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35

From the archaeological evidence it is clear that the Hebrew srcipt being used during the First Temple Period was what's known as the Ivri script (a handy conversion chart can be found here) which is very similar to Phoenician, as opposed to our script nowadays which is called Ashuri script. In terms of what script was used at Mount Sinai, there is a 3 way ...


25

Not only are these letters kosher, but they are part of the ancient way of writing the text. Maimonides (Sefer Torah 7:8) urges the scribes to ensure to be careful in preserving the irregular aspects of the text, among which he lists: אותייות הגדולות, ובאותייות הקטנות, ובאותייות הנקודות, ובאותייות שצורתן משונות כגון הפיין הלפופות, והאותייות העקומות כמו ...


24

עתניאל בן קנז ועכסה בת כלב — see Judges 1:13 EDIT: I found some more: יואש מלך יהודה ויהועדן - See Kings II 14:2 אחז מלך יהודה ואבי בת-זכריה - See Kings II 18:2 חזקיהו מלך יהודה וחפצי-בה - See Kings II 21:1 מנשה מלך יהודה ומשלמת בת חרוץ - See Kings II 21:19


22

There are the following others: אביהיל and אבישור (I Chron. 2:29) מעכה and מכיר (ibid. 7:16) שלחו אותם and שחרים (ibid. 8:8, according to Radak, Metzudos and Malbim) יהושבעת and יהוידע (II Chron. 22:11)


16

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 104b) says that it is because peh means "mouth" and ayin means eye, and it therefore symbolizes the sin of the spies, "who said with their mouths [false reports about the Land of Israel] that they did not see with their eyes." Maharsha there adds that the regular order was retained in the first chapter of Eicha, because otherwise we ...


16

An academic reason would be that indeed Hebrew (and other related languages) don't need vowels for disambiguation as much as, say, English. Most Hebrew words are built out of triliteral consonantal roots, so that words with the same consonants are (usually) related, differing only in how they're inflected for different parts of speech, number, tense and so ...


14

Chanoch and Ariel K are correct in their answer, but one can answer at greater length and detail. The letters beged kefet, בגד כפת are distinguished from other Hebrew letters in taking a dagesh kal, a 'weak' dagesh, at the start of words or after a shva nach. The function of this dagesh kal is to distinguish between the plosive and fricative versions of the ...


14

The following information is recorded on the Mechon Mamre website: בתנ"כים שלנו יש גם סימני הפרשייות {פ} {ס} {ר} {ש} שהם מסמנים פרשה פתוחה, פרשה סתומה, סוף שורה בשירות מסויימות, ושורה ריקה (או שורות ריקות בסוף ספר).‏ My translation: In our Tanakhs there are also [the following] disjunctive symbols: פ,‎ ס,‎ ר,‎ ש, which stand for "...


14

See here that the letter (chart on the right) that the letter tzaddi - צ - has one of the lowest frequencies in the Hebrew alphabet. Only tet is lower. That is from anywhere in the word. A better frequency chart would be for the start of words. In terms of vav, while it is frequent even in the beginning of words, this is only as a connective letter, meaning ...


13

Rabbeinu Bachye on "lo sechanem" (Vaeschanan, 7:2) gives multiple ways of reading the prohibition based on fiddling with the vowels. He gives this flexibility for multiple versions as the reason for the Torah not including vowels. See R. Bachye also Behaalos'cha 11:15.


13

The discussion is in the Talmud Sanhedrin 22a. The background is the disagreement among the Rabbis if the Torah was originally in Ivri or Ashuri. The Talmud says that according to the view that it was in Ivri, Ashuri script was first seen when the Angel wrote it on the wall, thus the Jews were not familiar with it - this is why they couldn't read it. ...


12

י and ה by themselves do form a Divine name, used in several places in the Bible (e.g., Ex. 17:16). All of the laws about not erasing a name of G-d apply to it as well (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 276:10). As for י and ו, we do find those used as a representation of G-d's name in personal names like יוחנן (Yochanan/Johanan, "G-d is kind") and יוכבד (...


11

I highly doubt there is any significance to such a pronunciation (although I stand to be corrected) but since you ask, here is a technical explanation (based on here and here): There are two types of sounds - ones where you use your voice, like b, d, g, f and z, and ones where you don't like p, t, k, v, and s. The ones that you use your voice for are called ...


11

From what I understand, your second question is based on the assumption that every column begins what a Vav. While this seems to be common practice, it is frowned upon by the Poskim who seem to claim that it has no basis in halacha. See for example the Keseth HaSofer at the end of Ch. 4 - and the footnote there. He claims that the ווי העמודים - as it's ...


11

Rabbi Moshe Isserlis writes (YD 275:6) about various scribal traditions including large/small letters that אם שינה לא פסל - if [the scribe] deviated, he did not invalidate [the scroll]. Obviously if they can be fixed, one should do so to conform with the tradition.


11

Indeed it does! One source in Tanach that illustrates this is Iyov 33:33: אִם־אַ֭יִן אַתָּ֥ה שְֽׁמַֽע־לִ֑י הַ֝חֲרֵ֗שׁ וַאֲאַלֶּפְךָ֥ חׇכְמָֽה׃ If not, hearken thou unto me; Hold thy peace, and I will teach thee wisdom. (JPS translation) Metzudos and Ralbag translate it this way here, and and I see no dissenters. Metzudos references Iyov 15:5 and ...


10

No, it doesn't change the meaning. The letter bes that starts that word appears with a dot in it usually, but without one after a word (in the same phrase) that ends in an open syllable. (Usually.) The pronunciation changes between these two forms, but not the meaning. It's not unique to this word, either, but true of all words that start with a bes, gimel, ...


10

אַל תּוֹסְףְּ עַל דְּבָרָיו פֶּן יוֹכִיחַ בְּךָ וְנִכְזָבְתָּ.‏ (Mishlei 30:6) I believe that this is the only example in Tanakh, and that this does not occur in the classical Rabbinical writings. There is a general rule that beged kefet letters (בג"ד כפ"ת) never have a dagesh kal at the end of a word except for words inflected similarly to the word ...


9

As others have mentioned, there are three opinions in the talmud regarding the issue. To summarize (as brought by DoubleAA): Rav zutra / R' Yossi - Torah was given ivri and turned to ashuri in the time of Ezra. Rebbe - given in ashuri, forgotten and used ivri until Ezra fixed it back to ashuri. R' Elazar Hamodai - Torah was always in ashuri. Rabbonim have ...


9

The Talmud (Shabbat 104a) spells it out as תיו. So anything from Taw to Tau to Tav is probably in the right ballpark. The unvoicing of the 'v' to make 'f' in common parlance is a common feature of speech (see also this parallel question).


9

The Yalkut Shimoni (Ruth, 608) makes the same observation: (translation mine) Rabbi Chiyya says "All the starts of verses in Ruth have "Vav"s except for 8, since she cleaved to the Covenant that was given on the eighth day (circumcision). The justifcation for the "vav"s is : Woe ("Vai") to the generation that judges their judges. Woe to the ...


9

Indeed, the Beit Yosef (OC 36) cites the Gemara you reference and claims that the ש should have a pointed base. The Peri Megadim (EA end of 32) is unsure if this is a necessary component of the letter. The Keset HaSofer (5:2:ש) implies it would be Kosher Bedieved, but one should be very careful to avoid a flat base. The Mishna Berura (Mishnat Sofrim ש) is ...


9

There are 304,805 letters in the Torah. There are 79,976 words in the Torah. There are 5,888 or 5,845 verses in the Torah. Bereishit (Genesis) 12 Sidrot 50 Chapters 1,534 Verses Shmot (Exodus) 11 Sidrot 40 Chapter 1,209 Verses Vayikra (Leviticus) 10 Sidrot 27 Chapters 859 Verses Bamidbar (Numbers) 10 Sidrot 36 Chapters 1,288 Verses ...


9

(1) No, the Masoretes did not add this י in the way you suggest. It is simply part of the base consonantal text. (2) You are confusing the pronominal suffix ("my") with the masculine plural construct ending. Instead of the ~im plural ending, when there is a "bound" or genitive relationship with the following word (Ezr 7:24, "...servants of..."; Lev 9:1, "......


8

In Aramaic, the suffix "ey h" means "his." In this context, the antecedent is God.


8

In the Hebrew dialect of Habbani Jews (type of Temanim), we maintain a double pronunciation of resh, as well as a few other sounds I'm not aware of other dialects having. The main pronunciation of resh is a regular rolled r, like exists in Arabic and Spanish. The soft resh is much like an English r, but more emphatic, as if you were about to roll it but ...


8

The National Jewish Outreach Program offers free Hebrew classes in several cities designed to get people started. These are weekly classes for 5 or 6 weeks designed to teach you how to pronounce the words in front of you (so you can stop relying on transliteration) and some very basic vocabulary. I don't know where in Pennyslvania you live; they at least ...


8

Sounds like you're looking for the Gemara on Shabbos 104a. The Rabbis told R. Joshua b. Levi: Children have come to the Beth Hamidrash and said things the like of which was not said even in the days of Joshua the son of Nun. [Thus:] alef Beth [means] ‘learn wisdom [alef Binah];Gimmel Daleth, show kindness to the Poor [Gemol Dallim]. Why is the ...


8

Ofer's answer mentions that the Bar Ilan program has the complete list. However, this program is costly, and I don't think that most people have it. This functionality is also found in the free Torat Emet program, under the tab "שונות" ("shonot", "Miscellaneous"), as shown below. Torat Emet's entire list is presented online here.


8

If the Nun's were not inverted but were left as regular letters, it is kosher bdieved. Source: Sefer Keses Hasofer (Mahadura Tinyana), Chakira 17 (s.v. v'hinei hageonum) citing Noda Beyhudah and others (Sefer Keses Hasofer is the classic source for Hilchos Stam by Rav Shlomo Ganzfried, the author of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and is probably the standard ...


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