The Hebrew Alphabet (information compiled by Eric Rosenbloom)

Name Spelt Value Transliterated Representing Also Meaning Tarot/
Alef ALPh 1 A, ’
ox (head) thousand, clan, cattle; 
to learn, teach, train, tame
0, fool (youth); 
Bheth, Beth BYTh 2 Bh (V), B house household, stanza, 2000? 1, magician (builder); 
Mercury, life & death
Gimel GYML 3 G, Gh camel 3000? 2, high priestess (virgin); 
Moon, peace & strife
Daleth DLTh 4 D, Dh (hard Th) door page of scroll, first half of verse 3, empress (mother); 
wisdom & folly
He HA 5 H window lo, behold, this, and 4, emperor (father, sight); 
Vav VV 6 V, W peg, hook, yoke?   5, hierophant (revelation, hearing); 
Zayin ZYN 7 Z dagger   6, lovers (ego & id); 
Cheth ChYTh 8 Ch (guttural H) enclosure, fence   7, chariot (victory, speech); 
Teth TYTh 9 T (palatal) snake, basket, bale, sieve?, ear?   8, strength (digestion); 
Yod YVD 10 Y hand (open)   9, hermit (union, touch); 

Khaf, Kaf KPh 20, 500 (final) Kh, K fist (grasping), palm of hand sole of foot, spoon, cave, vault, curve 10, wheel of fortune (periodicity); 
Jupiter, wealth & poverty
Lamed LMD 30 L ox whip to learn, study, teach, train; 
study, learning; 
studied, deduced, defined
11, justice (balance); 

Mem MM 40, 600 (final) M water seas 12, hanged man (submission); 

Nun NVN 50, 700 (final) N fish (head), water serpent? to sprout, grow 13, death (liberation); 
Samekh SMKh 60 S (emphatic) tent-post, pillar, foundation support; to support, lean, ordain 14, temperance (control (anger)); 
’Ayin OYN 70 O, ’, ’A, Ñ?
eye source, spring, ring, hole, sight 15, devil (senses, mirth); 

Phe, Pe PA 80, 800 (final) Ph (F), P mouth (for speech)   16, tower (fallacy); 
Mars, grace (beauty) & sin

Tsadi TsDY 90, 900 (final) Ts, Tz, J fishhook, scythe?, bow?   17, star (experience, thought); Aquarius
Qof QVPh 100 Q back of head monkey, ape, eye of needle, 
hole for axe handle
18, Moon (sleep); 
Resh RYSh 200 R head (face) to be poor; poverty 19, Sun (reason); 
Sun, fruitfulness & sterility
Shin, Sin ShYN 300 Sh, S teeth, fang?   20, judgement (regeneration); 
Thav, Tav TV 400 Th, T mark sign, musical note, postage stamp 21, world (return); 
Saturn, dominion & slavery


All of these 22 characters are consonants. (There are also 16 vowels, indicated by dots and lines dancing around the consonants.)

The number of consonants is augmented by 5 alternative forms (Bh/B, Kh/K, Ph/P, S/Sh, Th/T), a dot indicating the less aspirate sound, and by 5 final forms (for Kh, M, N, Ph, Ts).

Many of the representations are presumed from those of Old Hebrew, Aramaic, or Phoenician forms, as the Modern Hebrew forms are much more abstract. Many of the original forms themselves derive from Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabets, probably their hieratic forms.

Kabbalistic origin: The spirit of the name (ShAM) gave rise to ALPh as air, out of which came MM as water, out of which came ShYN as fire; these are the 3 mother letters. Then were made the 7 doubles (aspirate/unaspirate) to correspond with the heavenly spheres, and then the 12 simples that correspond to the zodiacal months. [GYML, DLTh, and RYSh were apparently originally doubles. And as ShYN hovers between being a mother and a double, QVPh is both double and simple.]

Note that 22 letters divided by 7 doubles is a close approximation of pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, and that 22 plus 7 (plus Q's share of the moon's sphere) is the number of days in a lunar month.