Hebrew Alphabet

Some of you have asked which version of the Hebrew alphabet you should learn.  Since our main goal is to be able to look things up, you should learn the standard printed alphabet, the “Block” letters on the Akhlah site and the Hebrew Note Cards site that Brian found (See “Check this out“).

You just need to learn the consonants, not the vowel points (go ahead and learn them if you wish, though).  You will notice that some sites list “bet” and “vet” as separate letters–the first with a dot in the middle, the second without the dot.  Just learn the letter as “bet” with or without the dot.  You will notice the same feature with “kaf” and “peh”.

However, you should learn both the regular and the “sofit” (final) forms for kaf, mem, nun, peh, and tsade.  Note also that ‘sin’ and ‘shin’ are two different letters, distinguished by the dot on the left or right shoulder of the letter.

If this seems too confusing, don’t worry too much about it.  Just try to know the basics when you get to class, and we will talk about the minor details and variation.

By the way, I don’t recommend getting a Hebrew tattoo.  It might be offensive to Jews, since there is a command in Leviticus against it (although, most understand that those commands don’t apply to Gentiles) and it will make you a target if you ever travel in Arab lands.  (I recently heard from a student who is visiting Lebanon that she has to keep hers covered up.)

But on the other hand, who am I to question Britney’s judgment?

(Photo from HebrewTattooNet)

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One Response

  1. My husband has a Hebrew tattoo that I think is pretty cool. I know that some might find it offensive but I don’t. Interestingly enough though, what about the parts where Paul mentions being marked for God? (I think this is in Galatians but I could be wrong) The implication that I have always heard is that these were potentially tattoo like markings, not just scars from his many beatings–which I am sure where there too.

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