1. family, f משפחה

    Here is where I drew a poor picture of Chewbacca from Star Wars!!! 
  2. He says: “Me Chewbacca”, which sounds like: meesh-pacha. 
  3. I know, Chewy doesn't really talk, but give him a BIG hug, because he Is Family!!!
  4. vowels are: chireq, sheva, qamets, qamets. The sheva closes the first syllable. Qamets: The first is expected, as it is an open syllable. The second is really part of the feminine suffix qamets-hey, where hey is part of the vowel. I remember the two qamets by picturing Chewbacca offering me a cup of "tea", whilst his other hand also holds a cup of tea. The tea reminds us of the vowel qamets, which looks like a letter "T" in English. 
  5. So don't forget! Chewbacca has two cups of tea, one for himself and one for you, and as he hands you your cup, he says: "Me Chewbacca", and gives you a BIG hug, because he is family!
  6. Shalom chaverim!!  KEREN



 
 
 Tips and Tricks for remembering the sound and name of Hebrew vowel pointings. 
 I like to use word association, mind pictures, “sounds like”, music and silly sentences to remember Hebrew vocabulary, letters, vowels and spelling. These tips and tricks, known also as mnemonic devices, have been proven to assist people of all ages to lock details into their long term memory for total recall and use. 
For example: Parachute Expert, My Dear Aunt Sally for mathematical order of operations (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction).  But I digress: Let's take a look at the Hebrew vowel points, or Niqqud.

Niqqud: נקוד or the plural would be Niqqudot: נקודות means “pointing, or dotting” This refers to the Masoretic codification of markings around 600 or 700 CE to preserve the authentic pronunciation of Hebrew in the diaspora. In order to maintain the Holiness of the Hebrew letters themselves, these dots, or Niqqud, are placed under, over or beside the letters. Hebrew letters themselves only represent consonants, the vowel sounds have to be supplied by the reader/speaker. When reading Hebrew, right to left, pronounce the consonant sound first, followed by the vowel sound.

O type vowels.
 What are called o type vowels have just one pronunciation in Biblical Hebrew. The sound is OH as in Okay or yellow! In addition, they are classified as long, short, or reduced for purposes of grammar and spelling. Here is the verse from our song: Sing to the tune of “twinkle twinkle little star”

  O type vowels, they come next:
  Cholem and Chateph Qamets
  Qamets Chatuph and cholem Vav
  Which are short and which are long???
  Sure, we'll learn e-ven-tual-ly
  These are tricky as can be!

 Let's take each of these in turn:

Cholem: חולם: is a single dot above the letter. This is the only vowel that occurs over the letter. That single dot can occur over a letter (cholem) beside a vav (shurek) or under the letter (chireq). To keep these straight, I say that a single dot on your head (take your index finger here, and point to your head) makes you say: “OH!” and a poke in the side (now take your index finger and poke your side) makes you say: “OO!”, and a poke on your toochus makes you say: “EE!” The cholem (and the cholem vav) are both long.

Chateph Qamets: חטף קמץ: This niqqud looks like the little T under the letter (qamats), and has the two verticle dots to the right of it (sheva).  It looks like we are having two biscuits with our "tea"! OH! How nice! When we see the biscuits by our "tea" we say "OH!" because we are so surprised to have biscuits with our "tea". As we have learned with the other reduced vowels, it is to be used only under gutterals: א ,ע ,ה ,ח ,ר alef, ayin, hey, chet and sometimes resh. This is a "reduced" vowel.  Chateph means “hurried”. Even though it LOOKS like an “a” type vowel, we have to remember it still says: “OH! Two little biscuits with my 'tea'", and I guess we need to “hurry” eating it.

Qametz Chatuph: קמץ חטוף This niqqud also looks like the little T (qamats), but it is the short “o type” vowel. Well, it is "tea"...Remember with qamats we said that COMMENTS sounds like qamats, and that there should be NO COMMENTS about my tea! The chet on chatuph looks like a top hat. Chatuph sounds like AH, TWO! I know, crazy, but stick with me here...So picture two gentlemen in their top hats, drinking tea: they say "OH!" because the tea is exceptionally GOOD! How nice.  This is why I say these vowels are tricky!! One way to tell whether it is Chametz Chatuph or qamats: If it is in closed, Unaccented syllable, it is the qametz chatuph. There has to be a short “OH” vowel, and this is it! *


Cholem vav : חולם וו : This is just the full vowel spelling for cholem. It is the single dot over a vav. It will appear directly to the left of the consonant it sounds with. By the way, cholem and cholem vav are interchangeable spellings. You will see the same word spelled each way. It still sounds the same. It still means the same thing. If a vowel has a letter as part of it, it is always long. Remember: a single dot on your head (take your index finger here, and point to your head) makes you say: “OH!” and a poke in the side (now take your index finger and poke your side) makes you say: “OO!”, and a poke on your toochus makes you say: “EE!”


 L'hitra'ot! See you!
 Morah Keren



*Some texts will have the qametz chatuph darker, or with a more enlongated verticle line. If there are cantillation accents, the meteg will accompany a qamats. (Meteg = short, verticle line to the left of the niqqud). So if you don't see meteg, it is qametz chatuph.

 
 
Tips and Tricks for remembering the sound and name of Hebrew vowel pointings.

I like to use word association, mind pictures, “sounds like”, music and silly sentences to remember Hebrew vocabulary, letters, vowels and spelling. These tips and tricks, known also as mnemonic devices, have been proven to assist people of all ages to lock details into their long term memory for total recall and use. Perhaps you remember some mnemonic devices from grade school, such as:

Roy G. Biv, for the occurrence of colors in a rainbow
 (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), as an aside: what color IS indigo???or

Parachute Expert, My Dear Aunt Sally for mathematical order of operations (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) , or

Mary's Violet Eyes Make John Stay Up Nights Panting (Or praying, or Period!)for the order of the planets:
 (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) Well, this is obviously out of date anyway, since Pluto has been demoted from planet status!

But I digress: Let's take a look at the Hebrew vowel points, or Niqqud.
 Niqqud: נקוד or the plural would be Niqqudot: נקודות means “pointing, or dotting” This refers to the Masoretic codification of markings around 600 or 700 CE to preserve the authentic pronunciation of Hebrew in the diaspora. In order to maintain the Holiness of the Hebrew letters themselves, these dots, or Niqqud, are placed under, over or beside the letters. Hebrew letters themselves only represent consonants, the vowel sounds have to be supplied by the reader/speaker. When reading Hebrew, left to right, pronounce the consonant sound first, followed by the vowel sound.

A-type vowels. A type vowels make a long “AH” sound. They are classified as long, short, or reduced for purposes of grammar and spelling. Here is the verse from our song: Sing to the tune of “twinkle twinkle little star”

A type vowels: Qamets, n' Patach,
 Qamets Hey and Chateph Patach.
 Ones with Qamets, they are long
 Ones with Patach, they are short.
 And all A type vowels say “ah”
 Just like “ah” in A QUA!

Let's take each of these in turn:
Qamets: קמץ. This vowel it the one that looks like a small capital English “T” under the letter. Let's say your friend makes you some tea (the mark looks like “T”), and it tastes horrible, but your friend says: “Don't make any COMMENTS (Qamets) about my tea!”
 COMMENTS sounds like Qamets, so remember not to make COMMENTS about the tea (“T”)! You can remember that it is a long vowel, because it takes a L-O-N-G time to drink that terrible tea!!

Qamets Hey: קמץ הא . This vowel is really just a variation of the qamets, but it is always used at the END of a word, often marking that a noun or verb is feminine in form. You can use a variation of the mnemonic for Qamets, as in: “HEY! Don't make any COMMENTS about my tea!!” Remember that ANY vowel utilizing an additional letter will be long. The additional letter here is ה.

Both Qamets vowels are LONG. (Remember, it takes a LONG time to drink tasteless tea in order to indulge your friend!)

 The second A type vowel that we are going to examine today is called
Patach: פתח. This vowel is a single, flat horizontal line under the letter. It looks flat like a pancake. PANCAKE sounds like Patach . Imagine that it is a “short stack” of pancakes, and you will remember that Patach is a short vowel.

Chateph Patach: חטף פתח . This vowel is really just a variation of the patach, but it is exclusively used with the gutteral letters, and is considered “reduced” as a result. The word, chateph, means “hurried” or “snatched”. 

Todah Raba, Thanks, for checking out my Hebrew Mnemonics on the Niqqud.  
L'hitraot!
מורה קרן
Morah Keren