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Hebrew Alphabet questions

To: alt.magick
From: paulhume@comcast.net (Paul Hume)
Subject: Re: Hebrew Alphabet questions
Date: 6 May 2003 04:44:55 -0700

> I'm trying to learn the Hebrew alphabet and I've run into a few problems.
> First of all...in Regardie's "Golden Dawn" he doesnt give any pronounciation
> key for the letters, so I'm a bit confused in how to pronounce some of the
> letters, for example: Tau...is it 'taw' or 'tav'?

Be ready to find variation on this among Jews too (g). AL-ef, al-OF,
AL-of, etc.
That said, there are a number of primers, both for kids, as mentioned
up thread, and most useful for the magician IMO, an adult primer for
prayerbook and biblical Hebrew, for adult Jews turning to a more
traditional religious life.

 Also...the letters that
> are printed look like you need a calligraphy pen to write. Is there an
> easier way to write them or do you just have to get a calligraphy pen and
> practice a lot? Any help would be appreciated.
> Thanks

Callig pen is way to go, though learning to write a graceful hand in
pencil or ballpoint is worthwhile. Ironically, the font magicians
mostly use is a book font that was not intended to be written. There
is a book entitled Hebrew Calligraphy (author escapes me...Green, or
Green-something?) that I recommend whole heartedly.

These are not titles you are likely to find at Barnes or Borders. FInd
a Jewish bookstore and you are more likely to prosper (though I do
recall seeing several Biblical Hebrew teach-yourself books at the big
stores).

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From: phygelus@yahoo.com (Phygelus)
Newsgroups: alt.magick
Subject: Re: Hebrew Alphabet questions
Date: 10 May 2003 00:56:37 -0700
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"warped_conscious"  wrote in message news:...
> I'm trying to learn the Hebrew alphabet and I've run into a few problems.
> First of all...in Regardie's "Golden Dawn" he doesnt give any pronounciation
> key for the letters, so I'm a bit confused in how to pronounce some of the
> letters, for example: Tau...is it 'taw' or 'tav'? Also...the letters that
> are printed look like you need a calligraphy pen to write. Is there an
> easier way to write them or do you just have to get a calligraphy pen and
> practice a lot? Any help would be appreciated.
> Thanks

Alef-Bet: A Hebrew Primer by Shumsky et al. is pretty good, and
teaches the numerical values, too.  You'll learn to read and write
basic Hebrew block letters.  Get a kid's writing tablet to practice
on.  It also teaches the vowel points so you have some useful Hebrew
skills beyond what's in the Golden Dawn book.

Or you can print these out on cardstock:
http://www.shalom-peace.com/PDF/ALEPHBETcards.pdf

The book Paul refers to elsewhere in this thread is probably Jay Seth
Greenspan's _Hebrew Calligraphy_.  It's out of print.  Hebrew
calligraphy books seem to go out of print.  Nice book, though.  I
photocopied the copy in my local public library to work from.

Hebrew lettering is a huge topic and a minefield of scruples for the
beginner: you could rapidly progress to holding yourself to some weird
half-assed imitation of the standards of a sofer, or Hebrew scribe.  
Just get some basic literacy instead and go from there.  If scrupulous
work beyond memorizing the letters and their correspondences in that
first knowledge lecture table is holding you up, then just use flash
cards and memorize the letters and numbers by rote.  You can do that
in an evening or two.

Phygelus

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From: satanisevil@satanisevil.no-ip.org (The Cat)
Newsgroups: alt.magick
Subject: Re: Hebrew Alphabet questions
Date: 10 May 2003 06:17:47 -0700
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"warped_conscious"  wrote in message news:...
> I'm trying to learn the Hebrew alphabet and I've run into a few problems.
> First of all...in Regardie's "Golden Dawn" he doesnt give any pronounciation
> key for the letters, so I'm a bit confused in how to pronounce some of the
> letters, for example: Tau...is it 'taw' or 'tav'? Also...the letters that
> are printed look like you need a calligraphy pen to write. Is there an
> easier way to write them or do you just have to get a calligraphy pen and
> practice a lot? Any help would be appreciated.
> Thanks

Well, as a Hebrew speaker, I thought maybe I could help
I'm not sure how the letters you're talking about are written in that
book, but I don't see much problem - simply look at how hebrew letters
are written and write like that (if you want, I can send you an image
of me writing these letters but my handwriting sucks). All in all,
modern Hebrew is not written much like ancient hebrew. Also, some
choose to write in the original aramic letters which I know squat of
(seen them twice, at the Israel museum! they're also on the unicode
specs, so that's also so fucking easy to get)
as for the letters:
Actually, I (and everyone I know) pronounce it 'taf' (tough).
Proffessors of hebrew here pronounce it tav

I never understood the whole 'hebrew' deal - what excatly are you guys
looking for? The ancient Hebrew rituals? Simply using the hebrew
lanugage? (Hebrew is the most taught of all uncommon languages. There
must be half a million people currently learning hebrew here in
Israel.)

If you wanna hear how it's pronounced, you're welcome to call me... :)

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