Last of the three-part series on the Hebrew word "Hallelujah."
In Lesson 10 we learned the new elements in the second and third syllables of the word הללויה (ha·le·lu·YAH)—the letter LA·med and the vowel sign she·VA’. ha·le·lu·YAH has one thing more to teach us: the ma·PIK. We discover it in the final syllable of ha·le·lu·YAH.
The first letter of the final syllable of הללויה is yod (י). You will recall that the yod represents the Hebrew “y” sound. We introduced it in Lesson 1 as the first letter in the word יֵשׁוּעַ (ye·SHU·a‘).
Under the yod of הללויה is the vowel symbol ka·MATS, which is pronounced as the “a” in “father.” It was first introduced in Lesson 8 under the second letter of the word אַבָּא (’a·BA’). In English, “a” can have many different pronunciations. Hebrew, however, has only one “a” sound. The “a” in the biblical name “David,” for instance, is the “a” as in “father,” not as in “fade.” The “a” in “Dan” and “Gad” is the Hebrew “a,” not the “a” as in “mat.”
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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]