Alef Bet n. Hebrew (AH-lef BET) A name for the Hebrew alphabet, formed from its first two letters: alef and bet. Using the term “Alef Bet” is comparable to calling the English alphabet the “ABCs.” The alphabet consists of 22 consonants and five final letters. The 10 vowels in Hebrew, which are indicated by seven vowel signs, were added to the alphabet in the 7th century c.e. Because the Torah precedes this change, Torah scrolls are written without vowel signs. Each Hebrew letter has a numerical value, which plays a role in a mystical mathematical system called gematria. Besides Hebrew, the Aramaic, Judeo-Spanish, Ladino, and Yiddish languages also use Hebrew characters.
Eisenberg, J., Scolnic, E., & Jewish Publication Society. (2001). The JPS dictionary of Jewish words. Over 1000 entries for Jewish holidays and life-cycle events, culture, history, the Bible and other sacred texts, and worship. Each entry has a pronunciation guide and is cross-referenced to related terms.; “A JPS desk reference”–cover. (4). Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society.