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Old 02-06-2002, 12:06 AM
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The Basic Basics

Most of the "Old Testament" scriptures are written Hebrew.

1. Hebrew is read from right to left, top to bottom on a printed page. One also reads a Hebrew book from right to left, so the last page of a book written in English would be the first page of a book written in Hebrew.

Example:
The first letter of the Hebrew word for G_d, ~iyhO l?a, is a.


2. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet (some of which have multiple forms). All 22 letters are consonants.

3. The vowels are not part of the alphabet. They are little marks (e.g. dots, lines, etc.) that appear above, under, or next to the consonants of a word.

Example:
In the word, ~iyhO l?a, the consonants are "~yhla" and the vowels are " i O ? ".

Vowel markings are not printed in the Torah scrolls. So, the two Hebrew word forms ~Ar'[ and ~Wr'[ are really the same Hebrew word, ~wr[, in the Torah.

4. No capital letters exist in Hebrew.

5. Print and cursive forms exist for each consonant.

6. Letters are never connected to each other within a word (neither in print nor in cursive).

7. 5 of the 22 consonants have a different form (look differently) when they appear as the last consonant of a word.


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