We have learned in past lessons all the sounds of the word שָׁלוֹם (sha·LOM). The first letter of שָׁלוֹם is שׁ (shin), the “sh” sound. Under the shin is a ָ (ka·MATS), indicating the vowel “a,” as in “father.” The second letter of the word is ל (LA·med), the Hebrew “l” which is followed by the “o” vowel, ḥo·LAM. The last letter of shalom is a mem, but it has a different form than the mem we learned previously.
Five Hebrew consonants assume special forms when they appear as the last letter of a word. One of the letters with a special final form is mem. A mem used anywhere other than at the end of a word looks like this: מ. As the last letter of a word, the mem looks like this: ם.
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. For the transliteration system used in this series, click here