Hebrew (עברית)

Hebrew, (or Ivrit), is an interesting language. Allow me to share with you a few reasons why:

         "Before Ben-Yehuda... Jews could speak Hebrew; after him they did." - Cecil Roth

Before its "resurrection", the Hebrew language had been passed down from generation to generation for millennia as part of the Jewish education of young men in the diaspora. The reason that it was considered a "dead" language was that it had not been used conversationally by any significant Jewish population since second century Jerusalem. Hebrew, the language of the Torah, was considered too holy for day-to-day conversation and reserved for prayer and religious discussion. In Jewish populations in Palestine and Eastern Europe, Hebrew combined with other languages to form Ladino (Spanish + Hebrew) and Yiddish (German + Hebrew). Thus, the Hebrew language survived in its original form in religious settings and in modified form in various dialects.

With the rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century, Ashkenazic Jews fleeing religious persecution in Western Europe and Russia came to settle in Palestine. These Ashkenazic Jews spoke Russian and Yiddush, while the indigenous Sephardic Jews spoke Ladino and Arabic. In 1881, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, an ardent Zionist from Lithuania, arrived in Palestine with the goal of unifying the Jews in the ancient Hebrew land with the ancient Hebrew language. He invented hundreds of modern words, and began compiling A "Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew", completed by his family after his death. He encouraged Jewish schools to be taught in Hebrew. He published a newspaper in Hebrew, Hatzvi, that covered a wide range of topics. In 1890, he founded the Hebrew Language Council. Through his contributions and dedication to his cause, Ben-Yehuda inspired a fervent enthusiasm towards the Hebrew language in the growing Jewish community in Palestine. In 1922 Britain recognized Hebrew as the official language of the Jews in Palestine and in 1948 it became the official language of the new state of Israel.

Shmaltz Brewing Company1 produces a line of beers known as HE'BREW ("The Chosen Beer") through the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. As of the time of writing, the line consists of two types of beer:

Genesis Ale
"Crisp...light-brown ale."
Messiah Stout
"Hints of chocolate, coffee, and toffee."

As well as being available by mail-order, the website claims they are distributed in New York, Chicago, Virginia, and California. The initial launch occuring in the Bay Area, 1996.

They are, of course, kosher and free of "gefilte fish".

1: http://www.shmaltz.com/

With Unicode, the Hebrew script is used for writing the Hebrew language, as well as Yiddish, Judezmo (Ladino) and a number of other languages. Vowels and other various marks are written as points, which are applied to consonantal base letters; these marks are usually omitted in Hebrew; except for liturgical texts and other special applications. Five Hebrew letters assume a different graphic form when last in a word.

Hebrew script is written right to left. See the Bidirectional Algorithm.

Hebrew points indicate vowels or other modifications of consonantal letters. They can be separated into four classes : dagesh, shin dot and sin dot, vowels and other.

U+05BC  ּ  Hebrew point dagesh   has the form of a dot that appears inside the letter it affects. It is not a vowel, but a diacritic that affects the pronunciation of a consonant. The same base consonant can also have a vowel and/or other diacritics. Dagesh is the only element that goes inside a letter.

Digraphs are considered to be independent characters in Yiddish. Unicode includes them as separate characters so as to distinguish certain letter combinations in Yiddish text; e.g. to distinguish the digraph double vav from consonantal vav followed by vocalic vav.

Cantillation marks are used in publishing liturgical texts, including the Bible. There are various historical schools of cantillation marking; the set of marks included in the Unicode standard follows the Israeli standard SI 1311.2.

See also ISO 8859-8.

Unicode's Hebrew code block reserves the 112 code points from U+0590 to U+05FF, of which 87 are currently assigned.

Armenian <-- Hebrew --> Arabic

Number of characters added in each version of the Unicode standard :
Unicode 1.1 : 51
Unicode 2.0 : 31
Unicode 4.1 : 4
Unicode 5.0 : 1

Number of characters in each General Category :

Letter, Other       Lo : 30
Mark, Non-Spacing   Mn : 51
Punctuation, Dash   Pd :  1
Punctuation, Other  Po :  5

Number of characters in each Bidirectional Category :

Right To Left       R : 36
Non Spacing Mark  NSM : 51

The columns below should be interpreted as :

  1. The Unicode code for the character
  2. The character in question
  3. The Unicode name for the character
  4. The Unicode General Category for the character
  5. The Unicode Bidirectional Category for the character
  6. The Unicode version when this character was added

If the characters below show up poorly, or not at all, see Unicode Support for possible solutions.



     Cantillation marks

U+0591   ֑   Hebrew accent etnahta Mn NSM 2.0
aka atnah
U+0592   ֒   Hebrew accent segol Mn NSM 2.0
aka segolta
U+0593   ֓   Hebrew accent shalshelet Mn NSM 2.0
U+0594   ֔   Hebrew accent zaqef qatan Mn NSM 2.0
U+0595   ֕   Hebrew accent zaqef gadol Mn NSM 2.0
U+0596   ֖   Hebrew accent tipeha Mn NSM 2.0
aka tarha, me'ayla ~ mayla
U+0597   ֗   Hebrew accent revia Mn NSM 2.0
U+0598   ֘   Hebrew accent zarqa Mn NSM 2.0
aka tsinorit, zinorit; tsinor, zinor
* This character is to be used when Zarqa or Tsinor are placed above, and also for Tsinorit.
ref U+05AE   ֮   Hebrew accent zinor (Hebrew)
U+0599   ֙   Hebrew accent pashta Mn NSM 2.0
U+059A   ֚   Hebrew accent yetiv Mn NSM 2.0
U+059B   ֛   Hebrew accent tevir Mn NSM 2.0
U+059C   ֜   Hebrew accent geresh Mn NSM 2.0
aka teres
U+059D   ֝   Hebrew accent geresh muqdam Mn NSM 2.0
U+059E   ֞   Hebrew accent gershayim Mn NSM 2.0
U+059F   ֟   Hebrew accent qarney para Mn NSM 2.0
aka pazer gadol
U+05A0   ֠   Hebrew accent telisha gedola Mn NSM 2.0
U+05A1   ֡   Hebrew accent pazer Mn NSM 2.0
aka pazer qatan
U+05A2   ֢   Hebrew accent atnah hafukh Mn NSM 4.1
ref U+05AA   ֪   Hebrew accent yerah ben yomo (Hebrew)
U+05A3   ֣   Hebrew accent munah Mn NSM 2.0
U+05A4   ֤   Hebrew accent mahapakh Mn NSM 2.0
U+05A5   ֥   Hebrew accent merkha Mn NSM 2.0
aka yored
U+05A6   ֦   Hebrew accent merkha kefula Mn NSM 2.0
U+05A7   ֧   Hebrew accent darga Mn NSM 2.0
U+05A8   ֨   Hebrew accent qadma Mn NSM 2.0
aka azla
U+05A9   ֩   Hebrew accent telisha qetana Mn NSM 2.0
U+05AA   ֪   Hebrew accent yerah ben yomo Mn NSM 2.0
aka galgal
ref U+05A2   ֢   Hebrew accent atnah hafukh (Hebrew)
U+05AB   ֫   Hebrew accent ole Mn NSM 2.0
U+05AC   ֬   Hebrew accent iluy Mn NSM 2.0
U+05AD   ֭   Hebrew accent dehi Mn NSM 2.0
U+05AE   ֮   Hebrew accent zinor Mn NSM 2.0
aka tsinor; zarqa
* This character is to be used when Zarqa or Tsinor are placed above left.
ref U+0598   ֘   Hebrew accent zarqa (Hebrew)
U+05AF   ֯   Hebrew mark masora circle Mn NSM 2.0

     Points and punctuation

U+05B0   ְ   Hebrew point sheva Mn NSM 1.1
U+05B1   ֱ   Hebrew point hataf segol Mn NSM 1.1
U+05B2   ֲ   Hebrew point hataf patah Mn NSM 1.1
U+05B3   ֳ   Hebrew point hataf qamats Mn NSM 1.1
U+05B4   ִ   Hebrew point hiriq Mn NSM 1.1
U+05B5   ֵ   Hebrew point tsere Mn NSM 1.1
U+05B6   ֶ   Hebrew point segol Mn NSM 1.1
U+05B7   ַ   Hebrew point patah Mn NSM 1.1
* furtive patah is not a distinct character
U+05B8   ָ   Hebrew point qamats Mn NSM 1.1
* used generically or as qamats gadol in orthography which distinguishes that from qamats qatan
ref U+05C7   ׇ   Hebrew point qamats qatan (Hebrew)
U+05B9   ֹ   Hebrew point holam Mn NSM 1.1
U+05BA   ֺ   Hebrew point holam haser for vav Mn NSM 5.0
U+05BB   ֻ   Hebrew point qubuts Mn NSM 1.1
U+05BC   ּ   Hebrew point dagesh or mapiq Mn NSM 1.1
aka shuruq
* falls within the base letter
U+05BD   ֽ   Hebrew point meteg Mn NSM 1.1
aka siluq
* may be used as a Hebrew accent sof pasuq
U+05BE   ־   Hebrew punctuation maqaf Pd R 1.1
U+05BF   ֿ   Hebrew point rafe Mn NSM 1.1
ref U+FB1E   ﬞ   Hebrew point judeo spanish varika (Alphabetic Presentation Forms)
U+05C0   ׀   Hebrew punctuation paseq Po R 1.1
aka legarmeh
* may be treated as spacing punctuation, not as a point
ref U+007C   |   vertical line (Basic Latin)
U+05C1   ׁ   Hebrew point shin dot Mn NSM 1.1
U+05C2   ׂ   Hebrew point sin dot Mn NSM 1.1
U+05C3   ׃   Hebrew punctuation sof pasuq Po R 1.1
* may be used as a Hebrew punctuation colon
ref U+003A   :   colon (Basic Latin)

     Puncta extraordinaria

U+05C4   ׄ   Hebrew mark upper dot Mn NSM 2.0
U+05C5   ׅ   Hebrew mark lower dot Mn NSM 4.1
* punctum extraordinarium (Psalms 27:13)
ref U+05B4   ִ   Hebrew point hiriq (Hebrew)

     Points and punctuation

U+05C6   ׆   Hebrew punctuation nun hafukha Po R 4.1
* does not historically derive from the letter nun
ref U+05E0   נ   Hebrew letter nun (Hebrew)
U+05C7   ׇ   Hebrew point qamats qatan Mn NSM 4.1
ref U+05B8   ָ   Hebrew point qamats (Hebrew)

     Based on ISO 8859-8

U+05D0   א   Hebrew letter alef Lo R 1.1
aka aleph
ref U+2135   ℵ   alef symbol (Letterlike Symbols)
U+05D1   ב   Hebrew letter bet Lo R 1.1
ref U+2136   ℶ   bet symbol (Letterlike Symbols)
U+05D2   ג   Hebrew letter gimel Lo R 1.1
ref U+2137   ℷ   gimel symbol (Letterlike Symbols)
U+05D3   ד   Hebrew letter dalet Lo R 1.1
ref U+2138   ℸ   dalet symbol (Letterlike Symbols)
U+05D4   ה   Hebrew letter he Lo R 1.1
U+05D5   ו   Hebrew letter vav Lo R 1.1
U+05D6   ז   Hebrew letter zayin Lo R 1.1
U+05D7   ח   Hebrew letter het Lo R 1.1
U+05D8   ט   Hebrew letter tet Lo R 1.1
U+05D9   י   Hebrew letter yod Lo R 1.1
U+05DA   ך   Hebrew letter final kaf Lo R 1.1
U+05DB   כ   Hebrew letter kaf Lo R 1.1
U+05DC   ל   Hebrew letter lamed Lo R 1.1
U+05DD   ם   Hebrew letter final mem Lo R 1.1
U+05DE   מ   Hebrew letter mem Lo R 1.1
U+05DF   ן   Hebrew letter final nun Lo R 1.1
U+05E0   נ   Hebrew letter nun Lo R 1.1
U+05E1   ס   Hebrew letter samekh Lo R 1.1
U+05E2   ע   Hebrew letter ayin Lo R 1.1
U+05E3   ף   Hebrew letter final pe Lo R 1.1
U+05E4   פ   Hebrew letter pe Lo R 1.1
U+05E5   ץ   Hebrew letter final tsadi Lo R 1.1
U+05E6   צ   Hebrew letter tsadi Lo R 1.1
aka zade
U+05E7   ק   Hebrew letter qof Lo R 1.1
U+05E8   ר   Hebrew letter resh Lo R 1.1
U+05E9   ש   Hebrew letter shin Lo R 1.1
U+05EA   ת   Hebrew letter tav Lo R 1.1

     Yiddish digraphs

U+05F0   װ   Hebrew ligature yiddish double vav Lo R 1.1
aka tsvey vovn
U+05F1   ױ   Hebrew ligature yiddish vav yod Lo R 1.1
U+05F2   ײ   Hebrew ligature yiddish double yod Lo R 1.1
aka tsvey yudn

     Additional punctuation

U+05F3   ׳   Hebrew punctuation geresh Po R 1.1
U+05F4   ״   Hebrew punctuation gershayim Po R 1.1

Some prose may have been lifted verbatim from unicode.org,
as is permitted by their terms of use at http://www.unicode.org/copyright.html

He"brew (?), n. [F. H'ebreu, L. Hebraeus, Gr. , fr. Heb. 'ibhri.]


An appellative of Abraham or of one of his descendants, esp. in the line of Jacob; an Israelite; a Jew.

There came one that had escaped and told Abram the Hebrew. Gen. xiv. 13.


The language of the Hebrews; -- one of the Semitic family of languages.


© Webster 1913.

He"brew, a.

Of or pertaining to the Hebrews; as, the Hebrew language or rites.


© Webster 1913.

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