Use the Hebrew alphabet chart below to help facilitate with your learning of the Hebrew letters as well as learning to read Hebrew. There are also more in-depth explanations of each Hebrew letter below. Hebrew letters sound like their English counterpart unless otherwise specified. Ex. Hebrew letter BET has a “b” sound like boy in English. There are five Hebrew letters that change their shape if they are the last letter in a word. These final letters have the same sound as their counterparts but look different.
Click here for a printable version of the Hebrew Alphabet Chart
Learn the Letters in the Hebrew Alphabet
Alef: The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Alef is silent. Look to the vowel below, next to, or over and verbalize the vowel sound instead. We remember it as “X Marks the Spot” because the letter looks like an X when printed.
Bet: The second letter, Bet, makes a “b” sound like boy. We remember it as Bellybutton Bet because there is a dot or bellybutton in the center of this letter.
Vet: The letter Vet is the letter Bet’s twin, but it doesn’t have a dot in the middle of it. The bellybutton vanished and the letter is now vacant. Vet makes a “v” sound like violin.
Gimel: If you spin a dreidel on Hanukkah, you hope it lands on the letter Gimel. That’s because you Get All the Gelt in the pile if it does. Gimel makes a “g” sound like girl. The letter looks like it is casually standing with its leg out so we can also remember it by the phrase Gimme a Leg Gimel.
Dalet: The letter Dalet makes a “d” sound like dog. The top is long and straight and protrudes out slightly at the angle. Dalet looks exactly like a diving board which is why we refer to this letter as Diving Board Dalet.
Hey: The letter Hey makes an “h” sound like happy. But, there is an exception. If there is a Hey at the end of the word and the Hey has no vowel under it, then it is silent. We remember it because the letter Hey Has a Hole on the left hand side between the bottom vertical line and the top horizontal line.
Vav: The Hebrew letter Vav has very straight lines which is why we named this letter Very Straight Vav. Vav makes a “v” sound like violin.
Zayin: We refer to the letter Zayin as Zig Zag Zayin because even though the top line is technically on a diagonal and not a zig zag, it’s not easy to come up with good alliteration for a letter starting with “z”. The letter Zayin makes a “z” sound like zebra.
Chet: The letter Chet looks like a square, but without the bottom line. Chet has a sound that combines two English letters to make a “ch” sound like Chanukah or challah. The “ch” is a sound you would make if you are clearing your throat and hocking a loogie.
Tet: The letter Tet makes a “t” sound like television. We remember the letter as Tugboat Tet. It’s a bit of a stretch to say that this letter looks like a tugboat, but we keep it as is because for some reason, Tugboat Tet is catchy and seems to stick with people.
Yud: The letter Yud is a baby-sized letter – it’s half the size of the others. That is why we call it Young Yud. The letter also looks identical to an apostrophe. Yud makes a “y” sound like yo-yo.
Kaf: The letter Kaf looks like a backwards uppercase “C.” Kaf has a dot in the middle of the letter, so we remember Kaf’s dot as a cough drop caught in Kaf’s throat. Kaf makes a “k” sound like kangaroo.
Chaf: The letter Chaf looks like the same backwards uppercase “C” shape as Kaf but without the dot. Like Kaf, Chaf isn’t feeling well but it doesn’t have a cough drop so it is coughing up a lot of phlegm and mucus. In order for Chaf to clear the phlegm from its throat, it makes a “ch” sound to do so. This “ch” sound is the same exact sound as the letter Chanukkah Chet.
Lamed: The letter Lamed looks like a lightning bolt, like the one on Harry Potter’s forehead. Lamed makes an “l” sound like lion.
Mem: The letter Mem has a small hump that is probably more a hill than a mountain, but we can still remember it as Mountain Mem. The letter Mem makes a “m” sound like mom.
Nun: If you spin the dreidel and it lands on the Hebrew letter Nun, then you get nothing from the pile. That is why we call this letter, Nothing Nun. Nun makes a “n” sound like nail.
Samech: The letter Samech makes a “s” sound like snow. It is shaped like an uppercase “U” with a horizontal line across the top. We like to have fun with the way to remember Samech…imagine that Samech looks like a salad bowl with saran wrap on it. If you’re putting saran wrap on salad in a salad bowl and eating it the next day, the salad will probably be soggy, so we remember the letter as soggy salad saran-wrapped in a salad bowl Samech.
Ayin: The letter Ayin is shaped like a lowercase “y” and it also has the letter “y” as the second letter in its name. Ayin is the second of the two silent letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
Pay: The letter Pay look like a backwards, upside down, uppercase “G” with a dot – or as we like to call it – a pimple in the middle of the letter. Therefore, we remember Pay as Pimple Pay. Pay makes a “p” sound like parachute.
Fay: The letter Fay also looks like a backwards, upside down, uppercase “G” but without a dot. That’s because Fay went to the spa for a facial and now has super clear skin. So, we remember Fay as Facial Fay. Fay makes a “f” sound like flower.
Tsadi: The letter Tsadi is shaped like a backwards “y” but with much sharper lines compared to Ayin’s more rounded ones. Tsadi makes a “ts” or “tz” sound like the double z in pizza or the sizzling sound of water being dumped onto a flame.
Koof: The letter Koof makes a “k” sound like kitten. Koof looks like a lowercase “p” which is why we remember it as poof Koof.
Resh: The letter Resh is rounded at the top, so we remember it by the name Rounded Resh. Resh makes a “r” sound like rainbow.
Shin: The letter Shin has 3 arms. The number 3 in Hebrew is Shalosh, so we remember this letter as Shalosh Shin. There is a dot right above the arm furthest to the right. Shin makes a “sh” sound like shake or what you would say if you were telling someone to be quiet.
Sin: The letter Sin looks exactly like the letter Shin except that its dot is on the far-left arm. We call it sunset Sin because after sunset, the sun has left the sky and the dot is on the left. Sin makes a “s” sound like snake.
Tav: The letter Tav has 3 sides of a square but the bottom of the square is not completed. Instead, the letter Tav has a Toe that sticks out on the bottom left of the letter. Tav makes a “t” sounds like toy.
For an in-depth look at the Final Letters in Hebrew, check out B’nai Mitzvah’s Academy’s Lesson 9.
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