Today, we’ll learn two short words. Each is just one letter in Hebrew.
The simple English word “the” is the definite article. While it is a word on its own in English, it is a prefix in Hebrew. This prefix “ha” (the letter on the right) is just a one-letter word in Hebrew, but is a cause of difficulty to many beginners at the early stages of learning the Holy Tongue. As a prefix, this one letter that is named “hey” in Hebrew is attached to the word it defines (makes definite).
Take for example the word “Torah.” If you were to say “the Torah” you would say in Hebrew: “ha-Torah.” Note that there is no dash in the actual word, and since Hebrew does not use capital letters for any purpose, “the Torah” will be written plainly as one word: “hatorah.”
This is the case with every definite noun, and this is what is causing students to waste time by looking up words that no dictionary can find. In this case, dictionaries will have “torah” as an entry but not “hatorah,” and likewise thousands of other definite nouns would not be found because they just look like stand-alone words, but they are not. They are, rather, words with prefixes.
If you plan to adopt this divine language into your life, it is a great idea to watch for words that begin with “ha” (the letter “hey” with mostly the vowel “ah,” which is the small line underneath the letter). In the vast majority of the cases it is simply the definite article “the” attached to a valid word. All you need to do is to detach it from the word and then look up the word in a dictionary. All in all, there are about ten prepositions (on, in, about, etc.) in Hebrew; each is just a one-letter word used as a prefix and always attached to the word it modifies.
Smart students learn them within two to three days, making learning Hebrew afterwards much, much easier than they ever imagined.
Here’s a bonus word: the letter “vav” (the letter on the left) is the word “and.” Yes, once again just one letter is a word and once again it is a prefix, attached to the words it connects to. For example, “David and Jim” would be “David veJim.” Always watch for this letter as a prefix and separate it from the word to which it is attached. Now you know two of the ten prefixes. That’s about 20% of the Hebrew prefixes. Not bad for just one session of the “Word from the Lord”.