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Lesson 1: Aleph & Beyt

By Jeff A. Benner


א The "aleph" is the first letter of the Hebrew alephbet. This consonant is silent.

ב The "beyt" is pronounced two different ways. If the letter appears with a "dagesh" in the middle of the letter (), it is pronounced "b" as in ball (This form of the letter is called the "beyt"). If the letter appears without the "dagesh" (ב), it is pronounced "v" as in visit (This form of the letter is called a "veyt"). When the "beyt" is prefixed to a word it means "in" or "with."


אָ The qamats. This vowel, which is placed under the consonant, is pronounced "a" as in father. (Note: The aleph here is not part of the vowel, it is simply used here to show the placement of the vowel only)

אַ The patahh. This vowel is also pronounced "a" as in father.


Unlike English which is read from left to right, Hebrew is read from right to left. jThis may sound difficult, but in a very short time you will get used to it.

When sounding out a Hebrew word it will be easier if you remember the Consonant (C) and Vowel (V) patterns. In English the consonants and vowels may be arranged in any order such as in the word "circle" which has the following pattern; C-V-C-C-C-V. Hebrew on the other hand is very consistent in that a vowel almost always follows a consonant, such as in the following words Melek (king) C-V-C-V-C; Meleko (his king) C-V-C-V-C-V and Hamelek (the king) C-V-C-V-C-V-C.

בַּ אַ בָ בַּ אָ אַ בָּ אַ אָ בָ .1 Audio
בָא בַּא אָב בָּא אַב בַּא .2 Audio

Came (Masc. Verb) בָּא .1 Audio
Father אָב .2 Audio

Father Came. אָב בָּא׃ .1 Audio
Note: the : at the end of the sentence is a Hebrew period.

Go to Lesson #2

Ancient Hebrew Alphabet and Language

Related Pages by Jeff A. Benner

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Instructions in how to hand-write the modern Hebrew alphabet.