Questions tagged [aleph-bet-letters]

Questions about the Hebrew letters, or aleph-bet.

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6
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1answer
279 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
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3answers
192 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
403 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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0answers
32 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?
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66 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 ...
6
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2answers
153 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 ...
2
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0answers
47 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 ...
1
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1answer
221 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. ...
5
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2answers
303 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 ...
1
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1answer
166 views

Where does the Talmud reference the pronunciation of guttural letters?

Where does the Talmud reference the pronunciation 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 ...
2
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1answer
394 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
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1answer
181 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
64 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
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1answer
75 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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2answers
1k 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....
3
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3answers
258 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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2answers
229 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.
8
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6answers
635 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 — ...
2
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2answers
224 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 ...
4
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3answers
866 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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85 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 ...
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0answers
44 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 ...
6
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3answers
415 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 ...
3
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1answer
71 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 ...
2
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2answers
178 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 ...
3
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1answer
129 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
104 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 ...
6
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1answer
376 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 ...
4
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1answer
129 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, ...
5
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3answers
457 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
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1answer
264 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 ...
3
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1answer
106 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 ...
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2answers
672 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
89 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
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1answer
141 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 ...
8
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2answers
877 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 ...
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0answers
461 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?
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0answers
80 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&...
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1answer
91 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 ...
8
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1answer
170 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 ...
1
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1answer
276 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?
6
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1answer
229 views

Can Holiness Be Retroactively Withdrawn?

Without getting into the debate of Ashurith (Modern Hebrew) vs K'thav Ivri (Paleo Hebrew), let's just say for the sake of argument that Paleo Hebrew was the original Hebrew. It is known that the ...
7
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
516 views

What is the reason that the Torah uses a ן (final “Nun”) at the end of 2nd person plural verbs?

Frequently, the Torah uses a final nun (ן) at the end of verbs. They seem to be 2nd person plural verbs. An example: Deuteronomy 5:30: בְּכָל־הַדֶּ֗רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֜ה יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֛ם ...
2
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2answers
367 views

According to Chazal, does Beged Kefet matter?

The Hebrew alphabet has 22 written characters (plus 5 specialized characters for the ends of words - ם, ן, ץ ,ף, ך) generally assumed to be each originally associated with distinct sounds. The ...
0
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1answer
194 views

ד mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

The gemara (Brachoth 13b) records that one is supposed to draw out the ד of "אחד" in the first verse of the Shema: .תניא: סומכוס אומר: כל המאריך באחד מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו אמר רב אחא בר ...
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2answers
392 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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1answer
307 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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0answers
160 views

ג (gimel) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

From a halachik perspective, what are the correct ways to pronounce the ג (gimel)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the ...
4
votes
2answers
157 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 ...