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LESSON 3 - ET HASHAMAYIM V'ET HAARETS

namely haShamayim and namely haArets.

#,r'a'h tea.w ~iy;m'V;h tea ~yihol/a a'r'B tyivaer.B

The fourth word that we meet in B'reshit is "Et" which can best be described as a grammatical marker, termed the "sign of the accusative", and which in most instances is not transated into English. It is used to pinpoint the "object" of the sentence. In this sentence the word is used twice; the second time with the suffix "v" which is one of the symbols used for "and".

 

To confuse the situation a little, however, the little word tea, which is often written t,a can also mean "with" but we can only determine this by the "context" in which the word is used. The best translation of this little word is "namely".

~iy'''m'V;h

 

The fifth word is comprised of five consonants HSMYM, remembering that Hebrew is read from right to left, and it is derived from an unused three letter root SMH - h'm'v sha.ma closely related to the Arabic word "to be high"

We've already met the first letter "He", pronounced "hay" and beneath this letter is an underscore, which is called "Patach", indicating that the vowel "a", as in "car", should be vocalised, so we have the syllable "ha". This syllable is a "prefix" indicating the definite article "the". The definite article does not always appear to be attached to words but we will cover this subject more fully in a later lesson.

We've met the "S" for "Shin" and "Qamets" beneath previously and this syllable is vocalised as "sha" but notice that there is a dot, a "Dagesh Forte" in the middle of the "Shin" which indicates that this letter should be stressed or emphasised. This is a regular feature of the letter following the prefix "ha".

The fourth letter is the letter "M" for "Mem" and this also has "Qamets" beneath, so we
have the syllable "ma".

The penultimate letter is "Yod" and as we've learned it can be a vowel but in this instance it is performing as the consonant "Y".

Beneath the "Yod" is a dot, called "Hireq Defective" which is the "short" vowel indicator for the vowel "i" and is pronounced as in the word "tin" so this final syllable is pronounced as "yim" as our final letter is the word ending form of the letter "mem" that we've met before. This syllable is a suffix indicating that this noun is masculine "plural" ha.sha.ma.yim - HaShamayim - the heavens.

#,r'a'h

The final word in this first sentence is "HaArets" which is comprised of four consonants but written in English as five, HARTS, the final two letters denoting one letter in Hebrew. The base word "arets" is a three letter root word in it's own right.

The first syllable is "ha" meaning "the" but this time because the following letter is "aleph" the vowel form "Qamets" is used. The "aleph" here is a case in which the vowel "Qamets" is pronounced as a single syllable "a".

We have used "Resh" with the vowel "Tsere Defective" in "B'reshit" and this time we have the vowel "Seghol" but the sound is a very similar "re" again.

Finally we have the letter "ts" for "Tsadeh", sometimes written as "tz" but "ts" is probably more accurate because the letter is pronounced like a "sharp" "S". Hebrew has a separate "z" letter and sound but we'll encounter that a little later on. "Tsadeh" is another letter which has a "changed" form when it occurs at the end of a word. We'll come across the "regular" form in another lesson shortly.

So our final word is ha.a.rets - HaArets - the Earth.

If you've followed through the first three lessons you probably deserve a rest. As you can see there is a tremendous amount of information in the first sentence of B'reshit alone.

 

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