Questions tagged [aleph-bet-letters]

Questions about the Hebrew letters, or aleph-bet.

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8
votes
2answers
278 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
124 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
224 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
38
votes
5answers
8k views

Which alphabet were the original Torah scrolls in?

I've assumed that the Torah scrolls we read today as the same that Moses wrote. I always assumed it's been the same alphabet. However lately I came across documents explaining the evolution of the ...
2
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0answers
39 views

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 ...
9
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2answers
379 views

How could the numerals יה and יו be used irreverently?

I was told that in the sequence of numerals with Hebrew letters, the numbers 15 and 16 are rendered with טו and טז instead of יה and יו to prevent the tetragrammaton from being formed irreverently. ...
5
votes
4answers
454 views

The Meaning behind the Kaf

Searching for the root for Kipah (כפה) I found the word Kaphaph (כפף) from the root Kaph or Kaf כף. Kaf (as a word) means (hand)palm, while yod refers to yad (the hand). Kaf (as a letter כ) has a ...
7
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3answers
191 views

Why are Chazal asking if words are spelled with א or ע?

In Shabbos 77a-77b, Chazal ask about the spelling of a series of words, questioning whether the words are spelled with an alef - as in גראינין - or with an ayin - as in גרעינין. Wasn't ayin vocalized ...
0
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1answer
83 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 ...
1
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1answer
226 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
118 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 ...
-1
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1answer
60 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
52 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
417 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 ...
6
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3answers
598 views

Is there a chart available displaying all Hebrew letters and vowels?

I'm looking for a nice chart that will give me the following things, so I can print it out and keep it handy: Picture of each letter in traditional "book" font = Picture of each letter in ...
3
votes
3answers
146 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
727 views

Does one choose one or two pesukim for names?

What posuk does one choose at the end of shmonei esrei if one has two names? do you use two pesukim? or take the posuk that starts with the first initial of the first name and ends with the last ...
0
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2answers
171 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.
4
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2answers
123 views

ב (bet) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What are the correct ways to pronounce the ב (bet)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
8
votes
5answers
855 views

Have any of you ever heard anyone pronouncing ayin as “ng”?

I have read historically the letter ayin was pronounced by some Dutch, Portuguese, and Italian Jews as a velar nasal consonant (ng as in sing). Reference to this can be found here, here, and here. I ...
3
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0answers
213 views

Unexpected Dagesh in Reish

I learned that a rule of Dageshim is that gutteral letters (אהחע''ר) reject dageshim. My question is why do we find 17 reishs (1 Samuel 1:6, 1 Samuel 10:24, 1 Samuel 17:25, 2 Kings 6:32, Jeremiah 39:...
2
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
6
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0answers
76 views

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 ...
12
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9answers
837 views

How do you extend the sound of a daleth in Shema?

How does one extend the sound of the daleth in the echod of the shema as prescribed in OC 61 (6)?. The letter as we say it does not seem to allow extension. See Dalet (Wikipedia) which defines it as a ...
0
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0answers
35 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
277 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 ...
1
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1answer
96 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
390 views

Computer Support for Nekudos [closed]

Can it hurt to include Nekudos (vowel marks) when typing Hebrew? Do all systems that support Hebrew lettering automatically support Nekudos? If not, do they at least degrade gracefully?
3
votes
1answer
59 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
109 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
297 views

Why is it “Beiz”?

I understand the Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew is that the letter 'ת' with no דגש is an 's' sound. So why do (many) Ashkenazim pronounce the name of the letter 'ב', which is normally spelled ב-י-...
5
votes
2answers
702 views

how do you pronounce the soft reish?

from the sefer yetzirah it seems that there is both a hard and soft letter reish (see 4th perek, aryeh kaplan edition). How do you pronounce the soft reish?
3
votes
1answer
100 views

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, ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Direction & order of strokes when writing letters

When writing Torah scrolls, mezuzahs, or tefillin scrolls, is there any significance to the direction of the strokes of the pen for each letter? Or the order of the strokes for each letter? IE: (If ...
5
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
517 views

How to pronounce the name of the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet?

I have heard mixed answers as to how to pronounce the letter תּ Is it taf or tav? (I'm referring to the halachic pronunciation not the common street way.) Is there a difference between Ashkenazi or ...
5
votes
2answers
463 views

The letter Dalet

The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is "dalet" and not "daled." Why, then, do Ashkenazi Jews not pronounce it as "dales." I have heard an answer that "dales" sounds too much like "dalus", ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
475 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 ...
6
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0answers
80 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Using Zephaniah 3:8 as a pangram

Would usage of Zephaniah 3:8 solely as a pangram – it being the only option with both finals and cantillation – constitute shemos, and therefore require genizah? לָכֵ֤ן חַכּוּ־לִי֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה ...
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0answers
176 views

Why are there so many Nikkudot? [closed]

1) Why does every vowel has more than one way to be written? 2) Does every nekkud has a slightly different pronunciation?
1
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0answers
73 views

Implication of uncertain letters in the Torah

I learned that there are a number of uncertain letters in the written Torah This article lists 12 (counts vary). (1) Bereishit 4:13 "Mineso" (E&T w/o Vav) (2) Bereishit 7:11 "Ma'ayanos (E&...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

yud ha'heh -official name

What is the official name of the yud in the heh, and tet in the tuf - do we say simply yud ha'heh and tet ha'tuf (assuming tuf is vav with a roof, followed by backward-facing script-tet) ? Also, is ...
5
votes
1answer
749 views

Why are some letters in the names of Haman's sons little?

In Esther 9:7,9 there are letters in the names of Haman's sons which are written smaller than usual in the megillah. Barring the purimfest 1946 explanation, what is the reason for these letters being ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

What do the letters of Teshuvah stand for?

I found online that Teshuvah stands for: תמים תהיה עם ה' אלקיך שויתי ה' לנגדי תמיד ואהבת לרעך כמוך בכל דרכיך דעהו הצנע לכת עם אלוהיך Is there any source for this?
8
votes
2answers
249 views

What's the significance of בי״ה שמ״ו סימן, espcially on Dt. 31:28?

In most sifre Tora (Torah scrolls), 240 columns of text each start with the letter vav (ו), and five do not. The first of those five exceptional columns, of course, is the first column of the Torah, ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

Are shin and cin considered different letters?

Halachically is ש a single letter with two pronunciations or are there 2 different letters in the Hebrew alphabet (shin and cin) which happen to be draw the same in the torah, have the same gematria ...