Friday, May 30, 2008

Alef is for apple and opple, and epple, and oopple

[Update: continuing the challenge here.]
My first draft of an alef-bet book is advanced from my last post. I am thinking it might also inform a sentence (or maybe a paragraph) which would help remember the sequence of the alef-bet. That and grammar are still the bane of my memory!

If any care to comment - please help me correct any typos or other errors of judgment (even).

Here is (most of) the text extracted from the image:

A first draft of an alef-bet book סֵפֶר אָלֶף-בֵּית עִבְרִי‎ Sepher alef-beit Ivri
Alef is for
אַבְרָהָם Abraham, pronounced Avraham The first part of the word, אַב, is father
Bet is for
בַּת שָׁבַע Bathsheba, pronounced Batshava The first part of the word, בַּת, is daughter
Gimel is for
גָּדוֹל Great, gadol, Psalm 96 כִּי גָדוֹל יְהוָה For great is the LORD
Daleth is for דָּוִד David. The vav and the bet (vet) can both make the v sound
He is for הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי Save me, hoshieini, Psalm 3:8
קוּמָה יְהוָה הוֹשִׁיעֵנִי אֱלֹהַי Arise LORD, save me, my God
Vav is for וַשׁתִּי Vashti. Esther 1:9
גַּם וַשְׁתִּי הַמַּלְכָּה Also, Vashti, the queen...
Zayin is for זָהָב Gold, zahav, Psalm 19:11
הַנֶּחֱמָדִים מִזָּהָב More to be desired than gold
Chet is for חִטִּים Wheat, chittim, Psalm 147:14
חֵלֶב חִטִּים, יַשְׂבִּיעֵךְ A fatness of wheat he gives you
Tet is for טַעַם Taste, ta`am, Psalm 34:9
טַעֲמוּ וּרְאוּ, כִּי-טוֹב יְהוָה Taste and see that the LORD is good
Yod is for יָדְךָ Your hand, yadeka, Psalm 139:10
גַּם-שָׁם, יָדְךָ תַנְחֵנִי Even there your hand would lead me
Kaf is for כָּל All, kol, Psalm 65:3
עָדֶיךָ, כָּל-בָּשָׂר יָבֹאוּ To you all flesh will come.
Lamed is for לָמָה Why, lamah, Psalm 22:1
אֵלִי אֵלִי, לָמָה עֲזַבְתָּנִי My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Mem is for מֶלֶךְ King, melek, Psalm 24:10
הוּא מֶלֶךְ הַכָּבוֹד He is the King of glory
Nun is for נֵּס Sign, nes, Psalm 60:6
נָתַתָּה לִּירֵאֶיךָ נֵּס You give to those fearing you a sign
Samech is for סְעָרָה Sustain me, S'arah. Psalm 119:117
סְעָדֵנִי וְאִוָּשֵׁעָה Sustain me and I will be saved
Ayin is for עָפָר Dust, 'apar, Psalm 103:14
זָכוּר, כִּי-עָפָר אֲנָחְנוּ He remembers that we are but dust
Peh is for פְּצֵנִי Rescue me, petsani, Psalm 103:11
פְּצֵנִי וְהַצִּילֵנִי Rescue me and deliver me
Tsadi is for צֶדֶק Right, tsedek, Psalm 23:3
יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי-צֶדֶק He guides me in paths of righteousness
Qof is for קֶרֶן Horn, qeren, Psalm 132:17
אַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן לְדָוִד I will cause to sprout a horn of David
Resh is for רְשָׁעִים Wicked, rashaim, Psalm 1:6
וְדֶרֶךְ רְשָׁעִים תֹּאבֵד but the way of the wicked will perish
שׁין / שׂין
Shin / Sin is for שֹׁשַׁנִּים and שָׂשׂוֹן gladness and lilies, Psalm 45:1 and 7
עַל-שֹׁשַׁנִּים At the place of the lilies שֶׁמֶן שָׂשׂוֹן the oil of gladness
Taf is for תּוֹרַתָוֹרַת Teaching, Torah, Psalm 19:8
תּוֹרַת יְהוָה תְּמִימָה The teaching of the LORD is complete


J. K. Gayle said...

I love it! Bob, your sequence, the Hebrew "alpha bet(a)" almost makes a sentence, a clause.

(In fact, it's a game my daughters and I made up to play when driving long distances in the car. We start the first word of the sentence with the letter A. Then the next person goes, repeating the first word and adding the second, which begins of course with B. Then the third person continues by repeating the A word then the B word and adding a C word, all the way around until there's a completion of a sentence with 26 words.)

Yours begin "Father, daughter . . ." and ends with a lesson, a completed and complete "teaching."

How would you or / and others work out the lesson between father, daughter and the completed teaching of the Lord?

Bob MacDonald said...

How to work it out - one idea is in the next post, 'reading it vertically'. I am thinking I should try constructing the full sentence in Hebrew - both for learning and for the stimulus to memory. The game is certainly a challenge. I hope it will stimulate some responses. It is a curious tradeoff in minimizing words and maximizing allusion...

eclexia said...

As fun as it was to try to come up with a way to use the different representative words together, I like this type of thing much better, where each letter stands alone, with its own word/verse.

Reading your list, I picture a book with a letter a page, each illustrated in beautiful and perhaps, very different, calligraphy, a la Timothy Botts' style (as an English example) or perhaps, embellished and decorated in a consistent style like books were in the Middle Ages. I love books where the art work revolves around the letters and words themselves instead of being separate pictures.

That's what my mind sees when I read down this list of the Hebrew alphabet and examples for each letter.

I had a teacher who had worked in the Middle East and I remember her saying how important Arabic calligraphy was--that it was desirable that written words be so beautiful as to make a man cry when he saw and read them. I have a Bible with a hundred or so of the verses illustrated in calligraphy by Timothy Botts, and that's how I feel when I read it--like the words make me cry and the artwork makes the words sink even deeper into my brain.

Bob MacDonald said...

Our first three children had a beautiful alphabet book by Brian Wildsmith - it had no hardcover left by the time we were finished with it over many years. It was loved to bits.