Like the Alphabet,
The letters in Hebrew are called the Alef - Beyt and they are presented on my blog from bottom to the top so you can learn them order, then to read them right to left.
Here is Samech: Symbolizing a shield, protection or to be surrounded (protected)
Samech is pronounced like an S in English. It is the 15th letter. It is a consonant . It is also the number 60 when used as a number.
There is another letter in Hebrew, Sin, that sounds like S which we will learn later - there is no difference between the two in the sound they make when reading.
What about look alike letters?
Some get confused distinguishing between Samech and the letter Mem Sofit.
The main difference( no matter the font or script) is that Samech is rounded and Mem Sofit has three squared corners.
The both start out as if you were writing a "Resh"
Resh is the 20th letter - we will learn that one later too, but I have to show you what it looks like now, so you can see the difference in writing the two letters that we are studying tonight.
The following are a series of shots as I write each letter side by side.
Notice that the Resh is smoother than the Dalet as it rounds the upper right corner.
We use a full Resh for Mem Sofit, while we stop short part way down in order to write a Samech.
A line straight left for the Mem Sofit.
A curved line forms the bottom of a shield shape for Samech.
Both leave a part of the top cross bar exposed at the left side.
Mem Sofit comes striaght down thinner at the top, connecting to the bottom cross bar
Samech has a curved downstroke that completes the point (as if to make the bottom of a shield shape)
Where we are so far
Only 7 more letters and you will be reading! Well, there are many you can read already.
Let's also start studying our vowels. There are five sounds for them.
Here is a chart.
- the square represents any letter.
- the vowels are positioned as they would be in a written word.
- there are five lines of vowels - five sounds
On the left a word that contains the vowel sound
On the right a representation of that sound.
They are nearly the same as in Spanish and in the same order!
I have to say that there are slight differences - one might be a little longer than the one next to it, but the sound is the same. There are also combinations that may extend the sound of a vowel. I will leave this chart on the next seven lessons as we go through more letters.
I hope to add meaning to these little lessons each Shabbat as we go. Then we can read together with the vowel points in place and see how it all jives with English.
Thanks for taking the time to read.