Hebrew Nuggets, Lesson 8: Abba (Part 4)

Articles Leave a Comment

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.

Revised: 19-Aug-2015
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.

Hebrew NuggetsLike 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).

Paid Content
Premium Members and Friends of JP must be logged in to access this content:

If you do not have a paid subscription, please consider registering as a Premium Member starting at $10/month (paid monthly) or only $5/month (paid annually): Register

One Time Purchase Rather Than Membership
Rather than purchasing a membership subscription, you may purchase access to this single page for $1.99 USD. To purchase access we strongly encourage users to first register for a free account with JP (
Register), which will make the process of accessing your purchase much simpler. Once you have registered you may login and purchase access to this page at this link:

Login & Purchase
To read the next lesson, click here.

For the transliteration system used in this series, click here.

This article originally appeared in issue 8 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

Leave a Reply

  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
    [Read more about author]

  • JP Content

  • Suggested Reading

  • Hospitality Heritage of the ChurchPetros Petra WordplayHistorical Jesus a Tanna FIDeliver Us From Evil6 Stone Water JarsEnemies of the HarvestWere Women Segregated?Luke 9-51-56—A Hebrew FragmentUnlocking the Synoptic ProblemNew Portrait of SalomeInsulting God's High PriestLoving BothMedieval JargonBeating the (Thorny) Bushes title 2Gergesa, Gerasa, or GadaraPG‘Everything Written…in the Psalms About Me’ (Luke 24-44)And OR In Order To RemarryAnti-Jewish TendenciesScribal ErrorsAllegro to ZeitlinTwena With All Due RespectTorah in the Sermon on the MountBethsaida 002Flusser Times of the GentilesIf Your Eye Be Single cover imageIntro to SynopticThe Names of Jerusalem in the Synoptic Gospels and ActsStewards of God's KeysBy the Finger of GodPower of ParablesTrees of LifeBest Long-TermFlusser Parables of Ill ReputeNew International JesusReich Design and MaintenanceSafrai Synagogue CenturionNun GergesaThe Social Jesus-Beyond and Individualist ReadingSabbath BreakersNeot KedumimWealth of Herod the GreatGood Morning, ElijahMiraculous CatchSalted With FireJewish Laws of Purity in Jesus' DayMidrash in the New TestamentAesop's Fables and the Parables of the SagesJesus’ Temptation and Its Jewish BackgroundOstracon From Qumran FlusserOrigins of Jesus' Dominical TitleDid Jesus Make Food Clean?Evidence of Pro-Roman Leanings in the Gospel of MatthewA Body, Vultures & SoMBinding and Loosingספר פתרון תורהPilgrimage in the Time of Jesus coverThe Appearance of Jesus-Hairstyles and BeardsA Farewell to the Emmaus RoadDid Jesus Wear a KippahDid Jesus Save the Life of an Adultress?Tangled Up in TecheletThey Know Not What They DoCenturion and the SynagogueWhat Is the Leaven of the Pharisees