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Understanding the ALEF-BEIS: Insights into the Hebrew Letters and the Methods for Interpreting Them (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 30. Juni 2007

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Amazon.com: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 4 Rezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 13. Juli 2016
Von Sholom - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Great Book!
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 24. März 2015
Von Vicki R. Huber - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
love it
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An interesting outline... 13. April 2011
Von M. Colunga-Hernandez - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
R. Dovid Leitner's book from my perspective is a true gem for those that have studied and read Jewish Mysticism with an eye toward deepening the meaning of otherwise obscure passages and convoluted meaning within the Torah in particular and Jewish Mystical writings in general.
Consider this sort of the "Guide for the Perplexed" when it comes to the construction or deconstruction of passages in the Torah, and the canonical grouping of Hebrew texts. You will not 'just learn a method'... you will come to rearrange your thinking on this subject in general.
I originally purchased this book in 2002 along with others for research I have been doing on the text of the Torah. The book holds a prominent place among my library and I have it with R. Yitzak Ginsburgh's "The Hebrew Letters"... and close to hand.
Definitely not for beginners... (you are warned).
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Understanding the Aleph Beis 13. November 2007
Von Mr. D. Leitner - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe

Title: Understanding the Alef-Beis
Author: Dovid Leitner
Publisher: Feldheim
Reviewed by: A. Schreiber

For many of us - in the early, formative years - it may have been our first encounter with any "formalized learning." And looking back, those lessons may be among the most valuable we will ever experience in our lives.
What lessons am I talking about? Learning the alef-beis. Mastering the Hebrew alphabet.
After all, once you've learned the alef-beis, all sorts of doors begin to open: letters combine to form words, words turn into p'sukim, p'sukim join together to become texts, and before you know it - Chumash, Mishnah, Halachah, Siddur, Meforshim - the accumulated treasury, insights, and knowledge of generations of Sages are there at your fingertips, and all because - at a very tender age - you mastered the 22 building blocks of the Hebrew alphabet.
Any alphabet, really, is an amazing learning tool. The ability to record, articulate, and communicate simple or complex thought - through an organized system of symbols - is an awesome accomplishment.
But as great as the accomplishment is, this is where Hebrew, and every other alphabet in the world, simply part ways. The Jewish nation is an Am Kodosh and the Hebrew language is loshon ha'kodesh - the sacred tongue. All languages are of human origin. Loshon ha'kodesh - the Hebrew language - is of Divine origin, as the Zohar states: "Hashem looked into the letters of the Torah and created the universe." Having been created by the Al-mighty, the letters of the alef-beis are inherently holy; they are the spiritual building blocks of creation and contain infinite depth and wisdom.
To treat, understand, or merely employ the letters of the Hebrew alphabet - in the same manner we would any other language - would be an error of immense proportion. Imagine owning a private plane and using it exclusively for city driving. Sure, it'll take you places (assuming you're allowed to drive on a city street), but consider how much more that plane is capable of. Imagine how high, how far, how fast you could go. Picture all the many different places you could see or visit once those wings take to the air.
So, too, our sacred alef-beis: There is so much depth, so many facets and dimensions to these letters that we drastically short-change ourselves if we are not aware of at least some of the beauty and power these letters possess.
So, it's time to learn the alef-beis all over again.
And just like piloting a plane calls for special driving lessons; you'll also need driving lessons to re-learn the Hebrew alphabet. Fortunately, a marvelous and fascinating new book entitled Understanding the Alef-Beis, by Dovid Leitner, can help us immensely as we navigate from one letter to another.
The author bases his text on a host of classic seforim that deal with the alef-beis, and he is quick to point out that his book is "introductory" in nature and by no means exhaustive. Even so, he addresses a variety of engaging topics and provides a vast array of fascinating information.
One chapter deals with the sequence of letters, simple and composite letters (a reish, for example, is simple, but an alef, consisting of a vav and two yuds, is composite); the origin of the five final letters (Do you know where a final mem appears in the middle of a word and a regular mem appears at the end? And why that is?). There's also a wonderful discussion of the Gemara (Shabbos, 104) that explains the "grouping of letters" in the alphabetic order. (Did you know that there are also 26 p'sukim in TaNach that contain the entire alef-beis, and one posuk that contains all the letters as well as the final five? Do you know where these p'sukim are?) You'll discover all of this in Chapter one.
Naturally, we're accustomed to the order of letters that runs straight from alef to tav, but Dovid Leitner informs us - and explains - that there are 7 different methods of grouping the letters together; in other words, another 7 sequenced arrangements of the very same letters. And of course, this is not a matter of letter or word games, but each distinct order reveals different levels and layers of meaning and understanding of Torah.
How about the shapes of the letters, large and small letters as they appear in different p'sukim, suspended letters (Have you noticed those?), full and deficient spellings, the crowns over the letters. For all this, I refer you to Chapter 3.
Now, I happen to be "mathematically challenged" so it's to the author's great credit that he could take a unit on gematrios (the various methods whereby the letters carry corresponding numerical values), and make that material accessible to me. To see how the numbers relate to the letters, and to see what can be learned out from this - is to see how one language is somehow mysteriously embedded within another. After chapters such as these, it becomes easy to see how loshon ha'kodesh simply bears little or no resemblance whatsoever to any other language in the world.
There is so much more to Dovid Leitner's text that one review simply cannot cover it all - notrikon, roshei teivos and sofei teivos, letter permutations, an eye-opening discussion and examination of each and every letter, and a special chapter on the vowels (which the Medrash says have their source in a realm, even higher then that of the letters themselves) - but suffice it to say that any reader will find this to be a rich resource that blends learning, hashkafah, and novel insights in a way that will have you eagerly turning the pages of this fascinating work.
Understanding the Alef-Beis contains a wealth of varied, even complex, material, but the author's writing style is always accessible, straightforward and pleasant, and he succeeds in making this wondrous subject available to any and all readers. Open to any page and you'll find something that captivates and readily holds your attention.
I don't know what your experience was like the first time you learned the alef-beis, but this second time around, I can assure you that you're in for one marvelous ride.
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