Alef Bet
Reading Rules
Vowels
Reading I
Reading II
100

How do we tell the difference between shin and sin?

The difference is which side the dot is on. A dot on the right indicates a shin and a dot on the left indicates a sin. 

100

What direction do we read Hebrew in? 


Right to Left

100

What sound do two vertical dots make? (אְ) 


It is the sh’va and it is mostly silent but can have a short “i” sound at the beginning of a word.

100

Read: אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם

eloheinu melech haolam 

100

Read: בָּרוּך אַתָּה ׳׳

Baruch atah Adonai 

200

What are the silent letters in the alef bet?


Alef and Ayin

200

Where are vowels found for a letter? 

Under or to the right of the letter. One should read in a zigzag pattern.

200

When a vowel contains a vav (shuruk אוּ, and cholam אוֹ) is there a “V” sound associated?

No unless the vav has a dagesh and another vowel on it. Then it is a vav not a vowel.

200

Read: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד

shema yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai ehad

200

Read:  בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

borei pree hagafen

300

What are final letters and when do we see them? What do they change?


Final letters change shape and are found at the end of the word. They do not change how we pronounce the letter.

300

Vowels are used to create ____ in a word?



Syllables. If a word has 3 vowels, it likely has 3 syllables.

300

What sound is made when an “AH” vowel is followed by a yud? (אָי)

It makes and - ie sound like the word pie, sigh, or bye.

300

Read: בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד

baruch shem kavod malchuto layolam vaed 

300

Read:  הָמוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הַאָרֶץ

hamotzi lechemeen haaretz

400

What letters are sometimes silent depending on vowels and placement?



Yud and Hey

400

When a yud doesn’t have a vowel, what happens – how do we read it? 



A yud with no vowel, will “borrow” the vowel in front of it basically making it silent.

400

What is a Kamatz Katan? What sound does it make? 

It is a mini T vowel that is different in size, color, or shape. It is pronounced as an “OH”. 

400

Read: אַשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶל שַבָּת

asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav vitzvanu l'hadlik ner shel shabbat

400

Read: וְרָצָה בָנוּ. וְשַׁבַּת קָדְשׁוֹ

v’ratza vanu, v’shabbat kod’sho

500

What is a Dagesh? What letters does it change?



A dagesh is the dot found in the middle of a letter. It changes Bet/Kaf/Pei/ and Vav.

500

When there is one dot in between a sin/shin and another letter what is happening?

The dot is playing double duty. It tells us the letter is a sin/shin and acts as an “OH” (partial cholam) vowel.

500

If a vowel is considered a Chataf ___, what is the addition to the vowel? When does it change the pronunciation? 



It means a Sh’va is added (two vertical dots, אְ) and the pronunciation only changes with a Kamatz (mini T, אֳ). 

500

Read: אַשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנו לְהִתְעַטֵף בַּצִיצִת

asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav vitzivanu l'heetatayf bat-tzit-tzit. 

500

Read: וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ

v'havta et Adonai elochecha 

Click to zoom