Hebrew spelling refers to the way words are spelled in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew alphabet contains 22 letters, all of which are consonants; this is because the Hebrew script is an abjad, that is, its letters indicate consonants, not vowels or syllables. An early system to overcome this, still used today, is matres lectionis, where four of these letters, alef, he, waw and yodh serve as vowel letters. A system of vowel points to indicate vowels, called niqqud, was developed. Throughout history, there have been two main systems of Hebrew spelling. One is vocalized spelling, the other is unvocalized spelling. In vocalized spelling, all of the vowels are indicated by vowel points. In unvocalized spelling, the vowel points are omitted, but some of them are substituted by additional vowel letters - waw and yodh; this system is the spelling system used in Israel today. Vowel points are always optional in Hebrew, they can be used partially or not used at all. The recommended approach endorsed today by the Academy of the Hebrew Language and other Israeli educational institutions is to use plēnē spelling when not adding vowel dots, place a vocalization sign on a letter only when ambiguity cannot be resolved otherwise.
The "defective" spelling is recommended for a vocalized text, hence its use is becoming rare. Texts older than 50–60 years may be written in an unvocalized defective spelling. A vocalized plene spelling system is common in children's books, when it is better to accustom the children to the more popular plene spelling, while still letting them benefit from the vowel dots as a reading aid in early learning stages. A third system, endorsed in the past by the Academy of the Hebrew Language as an optimal system, but abandoned due to low popularity, calls for the use of ħolám, šurúq, dagéš in Bet, Kaf and Pe, Šin Smalít and mappíq, while abandoning all other vowel dots. According to this system, matres lectionis are still introduced to mark vowels, but the letter Vav is used only as a consonant, while its variants ħolám and šurúq serve as vowel letters; this system makes clear distinction between final He used as a vowel marker and as a consonant. This system was never extensively used, the Academy of the Hebrew Language abandoned it in 1992, when new rules were published not assuming any use of vowel dots.
Rules for unvocalized spelling were first issued by the Hebrew Language Committee in 1890 and formally standardised in 1996. Though the rules are established, some of the rules and specific spellings are disputed by writers and publishers, who create their own in-house spelling system; because having two spelling systems within the same language is confusing, some would like to reform it. In 2004, Mordechai Mishor, one of the academy's linguists, proposed in a session of the Academy of the Hebrew Language a modest reform. There are three systems of spelling used for Modern Hebrew. Ktiv hasar: This defective script may be found in the Sefer Torah read in synagogue, it is sometimes considered to be anachronistic in everyday life, although it is still sometimes found in newspapers and published books. This is the original Hebrew spelling, it is called the "missing spelling". Ktiv menuqad: This system of spelling is called "vowelized spelling" and "dotted spelling" because unlike "missing spelling," this system shows how the vowels are in addition to using the dots system.
It is used in everyday life. However, it is used wherever someone wants their writings to be clear and unambiguous, such as children's books, language instruction for newcomers, or ambiguous or foreign terms. However, it is cumbersome and inconvenient in everyday life. Ktiv male or Ktiv hasar niqqud: This is the dominant system of spelling in Israel, personal correspondence, movie subtitles, etc. Ktiv Male is created to be a niqqud-less spelling that uses matres lectionis instead of the vowel pointers. To illustrate the problem with Ktiv haser:1 spelled the same as אויר - /U'jar/ = "was drawn" - in Ktiv menuqad אוּיָר2 spelled the same as חלקה - /ħelˈqa/ = "land plot" - in Ktiv menuqad חֶלְקַה 3 spelled the same as שנים - /ˈʃanim/ = "years" - in Ktiv menuqad שָׁנִים In practice, many times two or more spelling systems are used in one text; the most common example of this is a word may be vowelized for instance with אוֹמץ, where only the vav is vowelized. This clarifies that the vowel is an "o" and not "u".
In addition, 3 letters, can take a different sound depending on if there is a dot in the middle of the letter. In full spelling, the dot is not included, regardless if it is making the other. An example when a mixture of systems would be used is to clarify. An example of this is shown in the adjacent picture, where for the word kosher may be written as כּשר to be unambiguous that it is the letter כּ and
Romanization of Hebrew
Hebrew uses the Hebrew alphabet with optional vowel diacritics. The romanization of Hebrew is the use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Hebrew words. For example, the Hebrew name spelled יִשְׂרָאֵל in the Hebrew alphabet can be romanized as Yisrael or Yiśrāʼēl in the Latin alphabet. Romanization includes any use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Hebrew words, it is to identify a Hebrew word in a non-Hebrew language that uses the Latin alphabet, such as German, Turkish, so on. Transliteration uses an alphabet to represent the letters and sounds of a word spelled in another alphabet, whereas transcription uses an alphabet to represent the sounds only. Romanization can do both. To go the other way, from English to Hebrew, see Hebraization of English. Both Hebraization of English and Romanization of Hebrew are forms of transliteration. Where these are formalized these are known as "transliteration systems", where only some words, not all, are transliterated, this is known as "transliteration policy".
Transliteration assumes two different script systems. The use of a French word in English without translation, such as "bourgeois", is not transliteration; the use of a Hindi word in English such as "khaki" is transliteration. Transliteration of a foreign word into another language is the exception to translation, occurs when there is something distinctive about the word in the original language, such as a double entendre, religious, cultural or political significance, or it may occur to add local flavour. In the cases of Hebrew transliteration into English, many Hebrew words have a long history of transliteration, for example Amen, ephod and Thummim have traditionally been transliterated, not translated; these terms were in many cases first transliterated into Greek and Latin before English. Different publishers have different transliteration policies. For example ArtScroll publications transliterate more words relative to sources such as the Jewish Encyclopedia 1911, or Jewish Publication Society texts.
There are various transliteration systems for Hebrew-to-English. In general usage there are no hard and fast rules in Hebrew-to-English transliteration, many transliterations are an approximation due to lack of equivalence between the English and Hebrew alphabets. Conflicting systems of transliteration appear in the same text, as certain Hebrew words tend to associate with certain traditions of transliteration. For example, For Hanukkah at the synagogue Beith Sheer Chayyim, Isaac donned his talis that Yitzchak sent him from Bet Qehila in Tsfat, Israel; this text includes instances of the same word transliterated in different ways: The Hebrew word בית is transliterated as both Beith and Bet. These discrepancies in transliterations of the same word can be traced to discrepancies in the transliterations of individual Hebrew letters, reflecting not only different traditions of transliteration into different languages that use Latin alphabets, but the fact that different pronunciation styles exist for the same letters in Israel.
For example and Chayyim are transliterated with different initial letter combinations, although in Hebrew both begin with the letter ח. The Hebrew letter ת is transliterated as th in the word Beith, s in the word talis, t in the word Bet though it is the same letter in all three words in Hebrew; the Hebrew letter ק is transliterated as c in Isaac, k in Yitzchak, q in Qehila. The Hebrew letter צ is transliterated variously as s, tz, ts, again reflecting different traditions of spelling or pronunciation; these inconsistencies make it more difficult for the non-Hebrew-speaking reader to recognize related word forms, or to properly pronounce the Hebrew words thus transliterated. Early romanization of Hebrew occurred with the contact between the Jews, it was influenced by earlier transliteration into the Greek language. For example, the name of the Roman province of Iudaea was derived from the Greek words Ἰούδα and Ἰουδαία; these words can be seen in Chapter 1 of Esdras in the Septuagint, a Hellenistic translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek.
The Greek words in turn are transliterations of the Hebrew word יהודה that we now know adapted in English as the names Judah and Jude. In the 1st century, Satire 14 of Juvenal uses the Hebraic words sabbata and Moyses adopted from the Greek; the 4th-century and 5th-century Latin translations of the Hebrew Bible romanize its proper names. The familiar Biblical names in English are derived from these romanizations; the Vulgate, of the early 5th century, is considered the first direct Latin translation of the Hebrew Bible. Apart from names, another term that the Vulgate romanizes is the technical term mamzer. With the rise of Zionism, some Jews promoted the use of romanization instead of Hebrew script in hopes of helping more people learn Hebrew. One such promoter was Ittamar Ben Avi as he styled himself, his father Eliezer Ben Yehuda raised him to be the first modern native speaker of Hebrew. In 1927 Ben-Avi published the biography Avi in romanized Hebrew. However, the innovation did not cat
Qoph or Qop is the nineteenth letter of the Semitic abjads. Aramaic Qop is derived from the Phoenician letter, derivations from Aramaic include Hebrew Qof ק, Syriac Qōp̄ ܩ and Arabic Qāf ق, its original sound value was a West Semitic emphatic stop or. In Hebrew gematria, it has the numerical value of 100; the origin of the glyph shape of qōp is uncertain. It is suggested to have depicted either a sewing needle the eye of a needle, or the back of a head and neck. According to an older suggestion, it may have been a picture of a monkey and its tail. Besides Aramaic Qop, which gave rise to the letter in the Semitic abjads used in classical antiquity, Phoenician qōp is the origin of the Latin letter Q and Greek Ϙ and Φ; the Arabic letter ق is named قاف qāf. It is written in several ways depending in its position in the word: It is transliterated into Latin script as q, though some scholarly works use ḳ. According to Sibawayh, author of the first book on Arabic grammar, the letter is pronounced as a voiced phoneme.
As noted above, Modern Standard Arabic has the voiceless uvular plosive /q/ as its standard pronunciation of the letter, but dialectical pronunciations vary as follows: The three main pronunciations:: in most of Tunisia and Morocco, Southern and Western Yemen and parts of Oman, Northern Iraq, parts of the Levant. In fact, it is so characteristic of the Alawites and the Druze that Levantines invented a verb "yqaqi" /jqæqi/ that means "speaking with a /q/". However, most other dialects of Arabic will use this pronunciation in learned words that are borrowed from Standard Arabic into the respective dialect or when Arabs speak Modern Standard Arabic.: in most of the Arabian Peninsula and Eastern Yemen and parts of Oman, Southern Iraq, some parts of the Levant, Upper Egypt, Libya, Mauritania and to lesser extent in some parts of Tunisia and Morocco but it is used across those countries in some words.: in most of the Levant and Egypt, as well as some North African towns such as Tlemcen and Fez.
Other pronunciations:: In Sudanese and some forms of Yemeni in loanwords from Modern Standard Arabic or when speaking Modern Standard Arabic.: In rural Palestinian it is pronounced as a voiceless velar plosive in loanwords from Modern Standard Arabic or when speaking Modern Standard Arabic. Marginal Pronunciations:: In some positions in Najdi, though this pronunciation is fading in favor of.: Optionally in Iraqi and in Gulf Arabic, it is sometimes pronounced as a voiced postalveolar affricate in loanwords from Modern Standard Arabic or when speaking Modern Standard Arabic. ~: in Sudanese and some Yemeni dialects, sometimes in Gulf Arabic by Persian influence in loanwords from Modern Standard Arabic or when speaking Modern Standard Arabic. The Maghrebi style of writing qāf is different: having only a single point above; the earliest Arabic manuscripts show qāf in several variants: unpointed. The prevalent convention was having a point above for qāf and a point below for fāʼ. Within Maghribi texts, there is no possibility of confusing it with the letter fāʼ, as it is instead written with a dot underneath in the Maghribi script.
The Oxford Hebrew-English Dictionary transliterates the letter Qoph a transliteration as q or k. The English spellings of Biblical names containing this letter may represent it as c or k, e.g. Cain for Hebrew Qayin, or Kenan for Qenan. In modern Israeli Hebrew the letter is called kuf; the letter represents /k/. However, many historical groups have made that distinction, with Qof being pronounced by Iraqi Jews and other Mizrahim, or as by Yemenite Jews under the influence of Yemeni Arabic. Qof in gematria represents the number 100. Sarah is described in Genesis Rabba as בת ק' כבת כ' שנה לחטא "At Qof years of age, she was like Kaph years of age in sin", meaning that when she was 100 years old, she was as sinless as when she was 20
An abjad is a type of writing system where each symbol or glyph stands for a consonant, leaving the reader to supply the appropriate vowel. So-called impure abjads do represent vowels, either with optional diacritics, a limited number of distinct vowel glyphs, or both; the name abjad is based on the old Arabic alphabet's first four letters—a, b, j, d—to replace the common terms "consonantary" or "consonantal alphabet" to refer to the family of scripts called West Semitic. The name "abjad" is derived from pronouncing the first letters of the Old Arabic alphabet in order; the ordering of Arabic letters used to match that of the older Hebrew and Semitic alphabets: ʾ - b - g - d. According to the formulations of Daniels, abjads differ from alphabets in that only consonants, not vowels, are represented among the basic graphemes. Abjads differ from abugidas, another category defined by Daniels, in that in abjads, the vowel sound is implied by phonology, where vowel marks exist for the system, such as nikkud for Hebrew and ḥarakāt for Arabic, their use is optional and not the dominant form.
Abugidas mark a minor attachment to the letter, or a standalone glyph. Some abugidas use a special symbol to suppress the inherent vowel so that the consonant alone can be properly represented. In a syllabary, a grapheme denotes a complete syllable, that is, either a lone vowel sound or a combination of a vowel sound with one or more consonant sounds; the antagonism of abjad versus alphabet, as it was formulated by Daniels, has been rejected by some other scholars because abjad is used as a term not only for the Arabic numeral system but, most important in terms of historical grammatology as term for the alphabetic device of ancient Northwest Semitic scripts in opposition to the'south Arabian' order. This caused fatal effects on terminology in general and in Semitic philology, it suggests that consonantal alphabets, in opposition to, for instance, the Greek alphabet, were not yet true alphabets and not yet complete, lacking something important to be a working script system. It has been objected that, as a set of letters, an alphabet is not the mirror of what should be there in a language from a phonological point of view.
The first abjad to gain widespread usage was the Phoenician abjad. Unlike other contemporary scripts, such as cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Phoenician script consisted of only a few dozen symbols; this made the script easy to learn, seafaring Phoenician merchants took the script throughout the then-known world. The Phoenician abjad was a radical simplification of phonetic writing, since hieroglyphics required the writer to pick a hieroglyph starting with the same sound that the writer wanted to write in order to write phonetically, much as man'yôgana was used to represent Japanese phonetically before the invention of kana. Phoenician gave rise to a number of new writing systems, including the Greek alphabet and Aramaic, a used abjad; the Greek alphabet evolved into the modern western alphabets, such as Latin and Cyrillic, while Aramaic became the ancestor of many modern abjads and abugidas of Asia. Impure abjads have characters for optional vowel diacritics, or both; the term pure abjad refers to scripts lacking in vowel indicators.
However, most modern abjads, such as Arabic, Hebrew and Pahlavi, are "impure" abjads – that is, they contain symbols for some of the vowel phonemes, although the said non-diacritic vowel letters are used to write certain consonants approximants that sound similar to long vowels. A "pure" abjad is exemplified by early forms of ancient Phoenician, though at some point it and most of the contemporary Semitic abjads had begun to overload a few of the consonant symbols with a secondary function as vowel markers, called matres lectionis; this practice was at first rare and limited in scope but became common and more developed in times. In the 9th century BC the Greeks adapted the Phoenician script for use in their own language; the phonetic structure of the Greek language created too many ambiguities when vowels went unrepresented, so the script was modified. They did not need letters for the guttural sounds represented by aleph, he, heth or ayin, so these symbols were assigned vocalic values; the letters waw and yod were adapted into vowel signs.
The major innovation of Greek was to dedicate these symbols and unambiguously to vowel sounds that could be combined arbitrarily with consonants. Abugidas developed along a different route; the basic consonantal symbol was considered to have an inherent "a" vowel sound. Hooks or short lines attached to various parts of the basic letter modify the vowel. In this way, the South Arabian alphabet evolved into the Ge'ez alphabet between the 5th century BC and the 5th century AD. Around the 3rd century BC, the Brāhmī script developed; the other major family of abugidas, Canadian Aboriginal syllabics, was developed in the 1840s by missionary and linguist James Evans for the Cree and Ojibwe languages. Evans used features of Devanagari script and Pitman shorthand to create his initial abugida
The Hebrew alphabet, known variously by scholars as the Jewish script, square script, block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language. It is used in the writing of other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Judaeo-Spanish, Judeo-Arabic. Two separate abjad scripts have been used to write Hebrew; the original, old Hebrew script, known as the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, has been preserved in a variant form as the Samaritan alphabet. The present "Jewish script" or "square script", on the contrary, is a stylized form of the Aramaic alphabet and was known by Jewish sages as the Ashuri alphabet, since its origins were alleged to be from Assyria. Various "styles" of representation of the Jewish script letters described in this article exist, including a variety of cursive Hebrew styles. In the remainder of this article, the term "Hebrew alphabet" refers to the square script unless otherwise indicated; the Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. It does not have case. Hebrew is written from right to left.
The alphabet was an abjad consisting only of consonants, but is now considered an "impure abjad". As with other abjads, such as the Arabic alphabet, during its centuries-long use scribes devised means of indicating vowel sounds by separate vowel points, known in Hebrew as niqqud. In both biblical and rabbinic Hebrew, the letters י ו ה א can function as matres lectionis, when certain consonants are used to indicate vowels. There is a trend in Modern Hebrew towards the use of matres lectionis to indicate vowels that have traditionally gone unwritten, a practice known as "full spelling"; the Yiddish alphabet, a modified version of the Hebrew alphabet used to write Yiddish, is a true alphabet, with all vowels rendered in the spelling, except in the case of inherited Hebrew words, which retain their Hebrew spellings. The Arabic and Hebrew alphabets have similarities because they are both derived from the Aramaic alphabet. A distinct Hebrew variant of the Phoenician script, called by scholars the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, emerged around 800 BCE.
Examples of related early inscriptions from the area include the tenth-century Gezer calendar, the Siloam inscription. The paleo-Hebrew alphabet was used in the ancient kingdoms of Judah. Following the exile of the Kingdom of Judah in the 6th century BCE during the Babylonian captivity, Jews began using a form of the Assyrian Aramaic alphabet, another offshoot of the same family of scripts; the Samaritans, who remained in the Land of Israel, continued to use the paleo-Hebrew alphabet. During the 3rd century BCE, Jews began to use a stylized, "square" form of the Aramaic alphabet, used by the Persian Empire, while the Samaritans continued to use a form of the paleo-Hebrew script called the Samaritan alphabet. After the fall of the Persian Empire in 330 BCE, Jews used both scripts before settling on the square Assyrian form; the square Hebrew alphabet was adapted and used for writing languages of the Jewish diaspora – such as Karaim, the Judeo-Arabic languages, Judaeo-Spanish, Yiddish. The Hebrew alphabet continued in use for scholarly writing in Hebrew and came again into everyday use with the rebirth of the Hebrew language as a spoken language in the 18th and 19th centuries in Israel.
In the traditional form, the Hebrew alphabet is an abjad consisting only of consonants, written from right to left. It has 22 letters. In the traditional form, vowels are indicated by the weak consonants Aleph, He, Vav, or Yodh serving as vowel letters, or matres lectionis: the letter is combined with a previous vowel and becomes silent, or by imitation of such cases in the spelling of other forms. A system of vowel points to indicate vowels, called niqqud, was developed. In modern forms of the alphabet, as in the case of Yiddish and to some extent Modern Hebrew, vowels may be indicated. Today, the trend is toward full spelling with the weak letters acting as true vowels; when used to write Yiddish, vowels are indicated, using certain letters, either with niqqud diacritics or without, except for Hebrew words, which in Yiddish are written in their Hebrew spelling. To preserve the proper vowel sounds, scholars developed several different sets of vocalization and diacritical symbols called nequdot.
One of these, the Tiberian system prevailed. Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, his family for several generations, are credited for refining and maintaining the system; these points are used only for special purposes, such as Biblical books intended for study, in poetry or when teaching the language to children. The Tiberian system includes a set of cantillation marks, called "trope", used to indicate how scriptural passages should be chanted in synagogue recitations of scripture. In everyday writing of modern Hebrew, niqqud are absent. Unlike the Paleo-Hebrew writing script, the modern Ashuri script has five letters that have special final forms, called sofit form, used only at the end of a word, somewhat as in the Greek or in the Arabic and Mandaic alphabets; these are shown below the normal form in the
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre