The Hebrew Alphabet -
The Letter Het (ח)

ח

The Letter Het (ח)

The letter Het is the eighth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and also appears in various forms in a number of other Semitic language’s alphabets.

While Het is generally pronounced in a guttural way according to Modern Hebrew pronunciation, and is usually transliterated as “ch,” “kh,” or simply an “h” with a dot underneath, the letter “H” in the Latin alphabet actually has its origins in the letter Het. While most seem to believe that the letter’s origins lie in a hieroglyphic symbol meaning “courtyard,” it also has some connection to an ancient Semitic word meaning “thread,” and, in fact, the word “hayat” (חייט), which is extremely close to the name of the letter itself, means a “tailor” in the Modern Hebrew language.

The Hebrew letter Het is associated with a number of positive character traits. For example, the Hebrew word “hohma” (חוכמה), meaning “wisdom” begins with the letter Het, as does the word “hasidut” (חסידות), which means “righteousness,” and “hen” (חן) meaning “grace.” The numerical value of the letter Het is eight, which is often associated with super-spirituality or holiness, as it is one more than seven, which represents the holy realm of the Sabbath. When Jewish boys are circumcised and enter into their faith’s holy ancient covenant, it is commanded to be performed on the eighth day.

In connecting with the super-holiness and positive attributes associated with the letter Het, it is also important to note that the letter Het begins the word “hayim” (חיים) meaning life. The letter also looks like a doorway. In thinking about all of this information related to the Hebrew letter Het together, some think that the important message we can learn from the letter is that the way we can pass through the “doorway” to a good life is by instilling in ourselves and in our children good values, such as wisdom, righteousness, and grace!

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