How to pronounce התנ״ך (Tanakh in Hebrew)

How to pronounce התנ״ך (Tanakh in Hebrew)

So I started learning Hebrew.

In my excitement I installed an assortment of apps from which to learn and practice.  One of them is the Bible in Hebrew (as it’s ultimately my goal in learning Hebrew to be able to read the Bible in its original language.)  The app is called Hebrew Bible but on my phone it appears as התנ״ך.

As of earlier this afternoon, my Hebrew skills allowed me to sound out ha-ta-na-[something that looks like quotation marks]-kha.  For some odd reason it was driving me absolutely crazy that I didn’t know what those two quotation marks meant.  I had just started learning the letters within the last few days and hadn’t bothered learning all the vowel marks.  Were they two י (yodh)s??  Two “ee” sounds??  Did that turn it into an “ai” then??  So now it’s ha-ta-nai-kha??

After googling “hatanaikha hebrew” and as many spelling variations as I could to no avail, google was finally like, Did you mean: tanakh hebrew?

I hadn’t heard the word “tanakh” before so I checked into it and it turns out it is the canon of the Hebrew Bible.  Fun fact: it is actually an acronym for its three books: the Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim.  I was also able to confirm that somehow התנ״ך is pronounced tanakh.  But what’s with the ה in front?  (Hebrew is read right to left for anyone extremely confused right now.)  And how do the quotation marks make an “ah” sound?  Couldn’t they be done without?

More googling.  “Hebrew quotation marks” and variations thereof eventually led me to this amazing discovery:

The gershayim״⟩, is a Hebrew symbol symbolizing that a sequence of characters is an acronym, and is placed before the last character of the word.

I instantly remembered that fun fact I had discovered earlier and this sentence gave me all the rest I needed to know.

Except there’s still a “ha” in the front!  What is this??  Oh well, I gave up.

A few hours later I was going through some hebrew lessons on youtube and I got to this lesson which answered the remaining question!

Mystery solved!  But gosh, it was difficult to come to this answer.  I imagine there must be other people who decide to learn Hebrew, happen to install the same app, see the title, and are confused.  Only to google it and find nothing.  So, friends, I decided to write the answer here in my very own little corner of the internet.

If you are someone who happened to google this question and came across this blog post, please let me know in the comments!

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Youth Conference 2015 was incredible

Youth Conference 2015 was incredible

This weekend was Youth Conference, which is an annual weekend event for boys and girls ages 14-18 put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This was my first year attending, and I attended as a Young Women leader for the youth from my ward (ie congregation).

The conference was amazing.  It was 2.5 days of workshops, activities, meals, and dances.

I got teary one night at one of the dances just watching the kids, seeing how happy they were.  They were all having such a good time.  And it was wholesome fun.  I don’t know if I was comparing it to the school dances I remember and the things teenagers used to do back then or what, but just watching them have so much fun that night was so beautiful to me.  And then looking back on the day and remembering all the things they were taught in the workshops – ideas and perspectives that I wasn’t taught until I joined the Church at age 26 – it was just so beautiful to see.

And the group was so inclusive.  They had a talent show and also performed skits in their teams, and one thing that stood out to me was that while someone was performing, the room was silent.  And then when they finished, everyone got an equal amount of roaring applause.  I remember talent shows back when I was in school and people would be talking during the acts.  The popular kids would get roaring applause and everyone else would get a mediocre clapping just to show necessary politeness.  It was amazing at this Youth Conference to see everyone get such a huge applause.  This group of kids was so loving.  Like nothing I’ve ever seen before in my life.

And they were all such good kids.  You could see it in their eyes.  And in their smiles.  Never have I been around a group like this.  It was truly an incredible thing to experience.

I attended a few of the workshops and I learned things and gained new perspectives myself.  We all benefitted from them greatly.  And the Spirit was so strong there.  Especially on the last morning, at the testimony meeting.  One by one the youth got up to share their experiences from the weekend.  This was completely by their choice, and I’d guess probably at least half of them got up to say something.  It was a powerful meeting to say the least.  One girl in particular, gave the most captivating testimony.  It was truly the Spirit speaking through her.  It was one of the more powerful addresses I’ve ever heard – and here she was, a 15 year old.

I am so glad I went, and so grateful I was able to witness it.  It was remarkable and I will always remember it.  I am so grateful that Youth Conference is something available to kids.  Things like this where kids can connect with like-minded people who share their values and where they can be uplifted together are so valuable and important, especially at this stage in their lives.  I really have a lot of respect for Youth Conference and I value it greatly after experiencing it and seeing what it provides for our youth.  I am just so, so grateful.