Hebrew Nuggets, Lesson 21: Israel (Part 3)

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Part three of a four-part series on the Hebrew word Israel.

Revised: 2-Oct.-2015
The second letter in the word יִשְׂרָאֵל (yis·ra·’EL, “Israel”) is שׂ (sin). It is the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and represents the Hebrew “s” sound. In our system of transliteration, the sin is represented by “s.”

Hebrew NuggetsWe have already introduced the sin. We mentioned it in Lesson 3 when we learned the שׁ (shin), the “sh” sound. The only difference between a shin and a sin is the placement of a tiny dot. When this dot is at the upper right-hand corner of the letter (שׁ), one knows that it is a shin and should be pronounced “sh.” When the dot is at the upper left-hand corner of the letter (שׂ), one knows that the letter is a sin and should be pronounced with an “s” sound. In unpointed Hebrew texts there are no vowel signs or shin/sin dots. In that case, one pronounces each ש either “sh” or “s” depending on the context in which it appears.

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To read the next lesson, click here. For the transliteration system used in this series, click here.
This article originally appeared in issue 21 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

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  1. Pingback: Hebrew Nuggets: Lesson 20 – Israel (Part 2) | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

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  • 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…
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