Neshamah's Notebook

Learning to read the Siddur in Hebrew

A few important things to know first:

  1. Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are not the same. Often the Biblical Hebrew uses future tense while modern Hebrew uses past tense. The Hebrew letters are not pronounced different between the two though. Modern Hebrew is a mish mash of additional words from all over the world, which Biblical Hebrew does not have. So to be clear, when reading the Siddur, all sounds are pronounced the way they are in modern Hebrew.
  2. Practice, practice, practice. If you want to be able to read Hebrew faster and better, you must practice often. It is best to practice every day. Try to stay with one “prayer” like the very short Modah Ani until you can recite it without stumbling. Once you can do this, move to the next one like the blessing of washing the hands. And so…

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