Rabbi Gold’s Alef-Beis song
My friends looked long and hard for a good Hebrew alphabet song (alef-bet song). This recommendation of my proved to be one of their favorites. Their three year old already knows all the letters! The downside is, it is a little long. It’s not just the letters, there is almost an entire verse of song for each few letters. The guitar playing is good, and it’s special because it is written and performed by Rabbi Gold from Israel.
The Classic Debbie Friendman Alef-Bet Song – with Letters Displayed
I selected this version because it is looped, it repeats the letters “chorus” over and over several times for 5 minutes. You and your children cannot help but learn the song after a few listens. The letters are displayed as the song progresses, and the transliteration (in English letters) appears below each letter.
Starting Learning at Age 3
Some Jews have the tradition of not cutting a boy’s hair until his third birthday, at which time is formal education or “CHINUCH” begins. On this day, if not earlier, the child begins learning the Hebrew alphabet and letters.
The haircut is called “Upsherin” (as explained on the Chabad site). This is a relatively “new” custom, going back to the 17th century according to Wikipedia. One reason for this practice (based on a Hasidic interpretation), is that people are compared to trees, and Leviticus 19:23 says: “‘And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as forbidden; three years shall it be as forbidden unto you; it shall not be eaten.” The Aish Website also has good information on the practice.
Below are some examples: