heard this pronounced with an initial letter sin. However, I saw recently that the Koren-Steinsaltz edition has a ...
1
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0answers
51 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
52 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Complete list of verses corresponding to people's names?

There is a custom to say a verse corresponding to ones name at the end of the Amidah, as a Segulah not to forget his name on the day of Judgement. There are several sources for this practice, ...
23
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3answers
1k views

Is the winding פ in this sefer torah kosher?

Leaving aside all other issues with the text as displayed, are the pehs acceptable, or do they actually need an inverted vav on the inside (instead of these whirls)?
1
vote
1answer
194 views

How many letters are there in Tanach? [duplicate]

Although I know how many letters there are in the five books of the Torah, 304,805, I do not know how many letters there are in Neviim and Kesuvim. So, my question is, "How many letters are there in ...
-2
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2answers
611 views

Mishneh Torah Statistics

This question addresses how many halachos there are in Mishneh Torah. How many chapters are in the Mishneh Torah? How many books are in the Mishneh Torah?
4
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3answers
368 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

Why does Orthodoxy hold that the Torah has not changed?

King David c. 1040–970 BCE, indeed any of the ancient Jewish kings, if presented with a modern Sefer Torah would not have been able to read it. The masoretic text we now have, written between the 7th ...
1
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0answers
58 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
492 views

The almost-alphabetic acrostic Al Chet

The Al Chet that we say four times on Yom Kippur - the long list of sins that we list and ask to be forgiven for - is a double-acrostic (in nusach Ashkenaz). Each letter is represented twice in a row ...
3
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
1
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0answers
41 views

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?
2
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
316 views

Can we teach reading Hebrew without using the full names of the letters and vowels?

I've heard in Chabad and elsewhere that when teaching children to read Hebrew, one must call the letters and vowels only by their full traditional name. This is in my opinion very distracting for a ...
1
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2answers
95 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.
5
votes
1answer
429 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
136 views

תעבנו, תעינו, תעתענו Why three things that begin with a ת?

The Vidui that is said during the days of Selichos, and on Yom Kippur, and by Nusach Sefard on days that Tachanun is recited, starts with Ashamnu and goes letter by letter through the Aleph Bais. At ...
6
votes
1answer
180 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
155 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 ...
2
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2answers
777 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....
1
vote
1answer
163 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....
1
vote
1answer
116 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

Adir Hu - mi yodeya?

A popular song sung at the seder is Adir Hu. The song contains many phrases of the pattern: [Adjective] is He. that are grouped together alphabetically with a refrain asking for the speedy ...
0
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0answers
27 views

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?
5
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4answers
1k views

Is there a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א? [duplicate]

I have a relative with the name סימא and she has been unable to find a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א. Is there such a Possuk? The lists that are elsewhere do not ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
283 views

Wordplay concerning the Ayin and the Aleph in Gemara

I remember hearing about some interesting statements made about those that fail to distinguish pronunciation between the ayin and the aleph. An example was given in gemara about why such a distinction ...
8
votes
2answers
275 views

Are the letters on a dreidel supposed to be in any particular order?

This is a little silly, but... Should the letters on a dreidel be in order? Like, if you turned it right to left, should it go nun - gimel - hey - shin, because of "nes gadol haya sham"? Or are there ...
5
votes
2answers
122 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
223 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 ...