The earliest Hebrew script was derived from a Phoenician script. The
modern Hebrew script was developed from a script known as Proto-Hebrew/Early
Used to write:
Hebrew, a Semitic language and the official language of Israel. Hebrew was
the language of the early Jews, but fell out of use as an everyday spoken
language and was replaced by Aramaic about 2,500 years ago. Hebrew continued to
be used as a liturgical language since then and was revived as a spoken language
in the early 20th century. Today about 5 million people in Israel speak Modern
Israeli Hebrew. A further 2-3 million people speak the language in Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Palestinian West Bank and Gaza,
Panama, the UK and USA.
- Written from right to left in horizontal lines.
- Some letters (kaf, mem, nun, fe and tzadi) have a final form (sofit),
which is used when they appear at the end of a word.
- There are no separate numerals in Hebrew, instead standard western
numerals (1, 2, 3, etc) are used.
- Long vowels can be indicated by the letters alef, vav,
and yod. Short vowels are not usually marked, except in the Bible,
poetry and books for children and foreign learners.
The Hebrew script
Modern Israeli pronunciation
Hebrew vowel points / Nikkud (נִקּוּד
The first row of IPA transcriptions is the Modern Israeli Hebrew
the second row is the Medieval/Tiberian pronunciation.
Modern Cursive Hebrew script
The Rashi style is used mainly to write commentaries on texts. It is named
after Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105 AD) a.k.a. Rashi, one of the greatest
medieval Jewish scholars and bible commentators. Rashi did not use the Rashi
sytle to write his commentaries but it is named in honour of him.
Sample texts in Hebrew
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Longer sample text
(Tower of Babel)
Corrections and text samples provided by Tal Barnea.
courses, dictionaries, etc.
Free Hebrew fonts
Online Hebrew courses
Online Hebrew dictionaries
Hebrew Electronic talking dictionaries
Online Hebrew radio
Online Hebrew news
The J Site - Jewish Education & Entertainment Site - includes a Hebrew
Songbook, various games and other stuff:
Mikledet - enables you to write Hebrew, send Hebrew emails, and search the
Internet in Hebrew word, without needing a Hebrew keyboard
My Hebrew Name - find your name in Hebrew (no special fonts required)
Ancient Hebrew Research Center - includes lessons in Biblical Hebrew