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Lamed

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Lamed

Lamed or Lamedh is the twelfth letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew Lamed ל and Arabic alphabet Lām ل. Its sound value is ].

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Lambda (Λ), Latin L, and Cyrillic Л.

Hebrew Lamed

Orthographic variants
Various Print Fonts Cursive
Hebrew
Rashi
Script
Serif Sans-serif Monospaced
ל ל ל

Hebrew spelling: לָמֶד

Pronunciation

Lamed transcribes //).

Significance

Lamed in gematria represents the number 30.

With the letter Vav it refers to the Lamedvavniks, the 36 righteous people who save the world from destruction.

As an abbreviation, it can stand for litre. Also, a sign on a car with a Lamed on it means that the driver is a student of driving (the Lamed stands for lomed, learner).

As a prefix, it can have two purposes:

  • It can be attached to verb roots, designating the infinitive (Daber means "speak", Ledaber means to speak).
  • It can also act as a preposition meaning "to" or "for".

Arabic lām

The letter is named lām, and is written is several ways depending in its position in the word:

Position in word: Isolated Final Medial Initial
Glyph form: ل ـل ـلـ لـ

Some examples on its uses in Modern Standard Arabic. (Normally, diacritics are not written):

Lām is used as a prefix in two different ways. Lām-kasra (لـِ, /li/) is essentially a preposition meaning "to" or "for", as in لِوالدي liwālidī, "for my father". In this usage, it has become concatenated with other words to form new constructions often treated as independent words: for instance, لِماذا limāḏā, meaning "why?", is derived from لـِ li and ماذا māḏā, meaning "what?" thus getting "for what?". This construction is virtually semantically identical the equivalent in most Romance languages, e.g. French pourquoi, Spanish por qué, and Italian perché (though ché is an archaism and not in current use).

The other construction, lām-fatḥa (لَـ /la/) is used as an emphatic particle in very formal Arabic and in certain fixed constructions, such as لَقد laqad (itself an emphatic particle for past-tense verbs) and in the conditional structure لو...لَـ law...la, effectively one of the forms of if...then....

Character encodings

References

ms:Lam
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