The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 letters, all consonants. It lacks some sounds in English, and to be confusing*, several letters have the [apparent] same sound. Moreover, several letters have a different form which is used only when that letter is the last in a word. Several letters also change their sound -- when written with vocalization [vowels], this is represented by a dot [dagesh] in the letter. In "everday" usage, the letter isn't written with this dot, but is understood. In the next installment, when I discuss the origins of Hebrew and how it differs from Indo-European languages, this will become clearer [I hope].
When I was a child, my father taught me a simple substitution code that I could use for writing secrets to my girlfriends. It worked like this: first, make 3 tic-tak-toe grids. Above the second, put a dot. Above the third, put an X. Then fill in the grids with the ABC, so:
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