Questions tagged [aleph-bet-letters]

Questions about the Hebrew letters, or aleph-bet.

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Dagesh in pe lefufah

If you were writing pointed text with a pe lefufah (or doubled/spiral pe, or pe kefulah) for pedagogical purposes, and the pe had a dagesh, would you write the dagesh inside the inner spiral, or ...
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Verse with name

Saw a post about this so it reminded me of my question- we say that you say a Torah verse at the end of shemoneh esrei that begins with the first letter of your name and ends in the last letter of ...
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Verse corresponding to name [duplicate]

I have checked other posts about this topic, but I can't find my answer: I am writing a storyboard for a short film, and the main character is 'Binyamin ben Yosef.' Throughout the film, he memorizes ...
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6 votes
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What is the understanding of this piece from the Vilna Gaon

In Parshas Mishpatim, the Torah tells us of the laws regarding an Eved Nirtzah - A Jewish slave who has finished his term of slavery yet chooses to stay as a slave by his master, as a consequence we ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Why do some siddurim begin with alef beis?

Some siddurim have a few opening pages of addendums like how to put on tefillin. I noticed that the Nusach Ari siddur has a page of alef-beis and nekudos, plus a page of letters combined with nekudos. ...
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What is this Ktav?

My son sent me this picture of an old voweled text, probably around 10-12 centuries CE. What stands out, is that the letter He is connected and Chet is flat on the left side. Is this a fragment of a ...
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is there a list of where the letter samech occurs with a degesh in the Chumash

Is there a source that i can link to that shows all the words in the torah with a dagesh in the Samech ?
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2 votes
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Group symmetry in the letters of Genesis [closed]

Forgive me if this is not the sort of question you like. I'm new here. Several years ago I came across the work of Stan Tenen, available at meru.org, who appears to have made some impressive ...
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Are there words in the Hebrew bible where we find the letter Hei/Yod subsituted for an Alef?

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 ...
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3 votes
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Chazal on pronounciation (according to Koren)

In his introduction to the Koren siddur, Eliyahu Koren claims: A window thou shalt make to the ark,” says God to Noah, and our sages took this also to mean that the correct pronunciation of the words ...
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What do the independent-minded Hebrew letters teach us?

God renames Sarai "Sarah" [Genesis 17:15], removing a yod at the end and replacing it with a heh. Later, the name of Hoshea. Moses' successor, is changed to Joshua, adding a yod. [Numbers ...
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How is a "ד" without a דגש קל pronounced? [duplicate]

According to many books I have read, a דגש קל can only be present in the letters ב, ג, ד, כ, פ and ת. The Ashkenazi מסורה for pronunciations of the letters ג and ד without a דגש קל has been lost. I ...
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Thirty two pairs of letters from Adam to Terach

I'm reading in the Zohar on Shir Hashirim 64 that there are thirty-two sets of the alphabet advanced until Israel stood at Mount Sinai. Basically, all the first and final letters of the names of main ...
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Rosh Hashanah vs Rosh Chodesh

The beginning of the Jewish year is referred to as Rosh Hashanah. The beginning of the Jewish month is called Rosh Chodesh. How come Rosh Hashanah has a "hey" (ה) in it, while Rosh Chodesh ...
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2 votes
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Why are some Lameds with a flat top?

In many places in the siddur there are Lameds with a flat top, and there are some with a straight top. For example in the last הללוקה the word בצלצלי, the first lamed is with a straight top, and the ...
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Form of letters for safrut

Does anyone know of a good online resource for how to make the letters for Sefer Torah, tefillin, mezuzot, based on the Mishnah Berurah's Mishnat Sofrim (siman 36) or Keset Hasofer (Ch. 5), and/or ...
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Are lamed and nun interchangeable letters?

Shulamite and Shunamite seem to be used interchangeably in Tanach when describing certain Na'arah women. For example, in the story of Elisha, David in his old age( with Abishag) and in the Song of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is there any single verse in Chumash that contains all 22 letters of the aleph-beis?

Is there any single verse in Chumash that contains all 22 letters of the aleph-beis?
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1 vote
1 answer
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The hand tefillin seems to form a lamed

The outline of the tefillin on the hand, to me, seems to form the letter lamed, reversed for a righty and a forwards lamed for a lefty, shown below. Yes, there are traditions of forming shin on the ...
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15 votes
2 answers
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Why does the Gemara use gamma to compare shapes and not reish or chaf sofit?

When talking about shapes, the Gemara often uses Greek gamma (e.g., Peshachim 8b). Why doesn't it use reish, dalet or chaf sofit instead?
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3 votes
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Letter צד"י or צדי"ק?

One of the letters of the hebrew alphabet is the letter 'צ'. When I was taught the hebrew alphabet, this letter was introduced as 'צד"י'. I believe this to be the generally accepted name of the ...
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1 vote
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Kislev and the letter Samech

I have seen somewhere that Kislev and the letter Samech are connected to each other. The sefer I saw it in, quoted the Likkutei Shas of the Arizal. Does anyone know what it says? And is there any ...
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Ribono Shel Olam pronunciation

I haven't studied Hebrew in 50 years and cannot read it anymore. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions on how I can get the pronunciation of Rabbi Nachman's phrase "Ribono Shel Olam" both ...
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inscription on Chagall's "White Crucifixion"? [closed]

What does the inscription on Chagall's painting White Crucifixion say? Isn't John 19:19 ("Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews") written ישוע הנצרי ומלך היהודים in Hebrew?
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Lamed with bent back stalk [closed]

In some Hebrew lettered signs, usually the decorative ones (as opposed to functional ones like street signs), I have seen the letter ל with the top ascender or stalk bent backwards, to the right. Is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
121 views

Is there a Siddur with Tagim (crowns)

As per the teaching of the Besht I’ve been really meditating on the letters as I daven but I realized that the true shapes of letters as they are written in a Torah or mezuzah which includes the tagim ...
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1 vote
1 answer
276 views

Reason for different punctuation of the prefix vav?

In the Siddur, the prefix vav is seen with various punctuations (e.g., shva, kamatz, patah, shuruk). When is each of these different punctuations used with a prefix vav and how does each affect the ...
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What makes Ksav Arizal unacceptable to some?

A certain rabbi said that Megillas Ester written in Ksav Arizal should not be used in nussach Sefard shul because people won't be yotze with its reading. What makes Ksav Arizal so different as to make ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Is there an online list of Perakim of Mishnayos arranged alphabetically?

There is a popular custom cited by Chabad to recite Mishnayos which initialize the deceased’s name. While they note that many Siddurim and Mishnayos have a list which alphabetizes the Mishnayos by ...
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what are the different versions of miluiyim for the Hebrew letters?

When calculating gematrias for the Hebrew letters there are letter expansions called "miluyim". what are all the valid miluiyim letter expansions according to chazal? (ex. midrashim, talmud, zohar, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Berachot 4b - What's so special about an alphabetical acrostic?

The Talmud in Berachot 4b states: אמר רבי אלעזר א"ר אבינא כל האומר תהלה לדוד בכל יום שלש פעמים מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא מאי טעמא אילימא משום דאתיא באל"ף בי"ת נימא אשרי תמימי דרך ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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Ktav Ivri in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance did religious Jews know about Ktav Ivri? Are there examples of traditional texts they would have been exposed to written in Ktav Ivri? Would highly ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
215 views

Is there a 3D Hebrew Alphabet?

Is there a 3D Alef-Bet? In which case Samekh could be something like a sphere, etc. Or for that matter something 4D like kinetic sculptures, which would explain how the aseret ha-dibrot were legible ...
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2 votes
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Where is a free online copy of the Torah with the "correct" number of letters in it?

First off, my intention is to create a pretty decent replica of the Hebrew text close to the formatting of the Sefer Torah or a Tikkun, for personal documentation purposes. My question though is 2-...
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8 votes
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Analysis of an answer to "Why does the Torah begin with the letter bet?"

Why does the Torah begin with the second letter, bet, rather than the first letter, aleph? There are many answers, but let's focus on this one: Bet is the beginning of the word barukh (blessed), ...
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1 vote
1 answer
119 views

How Many vav Hahipuchs in each of the 24 books of Tenach

How Many vav Hahipuchs (Conversive vav) are in each of the 24 books of Tenach compared with the number of letters / verses in that book. As far as I know they are only in Tenach rather than Mishna or ...
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Two beginnings related to heavens and earth

IIRC, there is a medrash conecting the first letter of torah (beit) + the word reshit by saying that with 2 beginnings (meaning the heavens and earth) the world came into existence. Does anyone happen ...
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3 votes
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Large Nun in Num 27:5

וַיַּקְרֵב מֹשֶׁה אֶת מִשְׁפָּטָן לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.‏ I've seen the ן letter in Number 27:5 (above) is written enlarged (Nun Rabati (Great)). Why is that?
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2 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k 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. ...
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1 vote
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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 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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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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2 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
0 answers
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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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2 votes
1 answer
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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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7 votes
2 answers
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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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2 votes
0 answers
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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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5 votes
1 answer
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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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4 votes
0 answers
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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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