LA-Jew online self-study cource: Learn Hebrew (Lesson 1)

LA-Jew online self-study cource: Learn Hebrew (Lesson 1)

OHMYGOSSIP — Shalom and welcome! This is a FREE Hebrew online self-study cource for beginners brought to you by author Helena-Reet Ennet. 

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Lesson 1

Hebrew Alphabet (AlefBet)

The Hebrew alphabet (Hebrew: אָלֶף־בֵּית עִבְרִי‎‎) is used in the writing of the Hebrew language, as well as other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Ladino & Judeo-Arabic. There have been two script forms in use — the original old Hebrew script is known as the paleo-Hebrew script, while the present “square” form of the Hebrew alphabet is a stylized form of the Aramaic script. Various “styles” (in current terms, “fonts”) of representation of the letters exist. There is also a cursive Hebrew script, which has also varied over time and place.
The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters, Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav is the last (א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת); five have different forms when they are used at the end of a word. Hebrew is written from right to left. Originally, the alphabet was an abjad consisting only of consonants. Like other abjads, such as the Arabic alphabet, means were later devised to indicate vowels by separate vowel points, known in Hebrew as niqqud. In rabbinic Hebrew, the letters א ה ו י are also used as matres lectionis to represent vowels. In modern usage of the alphabet, as in the case of Yiddish (except that ע replaces ה) and to some extent modern Israeli Hebrew, vowels may be indicated. Today, the trend is toward full spelling with these letters acting as true vowels.
Note that there are two versions of some letters. Kaf, Mem, Nun, Peh and Tzadeh all are written differently when they appear at the end of a word than when they appear in the beginning or middle of the word. The version used at the end of a word is referred to as Final Kaf, Final Mem, etc. The version of the letter on the left is the final version. In all cases except Final Mem, the final version has a long tail.

The Hebrew script (Modern Israeli pronunciation)
Numerical Values of Words
Each letter in the Alef-bet has a numerical value. These values can be used to write numbers, as the Romans used some of their letters (I, V, X, L, C, M) to represent numbers. Alef through Yod have the values 1 through 10. Yod through Qof have the values 10 through 100, counting by 10s. Qof through Tav have the values 100 through 400, counting by 100s. Final letters have the same value as their non-final counterparts.

The number 11 would be rendered Yod-Alef, the number 12 would be Yod-Bet, the number 21 would be Kaf-Alef, the word Torah (Tav-Vav-Resh-He) has the numerical value 611, etc. The only significant oddity in this pattern is the number 15, which if rendered as 10+5 would be a name of G-d, so it is normally written Tet-Vav (9+6). The order of the letters is irrelevant to their value; letters are simply added to determine the total numerical value. The number 11 could be written as Yod-Alef, Alef-Yod, Heh-Vav, Dalet-Dalet-Gimmel or many other combinations of letters.

Hebrew vowel points / Nikkud (נִקּוּד טְבֶרְיָנִי)

Modern cursive Hebrew script

Several of the letters (please look the chart below) in the alephbet are very similar and can easily be confused with other letters. This is very common at the beginning but soon you will be able to make the distinction between these letters without difficulty.

Below I found for you a very good Alef-Bet 7- lesson audio class, powered by HebrewOnline:










Now you know the Alef-Bet, lets sing a song!



Hebrew lessons and other resources for learners

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Hebrew Aleph-Bet songs

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Online Hebrew-English dictionaries




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