10 Facts About Hebrew alphabet


Hebrew alphabet, known variously by scholars as the Ktav Ashuri, Jewish script, square script and block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language and other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Persian.

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The original, old Hebrew script, known as the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, has been largely preserved in a variant form as the Samaritan alphabet.

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Originally, the Hebrew alphabet was an abjad consisting only of consonants, but is considered an "impure abjad".

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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 typically retain their Hebrew consonant-only spellings.

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Paleo-Hebrew alphabet was used in the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

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Square Hebrew alphabet was later adapted and used for writing languages of the Jewish diaspora – such as Karaim, the Judeo-Arabic languages, Judaeo-Spanish, and Yiddish.

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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, especially in Israel.

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Letters of the Hebrew alphabet have played varied roles in Jewish religious literature over the centuries, primarily in mystical texts.

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In mystical conceptions, the Hebrew alphabet is considered eternal, pre-existent to the Earth, and the letters themselves are seen as having holiness and power, sometimes to such an extent that several stories from the Talmud illustrate the idea that they cannot be destroyed.

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Unicode Hebrew alphabet block extends from U+0590 to U+05FF and from U+FB1D to U+FB4F.

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