Friday, October 7, 2011

Ben Zehabe's The Meaning of Hebrew Letters


Hebrew is called “the holy language,” given to man as a gift from God. The Jonah Project’s The Meaning of Hebrew Letters, written by Michael Ben Zehabe, the author of A Commentary on Jonah and Semitic Tales: Accidental Hebrew for Christians, illuminates the meaning and lessons of each of the 22 letters that comprise the Hebrew alphabet.

Zehabe reminds readers of the majesty of Hebrew, “the method that God chose for mankind to speak to Him, and Him to them,” the language of Adam and the passengers on the ark.” Learning Hebrew is an important facet of one’s spiritual journey and Zehabe is the ultimate guide, walking readers through the entire alphabet and explicating the “hidden personality” of each letter, its rich history, its special meaning, and its numeric meaning. Each letter that comprises the Hebrew alphabet has a complex meaning; for example, the letter “bet” means “in” when used as a prefix and many of the words that begin with “bet” convey an “inside/outside” concept within their definitions like “bawkak,” which means to pour out or empty and “botsraw,” which means a sheep enclosure.

The Meaning of Hebrew Letters has a multi-level instruction style similar to that of the Bible, accommodating both the very young and the very educated reader simultaneously; some information is appropriate for young readers and other information is better left for reading as an adult. Zehabe urges each reader to read this book at his/her own level, “relax,” and “think of this book as a banquet from which you are free to choose (or not choose) whatever pleases your taste. Whether you are new to the study of Hebrew, looking to enhance your understanding of Hebrew, or trying to teach Hebrew to your children, The Meaning of Hebrew Letters is an important part of any Hebrew student’s library.