Yod (י) Old Testament Hebrew words that start with yod

Quick reference

Hebrew Name:
English Name:
Speech Sound:
Numerical Value:

Pronunciation guide

The letter Yod (or Yud) is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet but has a significant role in Hebrew words. It sounds like the “y” in “yes” and is often used to start words that imply “he will,” which is integral to Hebrew grammar. In Hebrew, When the letter Yod carries niqqud (vowel markers), the pronunciation changes accordingly. For example, when it has a hiriq (יִ) it is pronounced as the “i” in “ski,” or with a tsere (יֵ) as the “e” in “see.”

Numerical significance

Yod has a numerical value of ten (10). The number ten is meaningful in Hebrew tradition; it signifies completeness and order, evident in the Ten Commandments and the ten statements with which the world was created. Thus, Yod is associated with the fullness of creation and law. Not to mention that Yod helps form many of God’s names and attributes.

Cultural and symbolic meaning

Culturally, Yod represents a hand or a pointing finger, which could signify direction, work, or possession. Its small size is noted in religious texts, symbolizing humility and the infinitesimal yet essential things in life. For example, it is taught that not one Yod of the Law is insignificant, stressing that even the smallest parts of the scriptures hold great importance ().