We were all treated to a wonderful event with Gloria Cooper.
She gave us some of the history of the Hebrew alphabet ("Alefbet" in Hebrew representing the first two letters of the alphabet). There is some similarity between Hebrew and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Each has 22 sounds or letters. It is thought the Hebrew letters date back to 1500 BC and it is one of the oldest alphabets still in use today with very little change. The written alphabet consists of 22 consonants. Vowels (used to aid in pronunciation) are indicated by dots or lines above, below or inside the letters. The Hebrew alphabet was considered sacred for use in temples and the Scriptures and not in everyday use until the Zionist movement in the 19th Century.
Gloria has done many commissioned works of the Ketubah which is is a document detailing the financial obligation of a husband to his wife. It is given to her at the wedding ceremony and remains her property. This is considered a legal document in Jewish law. Gloria no longer does many of them because they are extremely difficult and time consuming to do and therefore price prohibitive for most people. Once again, the internet now provides them cheaper although not nearly as lovely or as personal.
Gloria spent the bulk of the event teaching us how to write these beautiful letters. She supplied us with a lined sheet as well as a template for the Yerushalmi style of Hebrew letters. This is the style in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
A Speedball C2 Left Hand nib was preferred, but a right hand nib would also work. The text
is written from right to left although the individual letters are drawn from left to right. Some of the letters have a second form of the letter that is used only at the end of a word. After we
worked through the alefbet, we were able to write a few words: Sholom, Mazel Tov,
and some names.
Janey Westin enriched the program by bringing a carving of the 18th Psalm done in Hebrew that she carved in conjunction with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Science Museum.