Abba is an Aramaic word meaning "the father." This word was borrowed by Hebrew speakers and used in the sense of "Daddy." In lesson eight, the word Abba is used to teach another Hebrew letter.
In the two previous lessons we learned the first two letters of the word אבא—’A·lef and bet. We also met, for a second time, the vowel symbol pa·TAḤ, pronounced as the “a” in “father.” This vowel’s symbol is the short horizontal line that we see under the first ’A·lef of אַבּא. In this lesson we find a new vowel sign under the bet of אַבָּא. This small T-like symbol is called ka·MATS.
Like the pa·TAḤ, ka·MATS represents the “a” sound, as in “father.” In ancient times there was a difference in the length of these two vowels. Modern Hebrew, however, does not distinguish between them. In the system of transliteration used in “Hebrew Nuggets,” we indicate both the ka·MATS and the pa·TAḤ with the letter “a.”
We now have learned all the new elements in the word אַבָּא. Together, the words יֵשׁוּעַ and אַבָּא have taught us five consonant symbols and four vowel symbols.
We also have learned that the shin is pronounced “sh” when there is a dot at its upper right-hand corner (שׁ), but “s” when the dot is at the shin’s upper left-hand corner (שׂ). Likewise, we have learned two different pronunciations of the letter bet—“b” when it has a dot in its center (בּ), and “v” when there is no dot (ב).
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To read the next lesson, click here
For the transliteration system used in this series, click here.