Old English began to appear in writing during the early 8th century.
People who are fluent in the language do not need vowels to read Hebrew, and most things written in Hebrew in Israel are written without vowels. However, as Hebrew literacy declined, particularly after the Romans expelled the Jews from Israel, the Rabbis realized the need for aids to pronunciation, so they developed a system of dots and dashes known as nikkudim points.
These dots and dashes are written above or below the letter, in ways that do not alter the spacing of the line. Text containing these markings is referred to as "pointed" text.
Most nikkudim are used to indicate vowels. The table at right illustrates the vowel points, along with their pronunciations. Pronunciations are approximate; I have heard quite a bit of variation in vowel pronunciation.
Vowel points are shown in blue. The letter Alef, shown in red, is used to illustrate the position of the points relative to the consonents. The letters shown in purple are technically consonents and would appear in unpointed texts, but they function as vowels in this context.
There are a few other nikkudim, illustrated and explained below. The dot that appears in the center of some letters is called a dagesh. With most letters, the dagesh does not significantly affect pronunciation. With the letters Bet, Kaf and Pe, however, the dagesh indicates that the letter should be pronounced with its hard sound the first sound rather than the soft sound the second sound.
In Ashkenazic pronunciation the pronunciation used by many Orthodox Jews and by older JewsTav also has a soft sound, and is pronounced as an "s" when it does not have a dagesh.
Vav, usually a consonant pronounced as a "v," is sometimes a vowel pronounced "oo" u or "oh" o. When it is pronounced "oo", pointed texts have a dagesh. When it is pronounced "oh", pointed texts have a dot on top. Shin is pronounced "sh" when it has a dot over the right branch and "s" when it has a dot over the left branch.
Styles of Writing The style of writing illustrated above is the one most commonly seen in Hebrew books. It is referred to as block print or sometimes Assyrian text. For sacred documents, such as Torah scrolls or the scrolls inside tefillin and mezuzotthere is a special writing style with "crowns" crows-foot-like marks coming up from the upper points on many of the letters.
There is another style used for handwriting, in much the same way that cursive is used for the Roman English alphabet. This modern script style is illustrated below, at right. Another style is used in certain texts to distinguish the body of the text from commentary upon the text.
This style is known as Rashi Script, in honor of Rashithe greatest commentator on the Torah and the Talmud. The alefbet at left is an example of Rashi Script Transliteration The process of writing Hebrew words in the Roman English alphabet is known as transliteration. Transliteration is more an art than a science, and opinions on the correct way to transliterate words vary widely.
Each spelling has a legitimate phonetic and orthographic basis; none is right or wrong. Numerical Values of Words Each letter in the alefbet has a numerical value. Alef through Yod have the values 1 through Yod through Qof have the values 10 throughcounting by 10s. Qof through Tav have the values throughcounting by s.
Final letters have the same value as their non-final counterparts. The order of the letters is irrelevant to their value; letters are simply added to determine the total numerical value.
Because of this system of assigning numerical values to letters, every word has a numerical value. There is an entire discipline of Jewish mysticism known as Gematria that is devoted to finding hidden meanings in the numerical values of words. For example, the number 18 is very significant, because it is the numerical value of the word Chai, meaning life.
Donations to Jewish charities are routinely made in denominations of 18 for that reason.Beginning of a dialog window, including tabbed navigation to register an account or sign in to an existing account.
Both registration and sign in support using google and facebook. Common Dreams Meaning Interpretations. A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; X; Y; Z; "A".
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