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The Letter Chet
Zayin Tet



Manual Print (block)

Hebrew Script (cursive)



The Letter Chet

The eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called "Chet" (rhymes with "mate") and has the (light scraping) sound of "ch" as in "Bach."

In modern Hebrew, the letter Chet can appear in three forms:

Forms of Chet

Write the manual print version (or "block" version) of Chet as follows:

Chet Block

Note that the first stroke "overhangs" the vertical second stroke.

And the cursive version:

Chet Script

Note that the second stroke extends slightly above the first stroke.

Write the letter Chet (from right to left) in both manual print and script several times:

Practice Grid

Note: Chet makes a light, scraping sound in the back of the throat while making an "h" sound. Chet is known as a guttural letter since it is pronounced in the back of the throat. other guttural letters are Aleph, Hey, and Ayin. Chet is sometimes transliterated as "h" which is why you sometimes see the word "Chanukah" spelled as "Hanukkah" in English.

Chet Summary

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The letter Chet is the eighth letter of the Aleph-Bet, having the numeric value of eight. The pictograph for Chet looks like a wall or fence, whereas the classical Hebrew script is constructed of the preceding two letters, Vav and Zayin joined at the top with a thin connecting line:

  1. The Mystery of Chet
    According to the Jewish mystics, Chet is the letter of life, since (chayim - life) and (chayah - living) both begin with this letter. True life comes from (chasidut - devotion). Chet (8) is also the number of grace, (chen) and the number of wisdom (chokhmah).

    Since Vav represents people or others, and Zayin represents time, Chet is a picture of spending time in community, (chavurah).

    Chet also is the letter of light, since the Vav represents the yashar light that descends from God and Zayin represents the chozer light that ascends or returns to God. Therefore, some of the Jewish mystics consider Chet to be the doorway of light from heaven.

  2. The Gematria of Chet
    Since Chet is formed from Vav (6) and Zayin (7), one gematria value would be thirteen, the same value as (ahavah - love). It is also the value for (echad - one). Putting these ideas together, we can see that love unifies us in true fellowship, just as the Mashiach Yeshua taught us:

    John 17:22-3

    "...that they may be one, even as we are one: in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one..." (John 17:22-23)

  3. Chet and the Doorway of Life
    The word (chai) is short for chayim (life), and the letter Chet can be seen to resemble a doorway where the blood of the lamb was daubed during the first Passover (Exodus 12:7):

    There are many necklaces that spell the Hebrew word (chai). In fact, the word  itself somewhat resembles a lamb, and from this we can say that the "Lamb gives life" when applied to the "doorway of our heart."

  4. Chet is the Number of New Beginnings
    Since Chet represents the number 8, we can see how it represents grace, (chen) and the concept of new beginnings:
    • Brit milah (), the covenant of circumcision, occurs on the 8th day of a boy's life, marking the beginning of of his life
    • There were 8 souls saved during the mabul hagadol (great flood) of Noah
    • The LORD reaffirmed His covenant to Abraham 8 times
    • David was the 8th son of Jesse
    • Sukkot is an 8 day festival that anticipate the Olam Habah - the world to come
    • Jesus was resurrected on the 1st day of the week, which if we understand the preceding seven days to constitute a complete cycle, is the eighth day

  5. Chet is the Letter of Discipleship to Jesus
    Since we learned that Vav (6) represents man and Zayin (7) represents the Crowned Man who wields the sword of the Holy Spirit (i.e., Jesus the King of the Jews), we can see that Chet is a picture of discipleship to Jesus:

    Since Chet is formed from the Vav and Zayin connected by a "yoke," we can see that this letter pictures our relationship to the Lord Jesus as He leads and teaches us on the pathway of life.

    A yoke is a connection between two things so that they move and work together. Since the sum of the letters Vav and Zayin equals the value for love (), we can see that the essential nature of this "moving and working together" is that of loving the LORD and one another, just as our Mashiach teaches us.

Hebrew for Christians
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