The Hebrew Alphabet

Standard Codes for Hebrew

The following tables include the names and coding of the Hebrew characters according to the following standards:

"SI" stands for Israeli Standard.

The names are the official English names of the Hebrew characters as adopted by the Standards Institution of Israel (SII), ISO and Unicode. Each cell contains the hexadecimal and decimal code.

Note: The Unicode standard and ISO 10646 include additional characters that, although they are labeled as Hebrew, are not included in Israeli standards and are not needed for Hebrew support. Using them in Hebrew texts may cause compatibility and other problems.


The Hebrew Letters

Hebrew codes contain 27 letters, the 22 basic letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the 5 final forms.

The Hebrew Points

Hebrew points (in Hebrew, Niqud) indicate vowels and other details affecting pronunciation. Their use is optional. The table also includes traditional Hebrew punctuation.

The points are only included in the newer character codes: ISO 10646, Unicode, and SI 1311-1.

The Hebrew Cantillation Marks

The cantillation marks, also known as accents (in Hebrew, Teamim or Teamey Hamiqra) are used with biblical texts to indicate precise punctuation and the notes for reading the text in public.

The cantillation marks are included in Unicode 2.0, SI 1311-2 and proposed additions to ISO 10646.

Bidirectional Formatting Codes

Hebrew and Arabic are written from right to left, while numbers and other languages are written from left to right. Hebrew software must therefor support both directions. Normally, the software can figure out the intended meaning of the text, but when it cannot bidirectional formatting codes are used.


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1996 - 1999 Jonathan Rosenne. All rights reserved. Last modified January 16, 1999.

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