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HEBREW: עברית


SHALOM! To all our readers.

People usually are mistaken that only Jews use Shalom (שָׁלוֹם) as their greeting and nobody else can. Let me tell you that the meaning of Shalom is PEACE. We can wish peace to anybody irrespective of their religion, as it is a beautiful word with a more beautiful and powerful meaning.

Shalom originated from an Old Hebrew word šālōm.



Hebrew was born from Canaanite Dialects.

Currently all the languages derived from Canaanite dialect, which are Phoenician, Moabite, Ammonite and Edomite are extinct. Only Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew are surviving till date.

Yes, Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew are very different.

 

Biblical Hebrew is harder to read, there is no punctuation. Reading Biblical Hebrew is often like looking at a clutter of words and trying to figure out how they relate to each other grammatically. When there is no punctuation, it's hard to know where one clause finishes and another begins, so you can get lost fairly easily.

Modern Hebrew has been standardized in terms of syntax and punctuation, and it's much easier to look at a sentence and know how the words relate to each other.

Just as we use Matraa (मात्रा) in Hindi, Dagesh(דָּגֵשׁ) and Niqqud(נִקּוּד) are used in Hebrew.

Dagesh is diacritics in the form of dots, called "niqqud" , are used to indicate vowels.

Gematria (גימטריה) is alphanumeric code giving a numeric value to a phrase, name or a word.

 

There are 22 letters in Hebrew. It is written from right to left. First alphabet of Hebrew is aleph א and the last is tav ת. Scholars studied the alphabets and concluded that every alphabet represents something or is derived from some old pictographs.



 


Aleph א - Sound of "A", depicts ox's head.

Bet ב - Sound of "B". It means house.

Gimmel ג - Sound of "G". Hypothetically it is believed that gimmel represents an old weapon used in those days.

Dalet ד - Sound of "D". It means a door.

He ה - Represents consonants "H".

Vav/Waw ו - It gives the sound of "W", "V" or "O".

Zayin ז - It produces the sound of "Z".

Chet/Heth ח - Sound of "H"

Tet ט - Sound of "T"

Yod י - Sound of "Y", "Ye" it resembles an apostrophe mark. It is picked from the pictograph of a hand or an arm.

Kaf כ -Sound of "K".

Lamed ל - Sound of "L".Represents goad.

Mem מ - Sound of "Ma/May". Derived from the water symbol.

Nun נ - Sound of "N/Nu". A snake.

Samech סָ - Sound of "S".

Ayin ע - Sound of "I" "eye"

Pe פ - Sound of "P" and it is assumed to be derived from the pictogram of mouth.

Tsade צ - Sound of "Ts". It means a righteous person.

Qof ק - Sound of "K" as in kettle.

Resh ר - Sound of "R". Derived from the pictogram of head.

Shin ש - Sound of "Sh". Based on a pictogram of a tooth.

Tav ת- Sound of "Ta". Represents Tally/Hash mark.

 

Somewhere between 200 and 400 CE, people stopped using Hebrew as their spoken language and eventually it started dying. People in Israel started speaking their conquerors languages and Hebrew was lost. However, in the 19th century Jews started connecting with small Jewish Communities who survived throughout exile.

First book printed in Hebrew was Rabbi Jacob ben Asher's Yoreh De'ah around 1300.

It is a compilation of halakha (Jewish Law).

This contains all aspects of Jewish law not pertinent to the Hebrew calendar, finance, torts, marriage, divorce, or sexual conduct.

 

Some good to know words and phrases for daily life in Hebrew:

Shalom- Peace(Greeting)

Todah- Thanks

Bevakasha- Please

Yefeife- Beautiful

Le'ehov- To Love

Adiv- Kind

Adir- Awesome

Slikhah- Excuse me

Ma shimkha?- What is your name?

Ken- Yes

Lo- No

 

Every language is beautiful.

 

1 John 4:5

"They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them."


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