Hebrew and Chinese Calendars and Basic Elements

This table shows some traditional divisions of Hebrew words and concepts found in the Hebrew Bible (Tanach) and the Hebrew prayer book (Siddur).

Hebrew Table Notes:
In the examples here, beginning with the groupings of three, are some qualities of God, first "wisdom", "knowlege", and "understanding", often used to describe God in the Hebrew bible (in Proverbs). Then, the combination of "great", "mighty", and "awesome". Then are the three angels Mikhael, Gavriel, and Refael, and the fathers Avraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). Next are a group of five qualities of God, found first in the Hebrew bible, and then often in Hebrew prayers. Next are the five traditional "souls" humans have, all mentioned in the Hebrew bible. Next are the seven days of the week, then the seven verb groups all Hebrew verbs fall into. The nine Hebrew vowels and their names are shown next. Then, the 10 basic numbers are associated with the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Hebrew characters traditionally also serve as numbers). The ten names of God are shown. Then are the names of the twelve Tribes of Jacob, and the twelve months of the year (the Hebrew names for the lunar months are the same as their ancient Babylonian names).

This table shows some traditional ways that basic Chinese characters (and radicals) are broken down into various groups of common concepts. Characters which are also radicals, are shown in bold.

Chinese Table Notes:
In the first column (starting from right to left) are the first ten numbers (plus 100 and 1000). Then are the three "forces" - heaven, earth, and humans, and the three lights - sun, moon, and stars. In the group of four, are the seasons and the directions. The group of five starts with the five "virtues", and then has the five traditional Chinese elements - wood, fire earth, metal, and water. Notice that the character for "elements", as well as the characters for each of the elements, are all single radicals (that is, one of the 214 basic Chinese radicals). Next are the six basic grains, with the characters for "grain", as well as those for wheat and millet, also being radicals. Along with the six basic grains, are the six kinds of animals people raise, and all but one of the animals (the chicken) is a radical. Next are the seven "feelings" - none of which are radicals. Then come the eight "sounds" - materials from which musical instruments are made. Most of these are radicals. Then is a list of seven days, matched up with the seven elements (this was not necessarily in common use in ancient China, but is given here to compare to the Western seven-day week). Then, the list shows the 12 animals which are associated with the twelve traditional Chinese lunar months. Of the animals, the characters for rat, cow, dragon, horse, and sheep, are all also radicals. Both traditional and simplified characters are shown for the animals (note that only three are different between simplified and traditional). Finally, the twelve months are shown, which in Chinese are simply "month one", "month two", and so on.

Hebrew Table Translations

Notes on the Hebrew pronunciation:

People just learning Hebrew must remember the pronunciation rules when learning the words in this table - especially the Hebrew vowel sounds: a, e, ei, i, o, u (a as in "father", e as in "bed", ei as in "eight", i as in "elite", o as in "note", u as in "fluke"), and where the accent falls - usually on the last sylable.
Some words that should be paid special attention to are:
First, the following words have the accent on the second to the last sylable: the number "two" (shta'-im); "four" (ar'-ba); the numbers "seven" through "ten" (she'-va, etc); "bottom" - (ta'-khat); "Ephraim".
Second, "wisdom" is pronounced with an "o" - khokhma;

Chinese Table Translations