Chapter 27 – Alphabet Soup – A Stormy Day in August 2026
Tali and Anthony teach the younger kids the Hebrew alphabet
"Alef," Tali pointed to flash card with the Hebrew letter א. "Some words that start with alef are Abba, Ima, and Asher."
"And Anthony?" asked Riv.
"Well, actually in Hebrew, my name is Gedalya," her older brother replied. Anthony held up flash card with the next letter ב, "Bet; some words that start with bet are boker (morning), Be'ersheva, and basar, meaning meat."
Anthony picked up the next letter card; before he could say the letter name ג, Rivka spoke up.
"That's gimmel!" she was excited; she actually recognized one of the Hebrew alphabet letters. "It's on the dreidel. Gimmel for gadol in nes gadol haya sham; it means great, right Tali?"
Tali nodded and grinned at her younger sister, "Words that begin with gimmel are geshem (rain), gelidah…"
LJ interrupted his big sister, "ICE CREAM! I know that one."
"Next is dalet ד, as in dod (uncle), doda (aunt), and degel (flag)," Anthony held up the flash card for his younger siblings.
Beth grinned, "So like Doda Tali, and Dod Ari, Ima's sister and brother?"
Tali went through the next three letters, "Hay ה for horim (parents); vav ו as in veradim (roses). And zayin ז as in zeev (wolf)."
"And Ima's other name, Ziva," LJ added.
"Het ח as in Chanukah, challah, and khatul (cat)," Anthony started the next three letters. "Tet ט for tiyul (hike); and yod י for yom (day) and yorekha (moon). The way to tell vav and yod apart is the length of the letter." He pointed to the two letters, "Vav is longer than yod."
"Kaf כ for kokhav (star) and …" Anthony was cut off by Beth.
"Kelev is dog!" Beth grinned, "I know that one from Tali's favorite stuffed animal."
"What's next?" Riv pointed to the card for lamed ל.
Anthony replied, "That's lamed as in lev (heart) and the next one is mem מ for Magen David and matzah."
LJ sighed, "How many are there? How do you tell them apart?"
"There are twenty two total," Tali answered. "You practice until you recognize the Hebrew letters as easily as the letters of the English alphabet. After mem, we have nun נ. Namer (tiger) and neer (candle) start with nun."
"Nun is on the dreidel," Riv noted.
Tali nodded, "Yep; next is samekh ס. It starts Saba, Savta, seder, and senai (squirrel). After that is ayin ע for agevaniah (tomato) and ugah (cake). It's like alef in that it can have several sounds."
"Peh פ for perakhim (flowers) and pessaneter (piano); tzadi צ, which starts tzipporah (bird) and tzefarede'a (frog)," Anthony continued through the letter flash cards. "Qof ק for qipod (porcupine)."
"And the final three are resh ר as in rav (rabbi); shin ש, which is on the dreidel. Shin starts shemayim (sky). And finally tav ת as in tapuz (orange) and teom (twin)," Anthony finished the alphabet cards.
LJ sighed again, "That's a lot of letters. How did you learn them all, Anthony? Tali?"
"Practice," Anthony reminded his little brother. "I thought the hardest part was the vowels that are represented by the lines and dots under the letters."
"Remember that I learned Hebrew when I was little," Tali couldn't remember a time when she did not know Hebrew.
"Will you help us learn?" LJ gave his big sister his best puppy eyes. "Please?"
Tali ruffled her little brother's hair, "Of course we will; right Anthony?"