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  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    English Alphabet Hebrew Alphabet 1. English is read and written

    from left to right.

    1. Hebrew is read and written from right to left.

    2. In the English alphabet, there

    are 26 letters: some are vowels

    (a, e, i, o, u), and some are

    consonants (b, c, d, g, etc.)

    2. In the Hebrew alphabet, there are 22 letters, all of which are

    consonants. Vowels are dots and dashes added below and

    beside the consonants.

    3. Letters in the English

    alphabet may be capital or

    lowercase.

    3. Letters in the Hebrew alphabet have only one form.

    4. English letters are not written

    differently when they appear at

    the end of a word.

    4. Five Hebrew letters have a different form when they appear

    at the end of a word.

    5. It is impossible to learn to

    read English without knowing

    the meaning of words, because

    letters and letter combinations

    can be pronounced in many

    ways. Example: the letter c in

    the words cat and circle.

    5. Hebrew consonants and vowels are nearly always

    pronounced the same. Therefore, it is possible to learn to read

    Hebrew without knowing the meaning of words.

    6. English is pronounced

    differently in various countries,

    such as England, Australia, and

    the United States.

    6. Hebrew also has various pronunciations. This book uses

    the Sephardic, or Middle Eastern, pronunciation.*

    *Jdg 12:5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;

    Jdg 12:6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he

    could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages

    of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    Hebrew Aleph – Bet Chart

    Pronunciation

    Book

    Print

    Final

    Form

    Letter Names

    in English Block Script Numbers

    Silent letter א Aleph 1 B as in Boy

    (At the

    beginning of

    word/syllable)

    V as in Vine

    (At the

    middle or end

    of

    word/syllable)

    ּב

    ב Bet 2

    G as in Girl ג Gimmel 3

    D as in Door ד Dalet 4

    H as in House ה Hey 5 W as in Wine

    O as in Oak

    Oo as in Pool

    (At the middle

    or end of

    ו

    ֹו

    ּו

    Waw

    6

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    word/syllable)

    *vowel

    indicator

    Z as in Zebra ז Zayin 7 KH as in

    KHai ח

    Khet 8

    T as in Tall ט Tet 9 Y as in Yes

    Y as in Try

    Y as in Pray

    Y as in Key

    (At the middle

    or end of

    word/syllable)

    *vowel

    indicator

    י

    י ַ

    י ַ

    י ַ

    Yod 10

    K as in

    Kitchen Kaf 20 ך ּכ

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    כ

    L as in Look ל Lamed 30

    M as in Moon ם מ Mem 40

    N as in Now ן נ Nun 50

    S as in Sun ס Samech 60 Silent letter

    (Guttural) adjective

    1. 1. (of a speech sound) produced in the throat; harsh-sounding.

    ע Ayin 70

    P as in Park

    F as in Food

    ּפ

    פ Pey 80 ף

    TS as in

    NuTS Tsade 90 ץ צ

    Q as in Quiet ק Qof 100

    R as in Read ר Resh 200 SH as in

    SHine ׁש

    Sheen

    Seen 300

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    S as in Sun ׂש T as in Tall

    (TH as in

    BeTH)

    ת Tau 400

    Hebrew Vowels 1. Hebrew Vowels are shown as dots or dashes that appear below or above Hebrew letters.

    2. A vowel is a sound that originates from the throat (ex. A, E, I, O, U). A consonant is a sound that

    originates from the lips (ex. B, C, D, F, G).

    3. Originally, Hebrew vowels were not written. Vowels were verbally spoken and understood by

    everyone.

    4. As Israelites scattered across the 4 corners of the earth, the Hebrew language became obsolete.

    Masorites developed a system of preserving the pronunciation of the Hebrew language by

    adding dots and dashes underneath the Hebrew text as vowel symbols. If vowels were made

    into Hebrew letters (instead of dots or dashes) then the Scribes would have to add new letters

    inside of each Hebrew word. To do this would have been a violation of YHWH’S Commandment:

    Deu 4:2 YE SHALL NOT ADD UNTO THE WORD which I command you, neither

    shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHWH your

    GOD which I command you.

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    Two Hebrew Vowel Sounds

    Vowels are shown by adding dots and dashes below or beside consonants. Two

    vowels are shown below. Both are added below consonants, and both are

    pronounced in the same way.1 The ַ represents any Hebrew consonant.

    English Hebrew

    1. A as in Father ָ 2. A as in Father ָ

    When a vowel is written below a consonant, pronounce the consonant first and

    then the vowel. When a vowel appears below an א, pronounce the vowel only.

    ַ ָּ = ּב ָּ * ּב + ←

    Remember that

    Hebrew reads from

    right to left. ָּ א = ָּ ַ א + 1

    1 Sometimes the vowel ָּ ַ will sound like the o in row. Without a complete understanding of Hebrew

    stress, syllabification, and vowel length, it is difficult to know when a ָּ ַ sounds like the a in yacht, and

    when it sounds like the o in row. Unless we instruct you otherwise, we suggest that you pronounce

    every ָּ ַ like the a in yacht, even though this will not always be correct.

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    Reading Practice

    א 1.* א ָּ א ָּ א ָּ ּב ָּ ּב ָּ ב ָּ ג ָּ ג ָּ א ָּ ב ָּ ג ָּ ּב ָּ א

    א ָּ ּב ָּ ּב ָּ א ָּ ד ָּ ד ָּ ד 2.* א ָּ ּב ָּ ג ָּ א ָּ ב ָּ ג ָּ ד

    ג ָּ ה ָּ א ָּ ה ָּ ה ָּ ד ָּ ג ָּ ב ָּ ה ָּ א ָּ ב ָּ ד 3.* ה ָּ ד

    ג ָּ ד ָּ ו ָּ א ָּ ּב ָּ ב ָּ ו ָּ ג ָּ ד 4.* ו ָּ ו ָּ ב ָּ ה ָּ ד

    ב ָּ ּב ָּ א ָּ א ָּ ו ָּ ה ָּ א ָּ ב ָּ ו ָּ ּב ָּ ג ָּ א ָּ ד 5.* ד

    ב ָּ ו ָּ ה ָּ ּב ָּ ג ָּ ג ָּ ה ָּ ו ָּ ד 6.* א ָּ ּב ָּ ב ָּ ג ָּ ד 2

    Two More Hebrew Vowels

    2Simon, E., Resnikoff, I., & Motzkin, L. 1992. The first Hebrew primer : The adult beginner's path to

    Biblical Hebrew. Completely rev. version of The First Hebrew primer for adults.; Text in English and

    Hebrew. (3rd ed., completely rev.) . EKS pub.: Oakland, Calif.

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    English Hebrew

    3. I as in Sit ָ 4. Y as in Key י ָ

    2. Read aloud the following letter and vowel combinations.

    ז ז י ז ז ז ו ב ב ז ז י ַא ז ג .1

    ה .2 י ב ח ז ח ז י ח י ה א י ח ה ח ח

    י ב ט .3 י ח ז י ַא ו ה ז ט ד ט ט ט

    י י י ו ו ז י ג י י ו ב ב י ד .4

    י .5 י כ כ ב ב ו כ ב י ו כ ט כ י ב א

    י כ כ ב ב ו ג י ד כ ח ב כ .6 י כ כ

    ט .7 י ב ב א י ה ד ד ג י ד ו ו י ה ה

    ז .8 ו ה ד ג ב ַא כ י ט ח ז ב

    י .9 י י ה כ א ט י ו א ז י ח ה ה י ג ה ד י ב א

    יט ה ט ַאב ג ד .10 זכ ט ה ו ו ז א ַאח כ 3

    3Simon, E., Resnikoff, I., & Motzkin, L. 1992. The first Hebrew primer : The adult beginner's path to

    Biblical Hebrew. Completely rev. version of The First Hebrew primer for adults.; Text in English and

    Hebrew. (3rd ed., completely rev.) . EKS pub.: Oakland, Calif.

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    Homework

    1. Spell the following English words with Hebrew letters and vowels. Do these words as many

    different ways as you can.

    1. heave 4. Viva! 7. dot 10. got 13. yacht 16. cog

    2. beet 5. cot 8. heat 11. deed 14. eat 17. tot

    3. hot 6. ease 9. Oz 12. Bach 15. tea 18. bead 4

    2. Read the following real Hebrew words. Spell the following Hebrew words with English

    letters.

    דָּ ח בָּא בָּא ה יבָּא ב דָּא ב א י ב זָּא חָּא א

    *.1

    אָּ זָּּב ח דָּא ּכ בָּא הָּא ב א ה ז חָּּב ט הָּּב א ּב

    *.2

    דָּ ד דָּּב ד אָּּב ד דָּּב דָּּב ז זָּּב ּב ה א טָּּב ה ּב

    *.3

    4Simon, E., Resnikoff, I., & Motzkin, L. 1992. The first Hebrew primer : The adult beginner's path to

    Biblical Hebrew. Completely rev. version of The First Hebrew primer for adults.; Text in English and

    Hebrew. (3rd ed., completely rev.) . EKS pub.: Oakland, Calif.

  • ALEPH-TAU Hebrew School Biblical Hebrew Lesson 201 (Aleph-Bet)

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    בָּ בָּג א הָּג א יָּג זָּּב ז הָּּב ז ּב ד ד הָּג ב ג

    *.4

    הָּ ז הָּג ז הָּג ה הָּג ד יָּג ד דָּג ג ז ז דָּג ג ה

    *.5

    ידָּ הָּג ּב בָּד ב הָּד א גָּד א ד ה ד גָּד י הָּד ג ד

    *.6

    יגָּ ג הָּה ח הָּד ו ידָּד ו דָּד ו ד יא הָּה ד הָּה ג ה

    *.7

    5

    5Simon, E., Resnikoff, I., & Motzkin, L. 1992. The first Hebrew primer : The adult beginner's path to

    Biblical Hebrew. Completely rev. version of The First Hebrew primer for adults.; Text in English and

    Hebrew. (3rd ed., completely rev.) . EKS pub.: Oakland, Calif.