Hebrew Nuggets, Lesson 8: Abba (Part 4)

Articles 2 Comments

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).

Premium Members
If you are not a Premium Member, please consider becoming one starting at $10/month (paid monthly) or only $5/month (paid annually):

One Time Purchase Rather Than Membership
Rather than a membership, you may also purchase access to this entire page for $1.99 USD. (If you do not have an account select "Register & Purchase.")

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.

  • 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]

  • Online Hebrew Course

    Want to learn Hebrew? Check out our online Hebrew course Aleph-Bet: Hebrew Reading and Writing for Christians in 17 Easy Lessons.

  • JP Content