Lesson Transcript

Shalom, ani Yana! Welcome to Hebrewpod101.com’s Alef-Beit be-kalei kalut.
The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn the Hebrew alphabet: the alef-beit!
We have finished the entire alef-beit and the full niqqud system in Hebrew!
Well done! Kol ha-kavod!!!!
In this lesson we will intrdocue a very famous Hebrew sentence -- including the full niqqud - so that you can easily read it!
We started this series with the letter alef- the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So what better place to start our study of the Hebrew Bible than with its first statement?- בְּרֵאשִׁית
'Be-reshit bara elohim et ha-shamayim ve-et ha-arats'
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
Let's break it down;
'be-reshit'- in the beginning.
בְּרֵאשִׁית (handwriting)
בְּרֵאשִׁית (print)
'bara'- created.
בָּרָא (handwriting)
בָּרָא (print)
'Elohim'- God.
אֱלֹהים (handwriting)
אֱלֹהים (print)
את 'et ha-shamayim'- the sky/heaven.
אֵת הַשָמַיִים (handwriting)
את השמיים(print)
ve-et ha-arets'- and the earth.
וְאֵת הָאָרֵץ' (handwriting)
וְאֵת הָאָרֵץ' (print)
Can you believe it?! You’ve just read an ancient Biblical text in the original - without modification!
Well done!
Now it's time for Yana's insights;
In English, the first book of the Bible is often known as “Genesis.” But this is actually a Greek word.
In Hebrew, the first book of the bible is called “Be-reshit”. Does it sound familiar? Of course it should! It is the first word in our phrase in this lesson. In fact, in the five books of the Hebrew Torah, all books are named after the word that starts them off. After Be-reshit comes:
Can you read it? (Pause) that’s right! It’s Šhemot, which means “”Names”. This book is also called Exodus in English.
Next we have ___. Can you read it? Yes! it is Vayiqra, and in Hebrew it means something like “he calls”. In English, it is also called Leviticus.
Do you know what the next book is? (Pause) Yes, it’s Bamidbar. In English this is usually called the Book of Numbers, but in Hebrew it means “in the wilderness” or “desert”
What’s the last book of the Torah called? That’s right! Devarim or “words.” In English it is also called Deuteronomy.
Now you know all about how the Hebrew Bible starts! What’s your favorite proverb?
In the next lesson we will have an example of a Biblical phrase with great cultural relevance even in today’s society.
You will see how Israeli people bring even the oldest traditions and make them a part of contemporary life.
See you then!!!


Please to leave a comment.
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HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:11 PM
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Deear Musaab,

Thank you for this enlightening comment!

I'm not sure about the role of Dagesh in doubling letters, as Hebrew never used the practice of doubled letters in the same way English does... Your second comment, however, is very much correct. The 6 letters that can receive a dagesh are commonly referred to as בג"ד כפ"ת" - from them 3 are still going through a change in sound (ב,כ,פ) and 3 remain identical with/without a dagesh (ג,ד,ת).

Keep up the great work and enjoy learning Hebrew! 👍👍😄



Team HebrewPod101.com

Sunday at 07:36 PM
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Hi Paul Jabez! I may be wrong, but I think the first doubt, in Biblical Hebrew, the Dagesh (the dot inside the shin) can also be used to double a letter, however, in Modern Hebrew, there is no such distinction. The second doubt is because in Biblical Hebrew, along with Bet, Kaf and Pay, there are 3 other letters which can be modified with the Dagesh for a harder sound, and they are Dalet, Gimel and Taf. However somewhere along in history, the sounds of these letters with a Dagesh have been dropped, and there is no distinction in sounds of these letters anymore in Modern Hebrew. I don't know about your third doubt, but I think your fourth doubt is is the same reason as the first doubt: the second Mem is doubled. For more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp_pLn1Q368&t

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:44 PM
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Dear Annakay,

Thanks for posting your question!

The letter "ק" in Hebrew is called "Kuf" (or sometimes "Kof"), and it is pronounced as a K (or Q).

You can find more information about it in this lesson -


Enjoy learning Hebrew!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Thursday at 06:10 AM
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In the word Vayiqra i wasnt taught the pronounciation of the 'q' symbol.What is the name of that letter.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:28 PM
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Hi Anthony Permaye,

Thanks for posting your question!

The reason for this is that the word "ראשית" (beginning) is derived from the Hebrew word "ראש" ( = "head", but also "start").

The reason why the word "ראש" is written with an "א" is a little harder to explain, but I will add that there are plenty of older Hebrew words in which "א" is used after a kholam (O vowel), instead of the "ו" that we're used to see in more modern words...

I hope that helps to answer your questions :)



Team HebrewPod101.com

Anthony Permaye
Thursday at 08:29 AM
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Hi in the word "Be-reshit", why do we have the letter "aleph" after the "r"?



HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 01:23 AM
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Hi Neel L. Lumi,

Thanks for commenting!

The usage of Š is limited in our lessons, even though it is phonetically accurate, as it may be confusing for learners who are not familiar with it. Therefore, as a general rule (with minor exceptions), SH is used for "ש" on all of our lessons.

Enjoy learning Hebrew!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Neel L. Lumi
Sunday at 02:51 AM
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If you’re gonna use Š to transcribe שׁ (which is commendable), using ‘h’ is redundant.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:25 PM
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Hi Maria,

Thanks for posting!

Yes, the Torah is consisting of 5 books.

Both "dalet" and "daled" are used very commonly when "dalet" is the "officially correct" version.

Happy to assist,


Team HebrewPod101.com

Friday at 11:16 AM
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So does the Torah consist of only 5 books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy?

Also, is the letter dalet named dalet or daled?

Thank you!