Skip to main content
26 votes
Accepted

Is there an online list of Perakim of Mishnayos arranged alphabetically?

My code to generate this list in python from the Sefaria API: import collections, requests, json masechtos = ['Berakhot', 'Peah', 'Demai', 'Kilayim', 'Sheviit', 'Terumot', 'Maasrot', 'Maaser Sheni', '...
Heshy's user avatar
  • 9,194
17 votes
Accepted

Why does the Gemara use gamma to compare shapes and not reish or chaf sofit?

According to Rabeinu Manoach (a 13th century Rishon) in his Sefer Menucha on Suka 4:2:2 it's because the letters of the Alef-Bet are too holy to be used to describe mundane things such as shapes. כתב ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
13 votes

Reason for different punctuation of the prefix vav?

In biblical Hebrew: When preceding an imperfect (future-form) verb to make it past tense, the vav has a patach. However, that patach becomes a kamatz before an alef. Otherwise, when the word is the ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.7k
11 votes

Interchangeable usage of Hebrew letters (such as Beis and Vav, etc.)

There is more than one answer to this question. But here's one, albeit a long one. According to the Sefer Yetzirah (02:03), the letters of the Hebrew alphabet can be grouped in five categories ...
Chaim's user avatar
  • 2,235
11 votes
Accepted

Is the letter Aleph (א) also a word that means "to teach, inculcate"?

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 ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Ktav Ivri in the Middle Ages

The Samaritan alphabet, closely related to Ketav Ivri, was still in use by the Samaritans in the Middle Ages. The Ramban writes in a letter that when he arrived in Israel, the leaders of the Jewish ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.7k
9 votes

Did the Masoretes add the yud symbols?

(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 ...
Dɑvïd's user avatar
  • 350
9 votes
Accepted

Is there any single verse in Chumash that contains all 22 letters of the aleph-beis?

Shemos 16:16 זֶ֤ה הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהֹוָ֔ה לִקְט֣וּ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ אִ֖ישׁ לְפִ֣י אָכְל֑וֹ עֹ֣מֶר לַגֻּלְגֹּ֗לֶת מִסְפַּר֙ נַפְשֹׁ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם אִ֛ישׁ לַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּאָֽהֳל֖וֹ תִּקָּֽחוּ Devarim 4:34 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What is this Ktav?

That's a screenshot from the 10th-century Damascus Pentateuch. See the full page here. The writing is fairly typical for that era.
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.1k
8 votes

Is the malachim aleph beis from a non-Jew for the occult or something legitimate from a Jewish source?

I assume you were looking at the Celestial Alphabet. Note that Agrippa explicitly stated that he found these forms of writings among Jews: "Amongst the Hebrews I find more fashions of Characters....
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.6k
7 votes

What sources try to rectify the difference in the actual vs 600K letters in the Torah?

R' Yaakov Kamenetsky in Emes L'Yaakov refers to a concept that many letters are made up of other letters, for example an aleph is a vov and two yuds. He suggests that if we were adept enough in ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What is the dot in this vav?

It's a Dagesh Forte which indicates gemination of the consonant "w". So the word would be read something like Yiwwadha' with a prolonged /w/ sound. The word is in passive future third-person ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.1k
7 votes
Accepted

What sources try to rectify the difference in the actual vs 600K letters in the Torah?

The founder of Chabad Lubavitch suggested that the vowels would be added to the count of 304,800-plus letters to reach 600,000 total. Others state that the spaces between the letters for "white ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.1k
7 votes

Source Midrash - why the first letter of the Tenach is a Bet

Yerushalmi Chagigah 2:1, דבר אחר ולמה בבי"ת שהוא בלשון ברכה ולא באל"ף שהוא לשון ארירה אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא איני בורא את עולמי אלא בבי"ת שלא יהו כל באי העולם אומרין היאך העולם יכול לעמוד ונברא בלשון ...
Y K's user avatar
  • 1,723
7 votes
Accepted

May one place letters under one another as long as there is a space between them?

According to the general psak it is not a psul, although not mehudar, See מ'ב סימן לב ס'ק קיב אם בתחלת הכתיבה ממשיך רגל התחתון של הנו”ן והצד”י וכותב האות הסמוכה לתוכה כגון פני או ארצי כשר כיון ...
Stam's user avatar
  • 234
7 votes

Online Hebrew Letter Maker

There is no online tool that I know of (See aBochur's answer) but you can download an Ashuri font and produce the word yourself in a word processor. See here for a collection of great fonts, some of ...
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.7k
7 votes

Not verbally spelling Hashem's names

Chayei Adam 5:27 writes the following (emphasis mine): ההוגה השם באותיותיו אין לו חלק לע"הב דהיינו שקורא השם בנקודותיו כמו שהוא נקוד היו"ד בשב"א והה"א בחולם והוא"ו בקמץ (ול&...
Salmononius2's user avatar
  • 6,793
7 votes

Where is the midrash of "300 days of Tefillin?"

The Beis Yosef attributes this to the Orchos Chayim in Orach Chayim 32 (2/3 down here) without mentioning a midrash. כתב בארחות חיים: לפיכך עושין שי"ן יותר משאר אותיות, כדי לרמוז הימים שאדם מניחם ...
WAF's user avatar
  • 23.8k
7 votes

Why does the Gemara use gamma to compare shapes and not reish or chaf sofit?

This forum discussion adds one possible answer: The Mishnah in Shekalim 3:2 brings the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael that some things in the Beit Hamikdash had Greek letters written on them. Tiferet ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Translation of Hebrew letters

Looks like it says השם לצידי (Hashem is on my side/next to me), but with the letters in reverse order for some reason.
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,416
6 votes

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

In proper Dutch-Ashkenazi pronunciation, "ya'akov" would be "Yang'akouv", as not only the ayin is pronounced as an 'ng' sound, but the cholam is pronounced as 'ou'. As a kid I was ...
Dannie Klompsma's user avatar
6 votes

Why does ולירושלים start with a Vav?

Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro says based on what he heard in the name of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, based on the Gemara in Megila, that the Vav here shows us that it is in the honor of the righteous people that ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Elevated Ayin (ע) in Iyov 38:13 and 38:15

Talmud Sanhedrin 103b אמר ר"ש בן לקיש מאי דכתיב (איוב לח, טו) וימנע מרשעים אורם וזרוע רמה תשבר מפני מה עי"ן של רשעים תלויה כיון שנעשה אדם רש מלמטה נעשה רש מלמעלה ולא נכתביה כלל ר' יוחנן ור"א חד ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.1k
6 votes
Accepted

Tagin on letter Tet

Bnei Yissaschar, Kislev 2: עוד כתב הרב הקדוש הנ"ל תקנו ל"ו נרות כנגד האור הראשון ששימש לאדה"ר ל"ו שעות כמשארז"ל בפסיקתא וכתב עוד שעל אות ט' של וירא אלקים את האור כי טו"ב יש על הט' ד' תגין להורות ד' ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Can Holiness Be Retroactively Withdrawn?

See on this Rav Menachem Kasher's long article in Torah Shleyma vol. 29, and specifically section 1 chapter 6, which is on exactly this question. I'll try to summarise: Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Peirush ...
magicker72's user avatar
5 votes

Articulation of resh with dagesh

There was a geminated resh at least during the Second Temple Period. In fact, there was a time where even the gutterals were geminated. Resh eventually became unable to receive dagesh (in the Tiberian ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,671
5 votes
Accepted

Where does the Talmud reference the pronunciation of guttural letters?

I can think of a few comparisons of the sound of Aleph to the sound of Ayin: The sound of Aleph is slight, and the letter is therefore sometimes omitted from spelling. Ex 10:21 Rashi, citing Isaiah ...
Chaim's user avatar
  • 2,235
5 votes
Accepted

Confusing Tes with Pei

Here are three ways this Gemara is understood in Rishonim. The Yereim argues that the problem is if you add the green segment, then the non-blue parts make up a Pei, and that's a problem even though ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.1k
5 votes

Online Hebrew Letter Maker

Here's an online tool that allows you to write a word in Hebrew, and it will then convert it into ktav ashuri. The downside is, that you cannot copy the word as is, you can only save it as an image.
aBochur's user avatar
  • 3,859

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible