To begin studying Hebrew, you must begin with its character set or script. Click on a letter below to begin studying how to pronounce, read, and write the letter (start with Aleph and proceed
The Hebrew word for letter isot(אוֹת), which can also mean sign or wonder. Each letter of the Aleph-Bet, then, may contain signs that point to wonderful truths about life.
According to midrash, the LORD God Himself taught the alphabet (along with the numerical values, mathematical relationships, etc. for the letters) to Adam ha-rishon, who then transmitted this knowledge to his sons, and they passed this to their sons, and so on, until it was taught to Jacob at the School of Shem in Salem (later renamed Jerusalem). Jacob taught the secrets of the alphabet to Joseph, who used it to decipher dreams, etc.
The Jewish mystics go so far as to say that the entire cosmos was created from the 22 consonants of the Hebrew Aleph Bet, calledotiyot yesod(אוֹתיּוֹת יְסוֹד)or foundational letters. Through theotiyot yesodGod formed substance out of chaos and brought forth existence from nonexistence. In other words, the entire universe is created and sustained by divine language (the Word of God). When the LORD spoke the universe into existence, His words still echo throughout all of creation, sustaining it and preserving it in being.
Rabbi Oshaya taught: When a human king builds a palace, he does not build it with his skill alone; the king employs a builder. Moreover, the builder does not bring it out of his own imagination, but consults a blueprint – a plan and diagram – to know how to arrange the chambers, doors, and passageways of the palace. In the same way, God as both King and Builder consulted Torah and then created the world.
Yeshua the Mashiach is calleddevar Elohim(דְּבַר אֱלהִים), the Word of God, and the Aleph and Tav (אָלֶף וְתָו), Who upholds all of the created order by the word of His power. It is the Mashiach Yeshua alone Who is the trueyesod(יְסוֹד)orfoundationof life itself. Every holy utterance can be traced back to Him, and He is the Source and Origin of all that is good, lasting, and righteous. Indeed, Yeshua is called thezoharof His glory (הוּא זהַר כְּבוֹדוֹ), that is, the radiance of the glory of God Himself, who upholds all things by the word of His power (נוֹשֵׂא כל בִּדְבַר גְּבוּרָתוֹ) (seeHeb. 1:3). Since He is the First and the Last, we can see that theotiyotwill all reveal something about Him.
As various acrostics in Scripture reveal, the Hebrew lettersand their orderare of divine origin. The Hebrew language is unique in this regard, since you can learn something about God from the Hebrew letters themselves and their spiritual properties. For instance, some claim that the order of the letters within a word reveals spiritual properties. For example, if the letters appear in a word inascendingorder (i.e., from Tav – Aleph), the word connotes compassion (i.e., moving toward Aleph/God), whereas if they appear in a reversed ordescendingorder (i.e. from Aleph – Tav), the word connotes the idea of justice. An example of the former would be the Name Yah (יָהּ) and of the latter, the word king (מֶלֶךְ). Other words are formed in triangular patterns, combinations of these attributes, etc.
The following blessing may be recited thanking the LORD for teaching your hand to write the letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet:
Barukh hamelamed et yadi lesapper et haotiyot.
There are a variety of Hebrew script styles used today, though the Hebrew script used for sacred writing is calledSTAM(an acronym for Sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls), Tefillin (phylacteries), and Mezuzot). STAM is written usingKetav Ashurit(Aramaic square script) according to a number of detailed rules of how each letter is to be formed.
There are three basic types of STAM writing performed by STAM certified Jewishsoferim(scribes):
(This is the style used on this website when displaying the STAM letters).
– Ketav Ari is the Hebrew Script written in accordance to the tradition of Rabbi Isaac Luria, 1534-1572 (also known as the Arizal). In Europe most Chassidim use this script for their Sifrei Torah. Notice that it is identical to the ketav Yosef except for the letters Aleph, Vav, Chet, Tsade, Tsade Sofit, and Shin, which have slight modifications:
In each case of script style, however, there are many rules governing the formation of the letters (collectively known assoferut)so that there be no confusion between the letters written in the sacred writings.
New to Hebrew?Start Here!Unlike most academic books on Biblical Hebrew, this course provides a step-by-step approach that will enable you to understand the Hebraic mindset while learning the alphabet and vowel signs. Studying at your own pace, you will master the Hebrew alphabet, sound out actual Hebrew words, and begin connecting your studies with your heart by reading Hebrew prayers, blessings, and even passages from Scripture! Using this resource, you will learn more than mere academic material; you will learn the underlying spirit of the Hebrew heart. From the author of .
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The Hebrew Essentials Chart and Audio CD Set can help solidify your grasp on Hebrew grammar and reading. The set includes both the Hebrew Alphabet and the Hebrew vowel system with a reading matrix that shows every letter connected with every vowel. A separate chart lists the basic verb patterns for simple verbs in the Present, Past, Future and Imperative tenses. Includes a reading practice page with two Psalms chapters and a classic Jewish tale. All texts are slowly narrated on a 72 minute training audio CD.
Jumbo Hebrew Flashcards.8.5X11 Cover Stock, corner rounded for child safety. 31 cards (22 alphabet letters, Vet, Chaf, Fey, Sin + final letters). Printed on high-grade card stock.Available in Print, Cursive, or Rashi style.Great for teaching or self study!
Hebrew-English Keyboard Stickers.Map your English keystrokes to the Hebrew letters using these handy keyboard stickers! Fluorescent letters allow work in dim and semi-dark environments and are also more comfortable typing in lit areas!
Hebrew Word Picturesby Dr. Frank Seekins.The book that shows how the ancient Hebrew letters declare the Gospel!Discover the ancient script that reveals penetrating truth about the Word of God! Includes an Audio CD that will help you learn the word pictures and hear all the examples on your home stereo.
Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart.This is the ultimate Alphabet Chart, with over 20 alphabets arranged so you can easily compare Hebrew to any of the languages of Biblical and Modern times. Using this chart, you will see how Hebrew has developed over time. High color, laminated: 16.25 X 12.5.
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